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The Baltimore Sun

AG Kathleen Kane brings in corporate communications consultant

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has brought in an unpaid, outside consultant to evaluate her agency’s communication staff and messaging.

Could another shake up be near?

The consultant is Charlie Holleran.

He runs a New York City consulting firm, Independent Communications Consultancy, and has worked as a executive at Ford Motor Corp, Coca Cola and other major companies, according to his profile.

“He has volunteered to help us with whatever we need in communications,” said Renee Martin, who serves as Kane’s communications director. “He’s not getting paid.”

According to Martin, Holleran has met with senior officials in the agency’s criminal, civil, environmental units among others. Holleran also has worked with Kane’s communications staff, which includes Martin and assistant press secretaries JJ Abbott, Carolyn Myers and Lauren Bozart.

Next month, Chris Kelly, a former Scranton Times-Tribune columnist, will join Kane’s staff as an assistant press secretary. Kelly starts Sept. 18.

Holleran will be working to restructure the communications office to determine employees’ “areas of expertise,” Martin said.

Asked why Holleran is volunteering his time, Martin said he is a friend of Kane’s. Many public officials have outside advisers, Martin said.

“I think presidents call them ‘kitchen cabinets,’” she said.

Since taking office in January 2012, Kane has replaced at least three key communications staffers: press secretary Ellen Mellody, spokesman Dennis Fisher, communications director Joe Peters.

As The Morning Call has reported, Kane’s political star and clout has been tarnished this year through a series of verbal gaffes, public spats with other law enforcement officials, and poorly executed criminal cases.


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