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Should Gov. Corbett Be Investigated for (In)Action in Sandusky Case?

As Linda Kelly, Pennsylvania Attorney General, was answering questions about Jerry Sandusky’s verdict this past Friday night, a bystander at press the conference asked, “what about Governor Corbett?”  He repeated his question over and over again, quite loudly, and was heard pretty clearly over all the news networks that were broadcasting live. I think it would be fair to say that Linda Kelly, a Corbett appointee, was visibly uncomfortable with the question.  She eventually replied, “we’ll answer that at the end”  of the news conference. The question shouted from off camera was not without a history. As posted on Raging Chicken Press the night of the Sandusky’s guilty verdict, there have been on-going questions about why Sandusky’s prosecution did not happen sooner, in particular, why Corbett, when he was PA Attorney General, did not bring charges.

 

 

Governor Corbett, a Penn State board member, cavaliered the campaign to oust revered Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno and long-standing Penn State President Graham Spanier for doing too little in response to allegations against Sandusky as far back as 2002.  As we all are familiar with now, in 2002, Mike McQueary witnessed Jerry Sandusky raping a child in the locker-room shower.  He then reported the incident to Joe Paterno, who then relayed the message to Graham Spanier, but no further actions were taken.  The parties involved did the bare minimum and didn’t take the allegations seriously. But given Corbett’s own record of involvement in the Sandusky case, why should he come away looking like the hero?

Friday night, Governor Corbett released a statement, via Facebook, about the Sandusky verdict.  It said:

“First, I want to thank the jury for their willingness to serve on such a difficult case.”

“I also want to commend the multiple victims in this case who had the courage to come forward and testify in court, confronting Sandusky, and proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of these reprehensible crimes.”

“The agents and prosecutors of the Attorney General’s Office, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, also deserve a great deal of credit for today’s verdict. They pursued every lead, gathering evidence from multiple victims, in order to bring this man to justice.”

The public reaction it sparked could develop into a political relations nightmare for the governor’s office because of the allegations that Tom Corbett took his time while initially receiving the investigation in 1999.

In 2009, Tom Corbett’s Attorney General’s office received an allegation that Jerry Sandusky abused another child.  The allegation was made by a mother in Centere County and the local district attorney, Michael Madeira, forwarded the case to Corbett’s office because of Madeira’s ties with Sandusky.  At the time, Tom Corbett was in the midst of his governor’s campaign and only assigned 1 investigator overlooking the case (something that Corbett’s people dispute, but have not shown adequate evidence to the contrary).  Last fall when the scandal exploded, Governor Corbett shot down the claims that he was dragging his feet on the original investigation, but in early 2011, after he was elected governor, Frank Noonan, the former investigation supervisor for the attorney general’s office and current state police supervisor, put 7 investigators on the Sandusky case.  Tom Corbett replied to his criticism by saying “people that are saying that are ill-informed as to how investigations are conducted, how witnesses are developed, how backup information, corroborative information is developed, and they really don’t know what they’re talking about.”

So if Tom Corbett wasn’t stalling the initial investigation for his governor’s race, then did his financial connections with former and current Second Mile board members play a role in kicking the investigation down the road?  Last November, Luke O’Brien exposed Tom Corbett’s financial ties to Second Mile board members, in the Deadspin article “Past and Present Board Members of Sandusky’s Charity and Their Businesses or Families gave 641,481.21 to Gov Corbett.”  Tom Corbett received $201,783.64 from Second Mile Board members, and received a total $647.481.21 from families and businesses associated to Second Mile Board members.  These donations were lining Corbett’s campaign pockets right around the time he picked up the case as Attorney General. How convenient.   Some of these donations came from some of the most influential businesses in the state.  For instance, donations came from: Bill Greenlee, a Second Mile board member until 2004 and founder of Pennsylvania’s largest lobbying firm, Greenlee Partners, gave $36,000; Louie Sheetz, executive for Sheetz Inc and current board member, gave $106,000 and Lance Shaner, a director for Second Mile, gave $155,550.  That is just a small sample of the laundry list of donations the governor received for his governor’s campaign.

With the influence of “pay-to-play” politics establishing itself as the norm under Governor Tom Corbett’s tenure, the amount of money he received by people closely associated with Second Mile and the fact it took over 2 years for this investigation to pick up, should Governor Tom Corbett be investigated for his (in)actions in the Sandusky scandal?

There is one question left to be answered, “What about Governor Corbett?” Just as Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier got fired for doing the bare minimum a decade ago, did Tom Corbett’s political ambitions play a role in this investigation?  It was obvious that the “case against Sandusky” took off after Frank Noonan, the state police supervisor, assigned 7 investigators to the case, while Corbett only assigned one.  Should Governor Corbett be held responsible if there were children abused by Sandusky between the time he originally received the case and became governor? These are three questions that constituents of this state deserve to know because what is the difference between Tom Corbett’s, Joe Paterno’s and Graham Spanier’s actions?

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Sean Kitchen is an Assistant Editor and Social Media Organizer for Raging Chicken Press. He is student at Kutztown University.

 

 

About Sean Kitchen

I am an senior Environmental Science Major at Kutztown University. I dedicate my free time to writing and grassroots activism. You can find my twitter address is @RCPress_Sean so send me a tweet! Contact: Twitter | More Posts

7 Comments to Should Gov. Corbett Be Investigated for (In)Action in Sandusky Case?

  1. Independent Voter // June 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm // Reply

    So how do citizens get Corbett investigated? Better, how to get Mr. Pay-to-Play out of office. He is a disgusting human being. I wonder how many kids were abused due to his inaction?

  2. Bill Levinson // June 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm // Reply

    Like Corbett told Penn State’s Board of Trustees on Nov. 9, “Remember the children.”

    Joe Paterno, unlike Corbett, did what he was supposed to do by taking Mike McQueary to see his superiors. (Whether the superiors did their jobs or not is still an open to question.) Corbett had far more information than Paterno, and his inaction seems to have allowed Sandusky to continue to assault children sexually. That’s right; Corbett could have done more.

  3. elizabeth allen // June 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm // Reply

    In 1998, Corbet was AG under TomRidge. parents in Greene County Pa, had collected evidence of 30 cases of rape and sodomy against disabled in Greene Arc. As an advocate myself and Mary Childs took the documents to the AG, DA, Ridge, etal…nothing was done. Ridge came to Greene Cty and we were holding a protest. He agreed to meet w/us if we didnt protest. We met again in Pittsburgh 3 days later. he was given all the evidence. one week later I was sued with a SLAPP suit. (strategic lawsuit to prevent public participation). The repuke hired the law firm of Kirkpatrick (former law firm of Santorum and Ridge) to sue us. We were gagged, couldnt get an attorney. After 18 months and no tria or hearing, the newspaper discovered Kirkpatrick had robbed the disabled of $250,000. The case was dropped. But not however until Mary and I had to pay over $100,000 in lawyer fees to represent us. We were out the money so we sued in Pa. Supreme Court. 4 years late the court ruled that “we had no business interferring in a corporation”, not one word about the sodomy and rape. There is no question that in 1998 Ridge and Corbett covered up all the rape and sodomy occuring in group homes all over the State of Pa. In 2000 Ridge was on the short list to be VP to Bush. Ridge wanted NOTHING coming out negatively while he was in the running. So, yes, Ridge, Santorum, Corbett and every repubican in the State knew about all the rapes and did nothing…and they are all Catholics. I am still waiting to get my money back, having to sell the family farm I had just inherited for cheap. Think I am not angry, you betcha…and so are the families of all those disabled who never saw any justice to this day.

    • I am a former Police Officer from Penna. I wrote a book about judicial corruption in PA and did a video that has gone viral on Youtube concerning State Police brutality and the coverup by the state of this brutality. Facebook/Worse Than Rodney King Please contact me via my e-mail LarryHohol@live.com

  4. elizabeth allen // June 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm // Reply

    Sorry forget this: Our case was Greene Arc vs. Elizabeth Allen and Mary Childs. No justice in Pa…the state where rape and sodomy are permitted…its called state sanctioned abuse.

    • Juliette H // July 13, 2012 at 6:54 am // Reply

      Wow, I never heard about any of this. Are there any newspaper articles about this still out there?

  5. http://notpsu.blogspot.com/2012/11/sandusky-investigation-was-bible-on-how.html

    Corbett endangered the welfare of children for nearly 3 years by not locking Sandusky up in 2008. Read about how Corbett and Noonan really screwed up this investigation.

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Bedlam On House Floor: PA Republicans Walk Off Before Vote to Investigate Corbett | Raging Chicken Press
  2. Kathleen Kane for Attorney General: There’s more to Governor Corbett than Just Jerry Sandusky | Raging Chicken Press

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