The term "family law" is taking on a new meaning in Pennsylvania. The state's attorney general is being sued for discrimination by her twin sister.
Ellen Granahan, a chief deputy attorney general for Pennsylvania, has filed a wage and gender discrimination complaint against the Office of Attorney General. Her twin sister, Kathleen Kane, is the state's current chief law enforcement officer, the Allentown Morning Call reports.
Granahan has worked in the department since 2008, about five years before Kane was elected as Pennsylvania's attorney general.
Four months after that election, Granahan was promoted to head the child predator division, which led to a 20 percent salary increase, according to The Associated Press.
However, Granahan says her $88,509 annual salary is 17 to 37 percent lower than the salaries paid to male and female agency lawyers with similar titles.
Granahan filed a complaint Dec. 30 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which gave Kane's office until May 12 to respond, according to the Danbury News-Times.
In the complaint, Granahan said she is the lowest-paid chief deputy attorney general even though prosecutions in the child predator section -- the unit she is in charge of -- increased 800 percent. She called the team "the most successful unit among all of [the agency's] civil or criminal units."
The paper noted that Granahan was responsible for about 2 percent of the 281 cases that her section prosecuted between April 26, 2013, and Sept. 15, 2015. Former Kane spokesman Chuck Ardo said the low caseload was because she oversaw each case but didn't handle day-to-day prosecutions, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Granahan said seven other male and female chief deputy attorneys general are paid more, some as much as $140,930, according to the paper.
During the first year running the unit, Granahan almost lost her law license after the state Supreme Court threatened suspension if she did not complete mandated education credits within 30 days, the Allentown Morning Call reported.
Granahan did comply, but her sister actually had her license suspended last September, putting her in the unique position of being an attorney general unable to practice law.
Attorneys from the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania asked for the suspension. They said Kane had taken part in “egregious misconduct” that violated rules of professional conduct and “caused substantial public and private harm," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
At the time, Kane was accused of leaking information to the media about grand jury proceedings of a case involving two former state prosecutors with whom she'd been feuding. Then she allegedly lied about the leak, according to Newser.com.
In December, Kane was also accused of failing to disclose that Granahan had sent and received 58 emails that mocked African Americans and Asians, joked about domestic abuse, and included photos of scantily clad men and women, according to Philly.com.
Among the emails included a photograph of a smiling woman with a black eye and a bruised lip, with the caption: "Domestic violence -- because sometimes, you have to tell her more than once."
Kane had previously disciplined more than 60 members of her staff, including seven prosecutors, for exchanging offensive digital messages.
Neither Granahan nor Kane's office are commenting on the lawsuit, according to numerous media outlets.