Monday, November 21, 2011

TWO YEARS LOST

"If you think I delayed [the child rape investigation of Jerry Sandusky] for any reasons, you're wrong." -- Pennsylvania Governor and former state Attorney General Tom Corbett, Nov. 17, 2011

It is beyond question that the investigation of Jerry Sandusky was delayed. Three years between complaint and arrest is simply incomprehensible. We don't yet know how many more children may have been victimized between the time Corbett received the complaint and his successor finally brought charges against Sandusky.

It's also very clear why Corbett didn't aggressively pursue the Sandusky case. He was frantically trying to fix his botched investigation of the legislature before launching his gubernatorial campaign.

Corbett received the Sandusky complaint in March of 2009. A single state trooper was assigned to the case. Investigators from the Office of Attorney General weren't assigned to the case until the fall of 2010 - assuring that no charges could be brought until after the election.

By March of 2009, Corbett had spent two years investigating the General Assembly. He'd had plenty of time and resources to devote to it long before the Sandusky allegations came along. But, as Corbett's opponent in the 2008 Attorney General campaign pointed out, Corbett "botched" it by failing to investigate all four caucuses at once - not that he ever had any intention of investigating all four caucuses.

"A series of contempt hearings before the Supervising Judge of the grand jury from October 2008 to December 2008, which was held for the purpose of forcing the [House Republican] caucus into compliance with subpoenas and court orders."

That's right. Corbett didn't get serious about investigating House Republicans until October 2008, nearly two years after announcing that he was investigating all four legislative caucuses.

Corbett had issued subpoenas to House Republicans as early as October 2007 - or at least, someone told the Associated Press that he did. The subpoenas were, as reporter Mark Scolforo wrote, "the first tangible evidence that the probe has extended to any of the other three caucuses ... House Democrats have complained that the focus in recent weeks has appeared to be on them."

It wasn't just House Democrats complaining. Days before the leak to the AP, Capitolwire Bureau Chief Peter L. DeCoursey had published a column suggesting Corbett's political ties to Republican politicians might inhibit the investigation. A Morning Call editorial called for Corbett to turn over the investigation to an independent prosecutor - "someone who is not seeking re-election."

But House Republicans didn't respond to the October 2007 subpoenas, which appear to have been issued merely to provide "tangible evidence" that the investigation wasn't partisan. And Corbett remained unconcerned about their lack of response for an entire year. But by the fall of 2008 scrutiny of Corbett's partisan investigation was growing more specific. The Patriot-News revealed that Corbett had allowed House Republicans to replace all their computers in the summer of 2007, confirming that he'd never had any real intention of investigating the caucus at all.

That decision would come back to haunt him when he realized the political reality that he would need to indict a Republican.

As he scrambled to play catch-up in the face of mounting accusations of partisanship, Corbett discovered, to absolutely no one else's surprise, that House Republicans hadn't obediently preserved evidence of their crimes for the two years Corbett had waited to go looking for it.

Imagine the growing panic that consumed the investigative arm of Corbett's gubernatorial campaign. "If this goes much further Corbett risks being accused of using it to launch what many expect will be a gubernatorial bid in 2010," the the Patriot-News opined in July of 2009. By then, Corbett was scrambling to recover lost evidence. The grand jury presentment outlining charges against House Republicans is rife with lamentations about the difficulty of hunting for missing documents.

Even as Corbett  desperately was chasing down a nice shiny Republican indictment he could wear as an emblem of impartiality, more embarrassment beset the investigative arm of his campaign. In March, 2009, precisely when Corbett received the Sandusky complaint, the Tribune-Review published an email, which Corbett had turned over to defendants' lawyers, in which a House Democratic staffer thanked caucus Leader Bill DeWeese for "the bonus for campaigning." DeWeese responded, "U R welcome." Three weeks later, the Philadelphia Inquirer outlined evidence that DeWeese also used a state-paid contractor for poltical work. Unable to explain why DeWeese hadn't been charged for these offenses, Corbett frantically dispatched investigators to pull together some kind of case against DeWeese.

Meanwhile, the Sandusky complaint, shielded from public eyes as it was, posed no threat to Corbett's campaign. It received a proportional amount of Corbett's attention.

As if overwhelmed OAG investigators hadn't enough to do playing catch-up on both House Republicans and DeWeese, more embarrassment hit in June 2009 - when Corbett should have been in the thick of a Sandusky investigation, if not making an arrest - as the Post-Gazette revealed that Corbett failed to act on testimony that Steve Stetler, then chair of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, authorized illegal campaign work.

Corbett managed to put together indictments of House Republicans, Bill DeWeese and Steve Stetler just under the wire. So surely he was able to devote his full attention to the Sandusky complaint in early 2010, right? Nope. The trial of Mike Veon and three aides, from jury selection to verdict, lasted nearly nine weeks, the longest trial in recent Dauphin County history. At least 10 agents from the Office of Attorney General were present in the courtroom all day, each day of the trial.

After the trial ended (with 117 acquittals) did Corbett then turn his attention to the Sandusky complaint? Nope, again. Instead of using the grand jury to investigate Sandusky, Corbett was using it improperly to gather information he hoped would maximize the sentence of someone already convicted, and to subpoena Twitter for the identities of his online critics.

Investigators from the Office of Attorney General weren't assigned to the case until the fall of 2010. By then, Corbett's victory in the gubernatorial race was virtually assured.

Corbett's failure to conduct an impartial and sincere investigation of the General Assembly in 2007 and 2008 forced him to compromise the Sandusky investigation in 2009 and 2010.  As conservative activist Chris Freind points out, "Giving priority to children who are at risk of rape and molestation is a no-brainer. But inexplicably, that wasn’t done."

22 comments:

JAEL said...

Can we say, IMPEACHMENT??

Anonymous said...

Past And Present Board Members Of Sandusky’s Charity Gave $201,783.64 To Gov. Corbett’s 2010 Campaign. .....as they say just follow the money.... Now with the FBI involved makes you wonder if it's more than just a football cover-up.

http://deadspin.com/5859802/past-and-present-board-members-of-the-second-mile-gave-a-combined-20178364-to-gov-corbetts-2010-campaign

Anonymous said...

Last week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett called for an investigation into The Second Mile, the charity that gave accused child rapist Jerry Sandusky access to thousands of young boys around the state.

"I need to know what [the charity's] board members knew," Corbett told the Wall Street Journal.

It shouldn't be hard for him to find out. Many of the charity's board members are Corbett's campaign donors. Take Lance Shaner, the Chairman of the Shaner Companies and CEO of Shaner Hotels. Shaner served on The Second Mile board from 1998 through 2006, many of the crucial years when it comes to the Sandusky case. Shaner contributed $155,550 to Corbett's gubernatorial campaign.

Then there's Bob Poole, who runs a construction company and has been with The Second Mile since 1998. Poole is currently the chairman of the board, a position he's held for years, although you wouldn't know it because the charity has scrubbed the board information from its website. Pool gave Corbett's gubernatorial campaign $9,133.34.

The connections between Corbett and The Second Mile are numerous, as you might expect with a charity that spiderwebs out from Penn State across Pennsylvania. Corbett has been dipping into the wallets of Second Mile board members since he first ran for attorney general in 2004. For now, though, let's limit our analysis to direct contributions from board members to Corbett's campaign for governor, which took place in the 2009-10 election cycle.

The numbers below won't tell us much about Corbett's mindset or his work investigating Sandusky as attorney general. But they do illustrate the relationships among The Second Mile, Penn State, and all of Pennsylvania, and they capture just how well-connected Sandusky's charity was. Corbett even approved a $3 million state grant this summer to help The Second Mile build an expansive new facility, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The grant is now on hold.

Anonymous said...

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE;

Here's a list of past and current board members of The Second Mile who gave money to Corbett's 2010 gubernatorial campaign:

2011 State Board of Directors

Bob Poole, Chairperson
President and CEO, S & A Homes and Poole Anderson Construction
$9,133.34

Dave Woodle, Vice Chairperson
Chairman & CEO, NanoHorizons, Inc.
$5,000

Cliff Benson, Director
Retired, Deloitte Tax LP
$750

Michael Fiore, Director
Executive Vice President, Leonard S. Fiore, Inc.
$4,590

Bruce Heim, Director
Chairman, Keystone Real Estate Group, LP
$1,000

Heidi Nicholas, Director
Real Estate Developer & Manager
$5,000

Al Pringle, Director
Real Estate Developer/Appraiser
$250

Nancy Ring, Director
Realtor, REMAX Centre County
$350

2011 Central Board of Directors

Michael Hawbaker, Director
Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.
$500

Ben Heim, Director
President, Keystone Real Estate Group
$500

Benjamin Hulburt, Director
President & CEO, Rex Energy
$6,500

Jack Infield, Director
Regional President, Graystone State Bank, State College
$500

Alan Kirk, Director
Esquire, Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir
$350

Harry Sickler, Director
CPA, Owner, Harry Sickler and Associates
$600

Michael Trombley, Director
Retired, President, Keystone Real Estate Group
$350

2011 Southcentral Board of Directors

Rod Savidge, 1st Vice Chairperson
VP, Director of HR, Gannett Fleming, Inc.
$110.30

Michael R. Gillespie, Director
Chief Accounting Officer, Hersha Hospitality Trust
$250

Ex-Second Mile Board Members Since 1998 Who Donated To Corbett's 2010 Gubernatorial Campaign

Anne Deeter Gallaher, Director
$300

Kimberly Ortenzio-Nielsen, Director
$1,300

Rick Karcher, Director
$1,200

James Swistock, Director
$6,200

Lance Shaner, Director
$155,550

Derek Walker, Director
$1,500

TOTAL: $201,783.64

RELATED: Tax Returns For Jerry Sandusky's Second Mile Charity, 1998-2010

ALSO RELATED: Past And Present Board Members Of Sandusky's Charity And Their Businesses Or Families Gave $641,481.21 To Gov. Tom Corbett

[Campaign contribution figures crunched through Sunlight Foundation's Transparency Data project.]

Anonymous said...

Probably a stupid question but didn't he take kids across state lines to games and bowls?

If that is the case shouldn't the REAL FBI be investigating?

Anonymous said...

I read the post as pointing out a conflict of interest with Corbett secondary to his donations to Sandusky's "charity." Many organizations give to politicians to buy influence. In the case of Sandusky's charity, it doesn't HAVE to be influence to coverup the real nature of the charity--pedophilia.

However, of course, the charity's board could have had that in mind when they made the donation.

Anonymous said...

There is no denying the horrendous nature of the charges filed against Sandusky with respect to his alleged illegal activity.

There is no hiding places for Tom Corbett anymore either.

Clearly, he cover up this investigation and he must be investigated and his entire operations during his tenure.

Nor is there any denying the even more horrendous fact that, apparently (not allegedly), others knew of those activities for years and did nothing about it.

Of course the media has been absence on Corbett for a long time, now all of a sudden Mother's Cries of Cover-Ups from the crying children has finally awaken sleepy media.

Now the Media will milk all of this for whatever it is worth, but if they had been vigilant on Corbett crooked words, victims would have been saved.

Likewise do the Politicians and their cohorts in power who seek the limelight.

Freeh's selection and the resulting, possible (not apparently, not allegedly), controversy regarding a potential (you got it) conflict of interest is a case in point,

This whole scandal de jour has become a feeding frenzy of media, politicians, and the resultant mob of scavengers.

Why? Because of the names and affiliations of those involved, and now they lawyer up too.

The feeding frenzy provides a clear example of how the media can be used to control the public mindset.

No matter the subject.

For however long it wishes or for however long someone wants it to.

And; of how gullible and malleable the citizens of this Connonwealth have become.

I'm no conspiracy nut Just seems to me that it's getting hard to find any real 'news' between the on-going episodes of the Sandusky, Corbettgate, and NCAA investigations reality show.

Worse; it makes me wonder what portion of American society is still able to separate the so-called reality shows from their own reality. Three percent?

How sad, Corbett needs to question under oath, arrested, and jailed, as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

Twenty years ago, the University of South Florida in Tampa covered up at least 6 sexual assault complaints against a star basketball player who was about to take the team to its first-ever NCAA Tournament.

In the most egregious case, the female victim of an alleged rape was encouraged to withdraw her complaint in order to stop the harassment she was suffering from members of the team and their friends.

Her decision occurred in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, who oversaw both student discipline and the athletic department. The conversation took place over a coffee table that was a replica of the USF Bulls basketball court. The vice president would later say, wrongly, that she had "recanted."

Ultimately the truth came out, and the cover-up was unraveled.

In Florida, the State Attorney general did the right thing and conducted a true and honest investigation, unlike what i am reading about Tom Corbett’s inattention and caring about his political career and contributors over the children.

The basketball player had already been dismissed, after the tournament, for a curfew violation.

But now the Vice President for Student Affairs was forced to resign; and the university President, who had minimized and stonewalled the facts, was gone soon after.

At the direction of the state Board of Regents, oversight of student discipline and athletics were separated, and a victim's advocate was appointed at every Florida public university to help students deal effectively with police and the student discipline bureaucracy.

(I know all this because one of my dear friends was the St. Petersburg Times reporter who spent more than a year uncovering the story, with the help of concerned faculty members. My findings were confirmed by an official state investigation. [Check St. Pete Times archives on 12-8-91 and 1-25-92, among others.] )

What strikes me about this WSJ report is that even a division of responsibility between athletics and general student discipline cannot work -- if the whole university has been blinded by glory, money, and the power they bring, with an approving eyes from State Officials like Corbett enjoying the games.

Much is being written about this metastasizing tragedy at Penn State.

A lot of it is psycho-social speculation. I admire the WSJ for simply documenting the mechanics of the corruption.

This is what every Reporter should be doing to find out those that did cover-up these crimes.

I am an avid sports fan -- college football, college basketball and otherwise.

We are the ones who must remind our institutions that the essence of sports is our common humanity, but never before our families, ethics, and desires like Tom Corbett and all at that OAG that did not stand up and say no, cowards for their jobs and all.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this story does no justice, why wasn't Corbett asked about the money trail leading back to second mile. Why wasn't he asked why it is his and Noonans obligation to defame witnesses in this case.

Why wasn't he asked that it seems like the most less interest for him right now is that his friend Sandusky is convicted.

I just have a hard time Corbett and his cronie Noonan has the nerve to blast our state witnesses somebody about moral obligations.

It just doesn't add up for this case or even future cases.

Why would anybody want to tell the truth and be a witness for the state of these idiots has the right to defame the witnesses.

Oh well, people are just stupid in this case, as a voter that voted this person in, it is safe to say I can not wait until he loses in the primary.

Anonymous said...

By all means Corbett investigated like a turtle the way he did against this sexual abuse of children in the first place!

Don't forget Corbett snail like pace investigating Government corruption against the GOP!

But Corbett was the Rocket Man when it came to nailing the Jackass party!

Anonymous said...

“From what we know from the grand jury report, there was a lack of leadership at Penn State,” said Ray Zaborney, who has helped with Corbett campaigns. “When they contrast Gov. Corbett’s leadership both as attorney general and governor, I think people will realize he took on something that too many other people ignored, regardless of politics” (PAT NEWS-Thompson, 2011).

This statement is so laughable that it make me sick.

Governor Corbett was Attorney General for ten years, and never pursue Sandusky because he was a link to Governor Corbett’s campaign war chest.

Sandusky had an elaborate operation of funneling campaign money to Governor Corbett campaign.

Sandusky had an office with a telephone at PSU.

He utilized that facade for generating political contribution that went to Governor Corbett’s campaign war chest.

In other words, Sandusky was not involved with Second Mile at the end of 2008.

But his retirement package with PSU included the title of professor, and a small office with a telephone.

It was a front that his personal attorney cooked up in order to solicit political campaign contribution to utilize in the future when it comes time for sentencing Sandusky.

Governor Corbett, stop feeding the press bogus arguments.

Anyone can hire a professors to say anything as long as they get that mortgage or car payment the desperately need.

In our opinion, Governor Corbett has abuse the power and authority granted to the Attorney General’s Office and he is doing it again as Governor of Pennsylvania.

There should be a United States Justice Department investigation in the Sandusky case.

There’s a timeline now spanning three decades.

And the burning question is the sighting of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar, who went missing in 2005 and declared dead in July 2011.

This was reported on Court TV, November 17, 2011.

And it has been reported that Ray Gricar has an older brother that is missing too.

I think it is time to dig up Ray Gricar grave and do a DNA test.

Reference
Thompson, C. (2011, November 22). Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett defends cautious investigation into Sandusky allegations. Retrieved Patriot-News Web site
http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/pennsylvania_gov_tom_corbett_d_1.html

Anonymous said...

More bobbing and weaving from Corbett.

While speaking Monday at the Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon, Corbett maintained he could not have said anything about the investigation.

But the rules of secrecy do appear to permit disclosure under certain conditions.

“Generally, it is necessary to disclose at least some in formation describing the nature of a grand jury in quiry during the course of an investigation."

In most circumstances, such information should be very general. For example, a government attorney could say, ‘We are investigating a possible price-fixing conspiracy in the road building industry.’ ”

Because of this rule, Corbett could have asked the trustees to look into Sandusky’s character, said Wes Oliver, professor of law at Widener University School of Law.

“Corbett had a fiduciary responsibility to the board."

He didn’t have to divulge that Sandusky was even being investigated, only that they should look closer at him,” Oliver said.

http://www.centredaily.com/2011/11/23/2996933/corbett-sidesteps-blame-for-not.html

Anonymous said...

Corbett sidesteps blame for not alerting Penn State about investigation.

With all due respect to the office and no respect for the individual holding it, I really hope that Freeh shoves a microscope up the Governor's "situation"!

Corbett's got a whole lot of "splainin' to do" regarding his actions as Attorney General and his recent generosity toward Second Mile!

It's called, you line my pockets, I'll line yours. It's become the American way, but Corbett used Law Enforcement to see himself elected on the backs of ethical violations turn to criminal by him and his minions at PAOAG.

On the other hand, unfortunately, it's doubtful that Corbett's actions (or inactions).... will fall under the purview of Freeh's investigation.

Certainly, he won't cooperate with it, unless he sees some chance of using it to improve his own image in light of the situation.

Corbett must be held accountable by the voters and the press and maybe by a federal investigation.

Corbett....typical poltitician, horrible Attorney General, and scumbag human being.

Anonymous said...

I cannot enough express my disappointment in our gov.

What is quite obvious to most people here is that Corbett managed this case - both as a AG and as Gov - to his own benefit.

Corbett positioned the investigation around his election, accepting 2nd mile $$ knowing what he knew, he promoted noonan - the only detective assigned and hand picked his friend Linda kelly to break the case - OH by the way which was convieniently released on a PSU football bye week from a "computer glitch"....

Controlling Penn State's $4.6 BILLION in yearly revenue would be a great for him - no doubt.

The worst part of all of this is that he (and his cronies) had the audacity to judge the morals of people like JoePa?

What kind of political people would be unprofessional enough to inject their personal morality statement .... hmmm perhaps the kind that want a smoke screen.

Hiding now behind "the investigation' - can't talk.

And he has NOT ONCE - not a SINGLE time spoke about the wonderful institution and students and it's value to the state of PA.

Not ONCE was he concerned about those in his state that were NOT part of this 2nd mile scandal.

Why would Corbett's press aid be privy to Grand Jury information?

It was for one purpose only because he was worried about his campaign for Governor more than the children being hurt by Sandusky.

Secrecy had nothing to do with it, if he told Kevin Harley. Harley handles Press nothing more, so Corbett was campaigning not enforcing the law.

Something smells really bad!

The United States Justice Department should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the handling of several high profile grand jury cases by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office.

Recent history reflects that the timing, findings and public announcements are suspect and politically motivated by the past and current administration.

It is only a matter of time; until, the public senses more abuses within the grand jury process by it's state government and certain officials with ulterior motives.

Anonymous said...

So, according to Corbett if you are the only victim of a child abuser you are out of luck.

You have to wait for the perv to abuse other children before the state will prosecute!?!???

That is absurd. MANY SINGLE CASES OF CHILD ABUSE ARE PROSECUTED SUCCESSFULLY IF THE PROSECUTOR HAS THE SKILL AND THE BACK BONE TO DO IT.

Corbett had neither of these qualities, so it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Here is a great summary of what is known or has been suspected

If Freeh doesn't turn Corbett and the AG's office inside-out, he's not doing his job... PERIOD!!!

JoePa will be redeemed. It will take some time... Corbett is scum.

Corbett Sandusky Cover Up Scandal
Link:
http://crownsports.blogspot.com/2011/11/sandusky-cover-up-scandal.html?spref=fb

Anonymous said...

I would call Corbett's routine investigations as AG more "Shuck & Jive" then "Bobbing & Weaving" and "One-Term Tom Twists and Turns"!?!?***

Anonymous said...

WHAT A DISGRACE BY TOM CORBETT AS AG:

In addition, it became a point of wonder for others in law enforcement when The Patriot-News first reported earlier this month that, for the first 15 months of the investigation against Sandusky, there was only one state trooper assigned to the case.

It wasn’t until the fall of 2010 that agents from the state Attorney General’s office got involved, and then when then-Attorney General Tom Corbett was elected governor and took office in January 2011, he appointed state police commissioner Frank Noonan, who increased the number of investigators to eight.

That was when things really started to take off.

It was not until January 2011 that Joe Paterno, former athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz testified.

It was not until April that officials from The Second Mile testified.

SHAME ON TOM CORBETT AND HE NEEDS A FULL FEDERAL INVESTIGATION TO REVIEW HIS ACTIONS AS A HIDING ATTORNEY GENERAL GOING AFTER HEADLINES FOR HIS ELECTION, INSTEAD OF PROTECTING THE CHILDREN AND DOING HIS JOB AS AG.

Anonymous said...

You know, it's one thing that the mainstream media won't speculate on why Corbett didn't begin to investigate House Republicans for nearly two years, but I've never even seen mention of the fact of the delay. Yes, the Patriot noted that Corbett allowed the caucus to replace its computers, but no one seems to be able to connect that dot to the fact that evidence "disappeared." It's baffling.

Anonymous said...

He is just as guilty as the rest of them in trying to sweep this thing under the rug. Three YEARS to get an indictment. That's a joke and a travesty of justice at very least and a CLEAR case of obstruction of justice at worst.

Corbett knew he couldn't make waves with the Penn State boosters / Alum because it would hurt his election bid, so he draaaaaaaaaged his feet for as long as he possibly could to keep the $$ rolling in to his campaing coffers.

GUILTY AS CHARGED, just like Paterno.

Anonymous said...

Who is the knucklehead now? The Penn State students who rioted (only a small percentage) are beginning to look like geniuses in protesting the farce.

Anonymous said...

Oh, did Paterno go back in time, call the police, and ban Sandusky (for real) from the campus?