Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s investigation into how Gov. Tom Corbett handled the Jerry Sandusky investigation found that he proceeded reasonably, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The report is to be made public today at 10:30 a.m. during a Harrisburg press conference.
Former federal prosecutor Geoffrey Moulton conducted the review, and while he did note some issues with Corbett’s investigation, he concluded that it made sense for the prosecution to use a grand jury and build a case with multiple victims against Sandusky. State prosecutors felt strongly that the testimony of the first victim was not enough to convict Sandusky, and lead investigator Jonelle Eshbach and supervisor Frank Fina felt that the privacy of a grand jury would provide comfort to other testifying victims and witnesses.
Moulton does question why prosecutors took too long to take certain steps like gathering information on Sandusky from other law enforcement — when investigators did visit local and university police in January 2011, they discovered four more victims. He also scolds investigators for waiting until December 2010 to subpoena Penn State for complaints it had heard regarding Sandusky. Furthermore, the report questions why investigators waited until June 2011 to search Sandusky’s house, which would uncover photographs of Sandusky’s victims along with a list of children’s names, some with asterisks. The investigators countered that a search of Sandusky’s home would reveal the ongoing probe, and that they did not have enough evidence for a search warrant regardless.
The Commonwealth’s Sandusky case began in 2008 when a Clinton County boy told school workers that Sandusky had inappropriately touched him, and Sandusky was not charged until November 2011. After the fact, Corbett came under fire for the delay — he was attorney general in 2008, and Kane, while running for AG in 2012, said that he had stalled the case to avoid a black eye for his gubernatorial run. The promise of a Corbett investigation was the cynosure of Kane’s platform during her run. But Moulton found that neither Corbett nor his senior aides told prosecutors how to handle the investigation, and that the investigation was free from “electoral politics.”
The Inquirer’s story echoes one from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that said Corbett’s investigation was not politically motivated, and seems to buttress a PennLive report that said the report did not give the investigation glowing marks. Corbett never wavered in his conviction that his team took all the appropriate steps in investigating Sandusky.
“Why are you all obsessed with that?” he asked a reporter in 2012 regarding the investigation, according to Politico. “It’s been answered over and over and over again…45 of 48 counts. We do not hold up investigations for anything.”
With Corbett running against Tom Wolf in the governor’s election, the report will make waves and be played politics with. Everything aside, this is a win for a Corbett office that will take all the help it can get with its consistently low approval rating.