Governor’s Handling of Jerry Sandusky Case Under Investigation
Mario Tama/Getty Images(HARRISBURG, Pa.) — The newly-elected attorney general of Pennsylvania is going after the state’s governor, Tom Corbett, who was attorney general when child sex allegations against Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky were first brought forward.
Kathleen Kane was sworn in as attorney general on Jan. 15, said that she will name a special prosecutor in the coming days to investigate Corbett’s handling of the Sandusky case.
The investigation will look specifically at why it took the attorney general’s office three years to bring criminal charges against Sandusky while he continued to have access to children.
“Attorney General Kane will appoint a special prosecutor to lead the office’s internal investigation into how the Sandusky child abuse investigation was handled by the Office of the Attorney General,” Kane’s office said in a statement released Friday.
Corbett’s attorney general’s office was first notified of the allegations against Sandusky in 2008 when a high school student told his mother and school that Sandusky had molested him. The local district attorney passed the allegation on to the attorney general, then Corbett. Corbett convened a grand jury.
It wasn’t until 2011 that sex abuse charges were filed against Sandusky while Corbett had since become governor. Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sex abuse in June 2012.
The charges sent shockwaves throughout Pennsylvania, as Penn State’s president, two top officials, and legendary coach Joe Paterno all lost their jobs over the scandal.
“Why did it take 33 months to get Sandusky off the streets? Was the use of a grand jury the right decision? Why were there so few resources dedicated to the investigation? Were the best practices implemented?” the statement from Kane’s office read.
“At the end of this investigation, we will know the answers to these questions and be able to tell the people of Pennsylvania the facts and give them answers that they deserve,” the statement said.
Describing an interview Kane gave the New York Times, the Times said Kane suggested that Corbett did not want to upset voters or donors in the Penn State community before his gubernatorial run in 2009.
Corbett has denied those suggestions. His office did not immediately return calls for comment.
Kane’s office preemptively fought back against the idea that the investigation is politically motivated. Kane, a Democrat, defeated the incumbent attorney general, Linda Kelly, a Republican in November 2011. Corbett is a Republican.
“The speculation that this is about politics is insane,” a staff member in Kane’s office told ABC News Friday. “You go anywhere in Pennsylvania and anywhere across the country and you’ll find individuals asking, ‘why did it take three years? Why was there a grand jury? Why make these kids talk to 30 different people about what happened?”
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