HARRISBURG, Pa. — A plan by a conservative western Pennsylvania state lawmaker to seek impeachment of the state attorney general over her handling of a gay marriage lawsuit drew a stern reply Tuesday from the top prosecutor, who called his claims “loud, arrogant and misguided.”
The statement issued by Attorney General Kathleen Kane said she believes Pennsylvanians should be revolted by the tactics used by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler.
“Rep. Metcalfe’s goals of media attention and political gamesmanship are accomplished through loud, arrogant and misguided claims,” Kane said, saying he had limited knowledge of the law and legal principles.
Metcalfe circulated a memo to other House members on Monday that sought co-sponsors for articles of impeachment that he plans to introduce. He said Kane, a Democrat, has violated her constitutional, statutory and ethical duties.
At issue are Kane’s opinion that the state’s gay marriage prohibiti on is not constitutional and her decision to delegate defense of that law to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. The litigation is pending in federal court in Harrisburg.
Kane said Metcalfe is wasting time and “battling me because I had the gall to run for office, win and serve Pennsylvania as an independent watchdog.”
Metcalfe said in the co-sponsorship memo that Kane’s declaration of opposition to the law hinders its defense and violated attorneys’ ethics rules. He told fellow lawmakers “it is our duty to stop her from engaging in further misbehavior in office.”
Kane said she has never feared bullies.
“In fact, bullies strengthen my resolve to protect those who need it the most – the people of Pennsylvania,” she wrote. “I will never be deterred by selfish rants of those who want Pennsylvania to belong to the few.”
He said late Tuesday that one member of the 203-seat state House has so far indicated support for the impeachment effort.
“I think this lady thinks she can continue to run a campaign instead of acting like an attorney general,” he said in a brief interview in his Capitol office.
Kane, in her first year and the state’s first elected Democrat to serve as attorney general, has been a problem for the state’s Republican leadership, thwarting Corbett’s plan to privatize management of the state lottery and launching an internal investigation into how her office handled the investigation into Jerry Sandusky when Corbett was attorney general.
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