Tuesday, January 22, 2013


We're baffled by Governor Tom Corbett's suggestion that incoming Attorney General Kathleen Kane use "outside counsel" to conduct her probe into Corbett's own bungling of the Jerry Sandusky case. (Times-Tribune, 1/11/13)

After all, Corbett has said the use of outside counsel to investigate fellow politicians is illegal. (York Daily Record, 7/22/08)

"It's obvious [he] doesn't understand the law," Corbett's spokesman and ex-political candidate Kevin Harley sneered when John Morganelli (and pretty much everyone else) suggested that Corbett appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the legislature.

For the record, we're also baffled why the Times-Tribune editorial board didn't ask Corbett about the contradiction.

But they're just following tradition. No one blinked when Attorney General candidate David Freed suggested that, if elected, he could assign the case against his father-in-law, Leroy Zimmerman, to a special prosecutor. (Patriot-News, 12/6/11)

Tell us, Kevin Harley, does anyone in Pennsylvania, even our Governor, understand the law?

Sunday, January 20, 2013


 From March 2009 through November 2011, did Sandusky molest any young boys who were unknown to prosecutors and weren‘t part of the trial? It seems unlikely given the international news focus on the Sandusky case and litigation by victims well under way. ~~ Tom Corbett apologist Brad Bumsted,  “Now comes the Kane probe ... Tribune-Review, Jan. 19, 2013

International news focus? Litigation by victims? Between March 2009 and November 2011?

 The Patriot-News was the first to report, on March 31, 2011, that Penn State football legend Jerry Sandusky is the subject of a grand jury investigation into allegations that he indecently assaulted a teenage boy.

The first civil litigation brought by a victim in the case was filed in November 2011, after Sandusky's arrest, by "John Doe A."

How, exactly, did international news focus and litigation by victims, which didn't happen until 2011, influence Sandusky's behavior in 2009 and  2010?

Tom Corbett is certainly no less guilty of leaving a door wide open if no one walked through it, but given what we know about the behavior of sexual offenders, what are the chances that a lifelong predator in his 60's, whose victims likely number in the hundreds, simply ... stopped ... for more than two years?  Especially given that the "international news focus and litigation by victims" that Bumsted imagines might have inhibited him would not occur for another two years? (does anyone proofread Bumsted's column?)

If only Corbett had had access to experts, who might know a little something about the behavior of sexual offenders. Experts, perhaps, like the members of Corbett's much-vaunted Child Predator Unit.

Whether Sandusky continued to molest children after Corbett received the first complaint is what Bumsted calls "the gazillion-dollar question." Given that Corbett is guilty of the same offense whether Sandusky did or didn't, we appraise that question at slightly less than a "gazillion" dollars and propose instead a more valuable one: Why was an investigative unit that Corbett created specifically to respond to accusations of child abuse not involved in investigating the most explosive allegation of child abuse in Corbett's entire tenure as Attorney General?

Unfortunately for Corbett and his media cheerleaders like Bumsted, the obvious answer to that question -- they were too busy scrambling to indict  the previously ignored John Perzel and Bill DeWeese before Corbett formally announced his gubernatorial campaign  -- leads to an even more inconvenient one:  Why was Corbett scrambling to indict House members in 2009 when he'd supposedly spent the previous two years investigating all four caucuses?

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Newly-inaugurated Attorney General Kathleen Kane finally gets to embark upon her much-anticipated quest to learn why it took a mind-numbing three years for gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett to arrest serial child rapist Jerry Sandusky. The first person she should put under oath is Bill DeWeese.

Until recently, DeWeese fully expected to be taking a different oath this month, to be sworn in for another term in the House of Representatives.  He’s since been forced to abandon the fantasy that he could win reelection from his prison cell and be absolved of his felony conviction through appeal in time to take office.

He’s so far remained mum on his role in the chain of events that left the Office of Attorney General too short-staffed to investigate Sandusky in 2009. He may still be under the delusion he has a political career left to protect.  But he holds the key that unlocks the mystery behind Corbett’s inaction on Sandusky.

It’s possible – even probable – that Corbett slow-walked the Sandusky investigation for fear of antagonizing Penn State's vast fan base, or to keep the river of campaign cash flowing from Second Mile board members and associates.

But it’s undeniable that what transpired between Corbett and DeWeese affected Corbett’s ability, if not his desire, to pursue the Sandusky case.  

After all, what was Corbett doing when he should have been investigating Sandusky? He was investigating DeWeese.  And why would he need to be investigating DeWeese then, when he'd spent the entire previous two years investigating House Democrats?

Remember, the Sandusky case landed on Corbett’s desk in March of 2009, when Corbett should have been basking in the glow of his politically-motivated indictments of House Democratic staffers, a disgraced former Democratic Whip and the Democratic candidate for a competitive Senate seat.

Instead, what happened in March of 2009 was the revelation that Corbett – for some reason – had ignored rock-solid evidence that DeWeese was complicit in awarding taxpayer-funded bonuses for political work. At the time, Corbett already was under fire for leaving House Republicans out of his two-year investigation of the legislature and was scrambling to build a case against John Perzel. The additional pressure to find a way to indict DeWeese resulted in “a shortage of investigators,” according to Randy Feathers, a narcotics agent who inexplicably headed up the most important child abuse investigation of Corbett’s tenure in the OAG.

In October, Corbett  appointed Feathers to the state Board of Probations and Parole. 

No one doubts that DeWeese was complicit in awarding bonuses for campaign work. Not only is the “U R welcome” email a smoking gun that not even Corbett could fail to recognize, but DeWeese essentially admitted his guilt by “taking the Fifth” and refusing to testify at Mike Veon’s trial. Yet no one has explained why DeWeese never was charged in connection with  bonuses, even after Corbett spent most of 2009 investigating him instead of Sandusky. Does the answer lie in the 2007 negotiation between DeWeese and Corbett,  that resulted in DeWeese dropping his legal challenges to the probe and turning over evidence intended to incriminate others? If Corbett hadn’t struck a deal with DeWeese on bonus charges in 2007, would Corbett have had to spend most of 2009 looking for something else on which to indict DeWeese?

And if he hadn’t had to do that, could he - would he? - have gone after Sandusky the way most Pennsylvanians believe he should have?