Wednesday, July 11, 2012
BY LUCK, OR BY DESIGN?
We don't know who leaked emails implicating Joe Paterno in a coverup of Jerry Sandusky's crimes, but we know of only one person who benefited from the leak: Tom Corbett.
Six days before CNN reported on the emails, the Altoona Mirror reported that the Regional Director of the Attorney General's State College Office admitted Corbett's obsessive investigation of the legislature created a shortage of investigators, impeding the effort to put Sandusky behind bars.
Corbett already was in the midst of a national campaign to defend once again the shocking, nearly 3-year length of the Sandusky investigation.
What were people saying before the emails were leaked?
"As Pennsylvania's attorney general, he investigated Sandusky for nearly two years but failed to make an arrest" ... Corbett had agressively pursued prosecution of sexual predators, "But this time, he assigned just one investigator to the Sandusky case, say lawyers with knowledge of the arrangement..."
"While the current Sandusky investigation was in its second year, Corbett spent much of his time focusing on the sweeping public corruption inquiry of Democrats and Republicans in Harrisburg nicknamed “Bonusgate.” He also crisscrossed Pennsylvania campaigning for governor, pledging to cut runaway spending and 'restore trust in Harrisburg.' State campaign records show he accepted contributions of nearly $650,000 from current and past board members of Second Mile and their businesses."
Buzz Bissinger in The Daily Beast:
"...the way his office handled the investigation raises inevitable and legitimate questions about why an alleged sexual predator was allowed to remain at large for nearly three years while the grand jury investigated. The question of political considerations cannot be avoided.
"Not only that, but Corbett’s gubernatorial staff approved—yes, approved—a $3 million grant to Second Mile, the foundation for kids that, according to the grand jury, served as a repository for potential sex-abuse victims. Corbett knew about the grant and let it through last July for reasons that seem absurd.
"...in any case where authorities know of an alleged sexual predator believed to have committed a crime, the first obligation is to make an arrest. The risk of Sandusky committing another act against a minor child was too great to wait three years for a report,...
"...it’s no wonder that the ooze would eventually touch Corbett. Add him to the lengthening list of those who’ll have to scrub awfully hard to cleanse themselves of the stain."
"Past And Present Board Members Of Sandusky’s Charity And Their Businesses Or Families Gave $641,481.21 To Gov. Tom Corbett"
"...the governor is far from an innocent bystander .. Although his office denies it, there are multiple confirmations that Corbett assigned no one from his office to follow up on the charges: just one state trooper, a state trooper “not authorized to bring charges against Sandusky.”
"In addition, when Corbett was sworn in as governor in 2011, he still had not informed the Second Mile Foundation that their founder was under investigation. Instead, as a candidate for governor, he took $650,000 in donations from members of the Second Mile’s unsuspecting board, even allowing the chairman to hold a fundraiser for his campaign.
"Upon being elected, Corbett then moved deftly from doing nothing to immediately trying to deflect the entire weight of the scandal onto Joe Paterno and Penn State itself, using his recently appointed position as a member of the school’s Board of Trustees (an automatic appointment for all Pennsylvania governors) to do so."
“There have been allegations of political arm twisting and strong lobbying against lawmakers who have raised questions” about alleged “foot-dragging” on behalf of Corbett."
"...some have openly wondered whether Governor Tom Corbett, while he was attorney general of the state, did enough to investigate and prosecute the former Penn State football coach."
"Corbett appears to have contradicted himself by stating that he wanted to keep a "hands-off" approach of the pending Sandusky investigation, despite the fact that Corbett was front and center in the firing of Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier late last year."
Philadelphia Daily News:
"Pennsylvania taxpayers have underwritten nearly $1.4 million in contributions to The Second Mille, the disgraced charity founded by convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky where testimony showed he groomed some of the boys he later molested. The taxpayer-subsidized donations — which support The Second Mile's summer camp and an annual Leadership Institute — come through a controversial scholarship program called the Educational Improvement Tax Credit..."
Disclosure of the emails successfully diverted attention away from Corbett's role in the scandal.
There are signs of hope, however, that it won't be forgotten. A Bloomsburg Press-Enterprise editorial this week headlined "Scandal questions surround Corbett," noted, "...no governor in memory has been enmeshed in a scandal as big, as emptional, as polarizing as the one that''s enveloped Penn State University since Sandusky's arrest. Corbett's involvement figures to be very much an issue in the 2014 gubernatorial race."