Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane told the NYT that she intends to name a special prosecutor in the next few days to investigate how now-governor Tom Corbett handled the investigation of Jerry Sandusky. Kane believes that Corbett deliberately dragged his feet in bringing charges against Sandusky for molesting dozens of boys, and is hoping to get some answers on why it took so long for it to happen.
Ms. Kane, 46, is a former county prosecutor who specialized in child sex abuse cases. She questioned why it took 33 months to arrest Mr. Sandusky in late 2011 after Mr. Corbett, as attorney general, received a complaint against Mr. Sandusky in the spring of 2009.Kane also thinks Corbett didn't put enough staffers on the Sandusky case, and that those who worked on it weren't experienced enough in hunting down child abusers. She says that if the special prosecutor finds nothing improper, she will abide by that recommendation. However, she just wants some answers.
“It’s never taken me that long” to build a case against a molester, Ms. Kane said in the Harrisburg office she had just moved into, a Carpe Diem paperweight on her desk, adding that speed matters because child abusers seek new victims. “I was on the campaign trail almost two years; I didn’t go a single place without somebody asking me why it took so long.”
She also questioned the influence of campaign donations Mr. Corbett received from a charity Mr. Sandusky founded, the Second Mile, whose board members contributed to Mr. Corbett’s run for governor. Investigators at the time suspected Mr. Sandusky of using the foundation, which helped troubled youth, to find victims.
Corbett has said that the Sandusky case moved so slowly because for a long time, there was only one accuser. In a state where Penn State football is almost a religion, Corbett has maintained that with only one accuser, there simply wasn't enough evidence for a conviction. However, that one victim, Aaron Fisher, claims in his book, Silent No More, that he, his mother Dawn Daniels and his psychologist Mike Gillum were given no fewer than four arrest dates while Corbett was attorney general--and all of them passed with no action. As we all know now, the investigation really didn't ramp up until Linda Kelly took over as attorney general.
Corbett also says that he couldn't return the Second Mile money because it would have compromised the secrecy of the grand jury. I'm a little bit skeptical of this--would the mere act of returning a donation raise a red flag? Maybe the lawyers on here could shed some more light on this.
By all accounts, the perception that Corbett dragged his feet on this case is a big reason why he has the lowest approval ratings on record of any first-term governor. It doesn't look like his suit against the NCAA has done much to move the needle.