|Linda L. Kelly|
|Attorney General of Pennsylvania|
|Elections and appointments|
|Appointed by||Governor Tom Corbett|
|Bachelor's||University of Pittsburgh|
|J.D.||Duquesne University School of Law|
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.
- BA, University of Pittsburgh
- J.D., Duquesne University School of Law
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.
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.”
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. 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.”
Linda and her husband, Paul, live in Edgewater. Their only child, Kate, finished her own law degree at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011.
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
16th Floor, Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
- PittsburghLive.com, "State's new attorney general will complete corruption cases," August 15, 2011
- Attorney General of Pennsylvania Linda Kelly, "History of the Office of Attorney General," accessed April 2, 2012
- The Patriot News, "Should the next Pennsylvania attorney general be barred from seeking higher office while serving?," March 29, 2012
- Reuters, "Pennsylvania attorney general says Sandusky got fair trial," June 25, 2012
- The Washington Post, "Defense lawyer: Ex-Penn St. assistant Sandusky wants ‘people to know that he’s not guilty’," June 25, 2012
Tom Corbett (R)
|Attorney General of Pennsylvania
2011 - 2013
| Succeeded by|
Kathleen Kane (D)