Linda Kelly

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Linda L. Kelly
Linda Kelly.jpg
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Former officeholder
In office
Base salary$152,443
Elections and appointments
AppointedMay 2011
Appointed byGovernor Tom Corbett
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Pittsburgh
J.D.Duquesne University School of Law
Office website
Linda L. Kelly is the former Attorney General of Pennsylvania. She was nominated in February 2011 by Governor Corbett, who himself vacated the office upon his election. On May 23, 2011, the Pennsylvania State Senate unanimously confirmed her. She is the 7th Attorney General of Pennsylvania to hold the office since it became an elected position in 1980.

Kelly did not run for election in 2012. She was succeeded by Kathleen Kane (D), who won election on November 6, 2012.


Kelly is a native of Allegheny County, the Western Pennsylvania county that is home to Pittsburgh. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and the Duquesne University School of Law, and began her legal career in the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office in 1975. From that post, she was recruited by the U.S. Attorney's Office. All told, Kelly spent 30 years as a federal prosecutor and senior litigation counsel with the U.S. Attorney's Western Pennsylvania Office in Pittsburgh. During that time, she twice served as Acting U.S. Attorney, in 1998 and again in 2001.

After the September 11th attacks, she worked as the anti-terrorism coordinator for the U.S. Attorney. For the past ten years, she has served both as senior litigation counsel and the office's anti-terrorism liaison.[1]


  • BA, University of Pittsburgh
  • J.D., Duquesne University School of Law

Political Career

Attorney General of Pennsylvania (2011-2013)

In February 2011, Linda Kelly was nominated by newly elected Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett to complete his unexpired term as attorney general. She was confirmed by the state senate in March of that year and took the oath of office on May 27. Kelly is the first female to hold the office since it became an independent elected office in 1981, and is only the second woman to ever serve as attorney general of Pennsylvania.[2]

Kelly did not file for the attorney general race in 2012, honoring the "gentlemen's agreement" whereby state-row appointees acting in an elected official's stead forgo seeking a subsequent full term. In at least one way, she considers her transient position to be a luxury, remarking that “It’s been sort of a liberating experience to be here and not have to deal with the politics of the office.”[3]

Sandusky trial

Kelly led the attorney general's office in prosecuting former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky on 48 counts of sex abuse. The case, which originated under predecessor Tom Corbett in 2009, gestated for two years before charges were brought against Sandusky in November, 2011. After that, the case went from grand jury presentment to trial in a short seven months. On June 22, 2012, a jury convicted Sandusky of 25 felonies and 20 misdemeanors. Despite the challenges she faced in inheriting responsibility for overseeing the high profile case, including the defense seeking a mistrial over the prosecution's decision to show the jury an incriminating and "erroneous" Bob Costas interview with Sandusky, Kelly assured the press after the verdict was delivered that she was confident Sandusky received a fair trial. "The commonwealth expects to prevail on any appeal, and as far as the timing, the judge made it clear from the beginning to all the parties that he intended to move this case along quickly," Kelly said on CNN.[4] Defense Attorney Joe Amendola tried to withdraw from the case on account of the trial's unusually expeditious time-frame, and will likely appeal the charges, which currently translate to an over 400 year sentence for Sandusky. Echoing Kelly's defense of the trial's speedy conclusion and the requested mistrial's dismissal, Corbett weighed in, saying, that he expects these points to present themselves in future appeals, but ultimately, the jury's decision was tipped by the "compelling testimony of these now young men who were young boys who suffered at the hands of this pedophile.”[5]



See also: Pennsylvania attorney general election, 2012

Kelly will not seek election to a full four-year term in 2012.[1] Kathleen Kane (D) won election on November 6, 2012.


Linda and her husband, Paul, live in Edgewater. Their only child, Kate, finished her own law degree at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011.



Office Contact

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
16th Floor, Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Tel: 717-787-3391

Fax: 717-787-8242

See also

External links

Suggest a link


Political offices
Preceded by
Tom Corbett (R)
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
2011 - 2013
Succeeded by
Kathleen Kane (D)