Corbett’s office clears Noonan in porn email probe; DEP Sec. Abruzzo, top...

Corbett’s office clears Noonan in porn email probe; DEP Sec. Abruzzo, top DEP lawyer Parno, resign

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email pornGov. Tom Corbett says a review of State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan’s state-email account “indicates that he did not participate in opening, originating, forwarding or replying to any message” the Office of Attorney General said contained sexually explicit and pornographic material.

Noonan received hundreds of emails that were passed between several former top aides to then-Attorney General Corbett from 2008 to 2012.

“He got everything, but sent nothing,” said OAG spokeswoman Renee Martin of Noonan.

The Office of Attorney General initially said it would not release the information contained in emails after several Pennsylvania media outlets filed Right-To-Know requests. However, a day later Kane’s office allowed reporters to review pictures and videos that her office says were part of a series of hundreds of explicit emails sent by several men who worked under Corbett.

The releasing of information has been done largely piecemeal, leading to charges of bias. Kane is the first Democrat to hold the office since it became an elected position in 1980. The eight men – only a portion of a larger group of individuals, some of which are reportedly current OAG employees, to have received or sent such emails – named by Kane’s office were hired under past Republican administrations.

“I call upon the Attorney General to release to the public, in a complete and unbiased manner, all of the information on all individuals associated with this issue. Such action is in the best interest of the public and will serve to regain trust in those who work in public service,” Corbett said.

Noonan is currently heading up one of the largest manhunts in state police history as local, state and federal law enforcement officials scour the northern Monroe and southern Pike counties for Eric Frein, the prime suspect in the ambush of two state police officers two weeks ago. One officer died.

“It is important that Commissioner Noonan remain focused on the critical public safety mission he is leading in the manhunt for Eric Frein and that there is no disruption in the work underway in this case,” Corbett said in the statement.

On Oct. 2, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Christopher Abruzzo resigned after the governor’s office reviewed emails containing text – some sexually explicit. OAG said he received 46 emails and sent eight.

In a resignation letter, Abruzzo said he had “no recollection” of sending emails, but took full responsibility for his actions in 2009.

During that same examination of emails, Corbett’s office reviewed emails sent by DEP Deputy General Counsel Glenn Parno, AG Corbett’s former chief deputy attorney general for environmental crimes. The governor also accepted his resignation on Oct. 2. OAG said he received 178 and sent 10.

Corbett’s office reviewed information about Abruzzo, Parno and Noonan but is expecting to review more in the very near future. Randy Feathers, a former investigator in Corbett’s OAG who now sits on the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, also was named by Kane’s OAG as having sent hundreds of explicit emails.

Corbett has said he was unaware that close aides were sending explicit emails on state email accounts. He denounced the activity, which, while not illegal, is prohibited by an OAG policy instituted by Corbett when he was attorney general.

“As I have said, I do not condone or tolerate comments or behavior degrading to individuals, written or otherwise. This type of activity does not belong in the workplace and I find it inexcusable,” he said in a statement.

Martin said OAG will release another batch of email for Feathers, Patrick Blessington, a former OAG staffer now prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Rick Sheetz, a former executive attorney general who now works for the Lancaster District Attorney, and former Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley.

–Kevin Zwick, Capitolwire