Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pa. Review: No Politics on Sandusky

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pa. Review: No Politics on Sandusky

Article excerpt

HARRISBURG -- A review has found no evidence that then-Attorney General Tom Corbett delayed the investigation into serial sex abuser Jerry Sandusky for political gain, but it raises questions about the pace of the case, according to three people who have read the report.

The report also does not fault prosecutors for taking the case to a grand jury, a step that lengthened the investigation but one that critics contended kept Sandusky on the streets, the sources said.

Commissioned in January 2013 by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and completed by a former federal prosecutor, the full report is expected to be made public soon.

For Mr. Corbett, it has the potential to boost or hurt his chances for re-election this year. For Ms. Kane, whose name often is mentioned for higher office, it could prove a test of whether the review was worth the time, money and effort. It's also likely to prove more grist for legions of Penn State supporters and fans who have challenged every aspect of the Sandusky case and its aftermath.

During her 2012 campaign, Ms. Kane, a Democrat, repeatedly questioned why the investigation into Sandusky took nearly three years to complete -- and whether Mr. Corbett, a Republican who was running for governor during that time, purposely slowed it so as not to alienate donors and potential voters.

Shortly after taking office, she hired law professor and former federal prosecutor H. Geoffrey Moulton to lead the probe.

Copies of his findings now have been distributed to prosecutors, investigators and other law enforcement officials who worked on the investigation into Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach convicted in 2012 of molesting 10 boys, the sources said.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been made public yet, in part because the people mentioned in it are being allowed to review it and attach a response if they choose.

A grand jury judge still must also approve its release.

For her part, Ms. Kane has said only that the report is expected to be made public very soon. She declined a request for an interview last week.

Her spokesman, J.J. Abbott, said: "We will not comment on any speculation about the report. It will be released in its full context when all the legal requirements have been met."

Corbett spokesman Jay Pagni said the governor would have no comment.

Mr. Moulton's inquiry included interviews with dozens of people, including Mr. Corbett and former Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank G. Fina, who headed the Sandusky investigation. Ms. Kane's office also went through the process of recovering scores of internal e- mails they believed had been permanently purged by her predecessors.

Those who have read the report said that Mr. Moulton lays out an exhaustive timeline of the 33-month-long Sandusky investigation, which began in the spring of 2009 under Mr. Corbett, and examines virtually every aspect of the probe from the moment the first victim came forward to when Sandusky was charged in November 2011.

In the report, Mr. Moulton tackles the key questions that have dogged Mr. Corbett since the case became public: Why didn't his prosecutors arrest Sandusky after the first victim came forward, opting instead to place the case before a grand jury? And did Mr. Corbett's gubernatorial bid in any way influence the pace of the probe?

Ms. Kane made criticisms of the Sandusky investigation a cornerstone of her 2012 campaign. She contended that convening a grand jury wasted too much time, and said she would have arrested Sandusky much sooner. …

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