HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday nominated Kathleen Kane’s former top deputy to step in as attorney general for the remaining months of her term on the heels of her conviction and resignation from the state’s top law enforcement job.
Bruce Beemer would take over the beleaguered attorney general’s office after two years of turmoil, infighting and scandal under Kane.
Beemer must still get the approval of two-thirds of the Senate to take the post until a successor to Kane is picked by voters in November and sworn in Jan. 17.
Kane was convicted Monday of abusing the powers of the state’s top law enforcement office by leaking secret grand jury information to smear a rival and lying under oath to cover it up.
Beemer, 47, a former Allegheny County prosecutor, joined the attorney general’s office in 2011 as chief of staff under a Kane predecessor and was promoted after Kane took office in 2013 to first deputy attorney general.
Beemer took on some of the office’s major legal decisions and openly clashed with Kane after the state Supreme Court suspended her law license last fall. He also gave unflattering testimony about Kane at her trial last week.
Beemer left the post last month to become Wolf’s inspector general, an office that investigates complaints about fraud, waste and misconduct in state agencies.
Wednesday was Kane’s last day in office, leaving it to be run by recent Kane hire Bruce L. Castor Jr., who had emerged as a central figure in the Bill Cosby sex assault case.
However, Castor, a former Montgomery County district attorney, lacked support from Wolf or top state lawmakers.