By Charlotte Huffman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Hundreds of pornographic images are among the documents unsealed Wednesday from an investigation that produced criminal charges against the state’s attorney general.READ MORE: 'Hold Him Accountable': Philadelphia School District Teacher Let Student Make Wooden Gun In Shop Class, Parent Says
Pennsylvania court officials released about 1,000 pages of records including scores of emailed images of nude or scantily clad women, some involving sexual acts.
Some of those images had been altered to imply they were Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.
The CBS3 I-Team obtained the e-mails which were distributed among prosecutors and agents who were employees of the attorney general’s office at the time.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane has long wanted to make the e-mails public and plans to use them in her defense.
Kane faces perjury and other charges for allegedly leaking grand jury material and lying about it.
In a November motion asking for the investigation to be quashed, Kane’s lawyers argued that former state prosecutors Frank Fina and Marc Costanzo “corruptly manufactured” the grand jury investigation to protect themselves after she found they had been sending or receiving pornographic emails on their office computers.
Calls requesting comment from Fina and Costanzo were not returned.
Both men currently work at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office which released the following statement Wednesday:
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“The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has clear human relations policies, so the District Attorney believes that a thorough review is necessary of the email chains and any actions current office employees.”
Other records unsealed Wednesday detail a battle over a protective order issued last year by Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter, who oversaw the grand jury that recommended charges against Kane in December. The new filings were unsealed at his request.
Carpenter’s order had sought to prevent any retaliation against witnesses in the investigation into allegations that Kane’s office had leaked investigative materials subject to secrecy protections.
Kane independently released reams of other pornographic and sexually explicit emails last year, but she said Carpenter’s protective order limited what she could reveal or talk about.
In October, Carpenter said the order should remain in place, partly because of what he described as “conduct of an intimidating nature” against witnesses he said were confronted as they appeared to testify before the grand jury in August 2014.
Fina and Costanzo wrote to Carpenter last year to seek an investigation into an alleged leak to the Philadelphia Daily News of material from a 2009 grand jury investigation. The grand jury led by Carpenter concluded that Kane had leaked the material, but she insists what she provided to the newspaper was not covered by secrecy laws.
Special prosecutor Thomas Carluccio wrote in one of the filings that Fina and Costanzo were confronted by several agents of the attorney general’s office who “walked with them to the elevator muttering comments to them,” the court papers said. “The agents then rode the elevator with Costanzo and Fina to the grand jury room standing nose to nose with them. They were making comments concerning Fina and Costanzo the entire time in the elevator until someone said to knock it off.”
Kane said agent Michael Miletto, who had been the lead investigator in a 2009 probe, had “an encounter” with Fina and Costanzo, but that he denied trying to intimidate them.
Kane argued to the state’s high court that Carpenter had overstepped his authority in issuing the protective order.
“In truth,” Kane told the Supreme Court in a November brief, “the protective order is the product of the maliciously ingenious, craven and contemptible (and so far successful) efforts of Fina and Costanzo to cynically manipulate and exploit the supervising judge, the special prosecutor and the grand jury process in order to avoid being held accountable for misconduct and violation of the public trust during their tenures” at the attorney general’s office.
Montgomery County prosecutors charged her on Aug. 6 with obstruction and conspiracy for allegedly leaking grand jury material and then lying about it, allegations she has vigorously denied. A district judge ruled after a preliminary hearing Monday there was sufficient evidence to send the case to court for trial.MORE NEWS: At Least 3 People Shot, Killed In Violent Thursday Night In Philadelphia
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