"We didn't find anything," is not an excuse for never looking.
That hasn't stopped Tom Corbett from offering it as an excuse for not one, but two colossal blunders: his failure to indict any Senate Republicans during his wide-ranging investigation of the General Assembly, and his failure to indict Jerry Sandusky for nearly three years.
Whenever he has been confronted with the staggering length of time between receiving the first Sandusky complaint in March 2009 and arresting Sandusky in November 2011, Corbett's stock excuse has been, "We needed to find more victims."
But Team Corbett never found another victim through its own efforts. Of the eight victims whose cases were prosecuted, none was discovered by an investigator. Victims 1 and 6, or their mothers, approached investigators on their own initiative. Victims 3, 4, 5, and 7 were identified by the mother of Victim 6. Victims 2 and 8 were not identified before the trial.
It's of course a lie that Corbett couldn't proceed on the complaint of one victim - he did it often when he was Attorney General. But even if you accept that he needed more than one victim to proceed, it doesn't explain what on God's green earth he was doing with the case for nearly two long years.
And even though the first "big break" in the case finally came right after the gubernatorial election in November of 2010 (through no efforts of the Attorney General's office) the lead (and for a long time, sole) investigator (a narcotics agent, not a child predator expert) says, "I never asked for help until 2011."
Corbett, by then, already was safely ensconced in the Governor's Office.
The "we didn't find anything" excuse is even lamer in the case of the Senate Republicans, because we know that a whistleblower tried to give Corbett evidence on former Sen. Jane Orie, and Corbett's office turned her away. After some initial scrambling, Corbett settled on the story that a receptionist in his office told the whistleblower to call the Allegheny County D.A.'s office. Not only are we expected to believe that a receptionist is the one who makes the decisions about which cases the state Attorney General's office will and won't investigate, but this whopper followed months of Corbett faux-begging the public to call his office to report suspected the legislative wrongdoing his investigators just could not seem to find:
"People have to come forward. We need evidence. If people have evidence, pick up the phone and call. Come and see my agents." -- Corbett in the Patriot-News in February of 2008
"As we obtain additional information, we always consider other charges against other individuals. And, that being the case, I would suggest to you, Larry, if you do have that information you forward it to the Office of Attorney General ... I can get very tired when I hear these people complain about that we haven’t charged other individuals if they have information and they haven’t passed it along. So, I’m going to urge you, Larry, to pass that information along.” -- Corbett on PCN in January 2009.
Furthermore, Corbett allegedly subpoenaed the Senate Republicans for the very evidence that the Allegheny County D.A.'s office used to indict Orie in February of 2008. Yet there it remained, on the Senate R servers, until the spring of 2009.
On top of the Orie fiasco, Senate Rs awarded the largest bonuses in the General Assembly to employees who did campaign work:
Despite all this staring him in the face, Corbett never subpoenaed a single Senate R member or staffer.
- $22,500 to Mike Long, former top aide to then-Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer.
- $19,647 to Drew Crompton, then a top lawyer on Jubelirer's staff.
- $15,000 to Erik Arneson, former chief of staff to then-Senate Majority Leader David Brightbill.
And he still thinks the question is whether he found any evidence on either the Senate Rs or Sandusky? The question is why didn't he look.