Lawsuit says Pennsylvania AG retaliated against top lawyer

FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2015, file photo, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Pennsylvania's highest court on Monday, Sept. 21, ordered the temporary suspension of Kane's law license, a step that could trigger efforts to remove her from office as she fights perjury, obstruction and other charges. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A former top lawyer in her office is suing Attorney General Kathleen Kane, saying she fired him in retaliation for grand jury testimony that helped Montgomery County prosecutors bring perjury charges against her.

James Barker’s lawsuit filed Monday in Harrisburg federal court says his constitutional rights of freedom of speech and due process of law were violated.

He says Kane has made false explanations “that call into question his good name, honor and integrity.”

Barker wants his job back, along with damages and repayment of legal costs.

Kane spokesman Chuck Ardo says the office will review the lawsuit and respond accordingly.

Kane’s office has said Barker’s April firing as supervisor of criminal appeals and grand juries was part of restructuring and cited “supervisory accountability” amid reports about grand jury proceedings.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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