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Politics & Government

Kathleen Kane's Longest Serving Press Secretary Calls It Quits

Joseph Kaczmarek

  Attorney General Kathleen Kane's longest-serving press secretary left after handling what he called "an unfolding series of crises that were just never-ending."

Chuck Ardo, a $10,000-a-month contract employee, was Kane's seventh spokesperson since she took office in 2013. His last day was Tuesday.

The tipping point, he said, came after he gave a routine office tour to a reporter.

"She had a really bad reaction to that," he told WITF's Smart Talk. "It just seemed to me that having her criticize my methods after I had worked so hard to be accurate... It just wasn't worth it anymore."

Ardo called Kane's reasoning unprofessional.

"She made reference to the fact that (the reporter) never wrote any positive stories about the office," he said.

He said he believes her mindset is a result of paranoia connected to the criminal charges she's facing, which include perjury and obstruction for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information to a reporter to discredit a rival prosecutor and lying about it under oath.

"I think there was a level of distrust between the Attorney General and her most senior lawyers," Ardo said. "I think that was a result of the charges against her, the grand jury that investigated her. A number of those folks testified."

Ardo told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he never thought he'd last as long as he did.

During his tenure, Kane was charged criminally, had her law license suspended by the state Supreme Court and fended off a Senate attempt to order her removal.

She also threatened the release of thousands of pornographic emails found on the office's servers, kept on an aide convicted of criminal contempt and promoted another despite human resources officers recommending his firing partly over sexual harassment policy violations.

Ardo previously served as press secretary for former Gov. Ed Rendell and former Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson.

WITF and the Associated Press contributed to this report.