Maybe I’m too cynical, but it bothered me

Special prosecutor for Penn State scandal:

Pennsylvania’s new attorney general is set to name a special prosecutor in the coming days to investigate Gov. Tom Corbett’s handling of the case, specifically why nearly three years elapsed before criminal charges were brought.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat elected in November, confirmed her plans in an interview here. She suggested that when he was attorney general Mr. Corbett, a Republican, slow-walked the investigation of a longtime football coach at the center of the scandal while campaigning for governor.
Ms. Kane was elected by the largest margin of any candidate on the state ballot last November — even President Obama — and said she had no interest in challenging Mr. Corbett for governor in two years.
In early January, the governor brought a lawsuit to lift the stiff penalties imposed on Penn State by the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a result of the episode.It was filed six months after Mr. Corbett called on Pennsylvanians to accept the punishment, and it was widely viewed as calculated to win support from the legions of alumni who bleed Penn State blue and white. Many Pennsylvania newspaper editorial boards concluded that the action was transparently political.
Mr. Corbett’s approval ratings are historically low for a first-term governor of his state. “I don’t think there’s any doubt” that Mr. Corbett’s handling of the case is “a contributing factor in his poor job performance” in polls, said G. Terry Madonna, who directs the Franklin & Marshall College Poll Mr. Corbett declined to be interviewed for this article. He has denied delaying or mishandling any aspect of the investigation.

Corbett is unpopular, but his tanking job approval ratings could be related to any number of things. Perhaps his blatant, clownish effort to deny millions of people the right to vote in 2012 or his corrupt and failing public school privatization program, a privatization push that is so skewed towards selling charters to the public that it got the attention of even President Obama’s pro-privatization Department of Education. Arne Duncan once called Bobby Jindal’s public school privatization czar “a visionary leader”, so you know Corbett’s plan has got to be completely lobbyist-captured if even for-profit cheerleader Duncan is reluctantly regulating the visionary leaders in PA who cooked the books on charter school test scores.

In any event, Corbett’s prosecutorial role in the Penn State scandal occurred to me after the scandal broke, and the reason it occurred to me was this piece in the NYTimes that was printed in 2011, just days after the situation at Penn State was revealed:

For months, Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania had reason to suspect a sexual abuse scandal was going to explode at Penn State University. He also had no way to talk about it, or to prepare for it.
Mr. Corbett, as state attorney general, had begun an investigation in 2009 into allegations that a former Penn State assistant football coach had abused young boys, and that university officials might have covered up the scandal
“He was upset about the inaction,” said Kevin Harley, who worked with Mr. Corbett in the attorney general’s office and is now his press secretary. “He knew what witnesses were going to the grand jury even though he was running for governor. So then he became governor, and he knew at some point that this day would be coming. He just didn’t know when it would be.”

The whole thing reads like that to me, like a preemptive media defense managed by Corbett’s press secretary and that got me wondering at the time. Probably worth looking at, I think.

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78 replies
  1. 1
    Peregrinus says:

    “He was upset about the inaction,” said Kevin Harley, who worked with Mr. Corbett in the attorney general’s office and is now his press secretary. “He knew what witnesses were going to the grand jury even though he was running for governor. So then he became governor, and he knew at some point that this day would be coming. He just didn’t know when it would be.”

    I think this is basically true, but even if Corbett honestly was upset that PSU wasn’t doing anything, and even if he was just waiting for the whole thing to blow, even this quote makes it sound like he was too busy running for governor to do his actual job.

  2. 2
    Norbrook says:

    He’s got other problems as well – apparently his son-in-law just got caught in an FBI sting of crooked cops.

  3. 3
    Kay says:

    @Norbrook:

    I was really surprised at how ham-handed the voter suppression things was. Usually they make some attempt to administer these things, but it was an absolute mess. It was like they put it in with no recognition that there are actual voters in a voting scheme. They were sending people all over hell to get “credentials”, or whatever. Not just malicious, but incompetent.

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    Does anyone know how much campaign money Corbett received from board members or PSU affiliates? Just saying that might be something to look at.

  5. 5
    Robin G. says:

    No such thing as too cynical. My feel on the story from day one was that Corbett had plenty of grounds to press the investigation, but knew going after Penn State football could cost him enough votes to lose the election, and so chose to (pardon the metaphor) punt it.

  6. 6
    gene108 says:

    When Corbett was AG, he had a chance (I think) to prosecute Sandusky but decided he didn’t have enough evidence.

    This was after 1998, when Sandusky admitted to “horseplay” with boys in the PSU showers and concerns were raised to police by one of the boy’s mother.

    There’s a possibility Corbett took a calculated risk to not prosecute, if he wanted to run for Governor because he didn’t want to lose the backing of PSU supporters in PA.

    Corbett has not satisfactorily explained his reasons for not prosecuting Sandusky, while he was AG and the allegations of abuse had been made.

  7. 7
    JGabriel says:

    Kay @ Top:

    Corbett is unpopular, but his tanking job approval ratings could be related to any number of things. Perhaps his blatant, clownish effort to deny millions of people the right to vote in 2012 or his corrupt and failing public school privatization program …

    … Or that Corbett has pretty much deregulated the entire fracking industry in PA and exempted them from taxation, or that he supports and pushed for a scheme to rig PA’s electoral votes for the GOP through allocating them by district, or that he’s proposed the biggest higher education cuts in the nation, or …, or …, or …

    Corbett really is one of the flamingest* douchebags of all the Republican governors (except, possibly, Rick Scott), which is a pretty high bar to clear.

    *Google tells me that’s not a word, but it fucking well should be.

    .

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JGabriel: As a Wisconsinite, I would say Scott Walker deserves consideration for that award.

  9. 9
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    Prosecutors really do have a lot of discretion, so it will come down to if there’s evidence that he proactively didn’t pursue something, rather than just used a perhaps excessively cautious approach. If it’s a judgment call, he’s fine.

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    @JGabriel:

    I think Walker and Snyder (WI and MI) are more dangerous than Kasich, Corbett and Scott, because they’re slicker. They’re better at the sales job. The others can be almost hapless :)

  11. 11
    Sayne says:

    Pennsylvania has always been fabulously corrupt, so Corbett’s and his GOP Congressional lackeys in Harrisburg’s status as massive cheats and grifters doesn’t surprise me.

    What surprises me is how inept they are at keeping a lid on their fabulous corruption. They have no excuse for letting their vote rigging schemes, payoffs and handouts from fracking companies, payoffs from casinos, payoffs from “education” companies and “correction” companies be so transparently evil.

    PA has been training corrupt, grifter, asshole politicians for decades. It amazes me how stupid and inept this current crop is at keeping a lid on their corruption.

  12. 12
    geg6 says:

    “He was upset about the inaction,” said Kevin Harley, who worked with Mr. Corbett in the attorney general’s office and is now his press secretary. “He knew what witnesses were going to the grand jury even though he was running for governor. So then he became governor, and he knew at some point that this day would be coming. He just didn’t know when it would be.”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Utter bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit.

    Completely involuntarily, I have quite a bit of knowledge of this case and I’ve never seen such ass covering in my life as we are seeing from Corbett. Even Penn State has been more forthcoming and up front about this case than Corbett. He’s a fucking liar who’s hoping like hell that Penn Staters are going make up for all the other residents of the Commonwealth who hate his fucking guts. It would not surprise me if the entire 38% who approve of his performance as governor are made up of the Penn State Board of Trustees and the Paterno dead enders, who, incidentally are almost exclusively wealthy alumni and not current students, staff, or faculty.

    And you have missed one of his biggest recent missteps, kay, and one that makes even the wingnuts I know want to string him up. He recently sold the PA Lottery, the proceeds of which are supposed to go to senior citizen programs, to a British firm. This happened with no input from the state legislature, no inkling it was in the works, and only one bidder. Next up is the state liquor monopoly (not necessarily a bad thing, but the funds do go toward education). And all of this after trying to sell off the PA Turnpike, which was stopped by the Republican-led legislature.

  13. 13
    geg6 says:

    @gene108:

    Actually, Mike Fisher was AG in 1998. Corbett was AG from 1995-97 and again from 2005-11.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    @geg6:

    He recently sold the PA Lottery, the proceeds of which are supposed to go to senior citizen programs, to a British firm.

    The conservative governors are like cartoon character vilains. they really are.

    The proceeds are “supposed to go to senior citizen programs” so OF COURSE he sold it :)

  15. 15
    aimai says:

    @gene108:

    Even if you thought, as AG, that you didn’t have enough to prosecute someone Corbett had ascended to the heights of the old boy’s network–there was nothing to stop him from dropping a word in the ear of any number of top trustees, the head of State College and etc… to prevent Sandusky from continuing to trade on his connections to gain access to children. The fact that he had clear knowledge of the crimes in advance and that he was in a position–albeit merely a social position–to do something makes it worse.

  16. 16
    Roger Moore says:

    @geg6:

    He recently sold the PA Lottery, the proceeds of which are supposed to go to senior citizen programs, to a British firm. This happened with no input from the state legislature, no inkling it was in the works, and only one bidder.

    How in hell can that be legal? Don’t most states have rules that prevent the governor from selling off public assets without some kind of restrictions?

  17. 17
    Poopyman says:

    @JGabriel: This.

    And not to excuse Corbett of anything, but a wild card in this whole scandal is the Centre County DA who went missing in 2005. No telling what info he had that never came to light.

    @geg6: Oh ho! never heard that before. Curious that it seems to have slipped under the radar.

  18. 18
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Mitch Daniel pioneered this visionary leadership technique of selling off public assets to….any GOP bidder. It’s like a godammned fire sale out here. They’re all cashing in. I’m not sure “we” hold title to anything in Ohio anymore. The road in front of my office may be under contract, sale pending.

  19. 19
    shortstop says:

    @Kay: still love Betty Cracker’s description of the FL guv as “comically obvious cartoon villain Rick Scott.”

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: They have really reject the concept of “commons,” haven’t they?

  21. 21
    Kay says:

    @shortstop:

    I love her “shifty-eyed Frenchman” Wayne LaPierre. He’s like a comic book character, too. I watched the last hearing where he appeared and I was idly wondering during his rant if his hair was dirty or whether that gross sheen his head has was some old-man “pomade” he slaps on. He’s just repulsive.

  22. 22
    indycat32 says:

    @Kay: I worked across the street from the Indiana statehouse for 17 years. I use to “joke” that I expected to come to work one day and see a Nike swoosh on the dome.

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    Mitch Daniel pioneered this visionary leadership technique of selling off public assets to….any GOP bidder.

    Sure, but what gives these governors the authority to do so? Out here in California, the governor doesn’t have the authority to sell off state assets without permission, and even when he gets permission the sales have to be made under rules designed to protect the public interest, e.g. competitive public bidding. If your governor can sell stuff off without so much as a by your leave, you need to amend it, stat. And if the state legislature gave him the authority- much more likely with the wingnuts you had in charge recently- they need to be given their own helping of the blame.

  24. 24
    wuzzat says:

    @Kay: Welcome to Indiana, where your FastLane transponder won’t work because the toll roads are owned by Australians.

  25. 25
    Poopyman says:

    Oh, BTW Kay. After all of the events of the last 13 years I no longer believe it’s possible to be too cynical.

  26. 26
    Peregrinus says:

    @geg6:

    Per Taibbi, the PA turnpike deal has been in the works for a while, but that certainly doesn’t excuse Corbett deciding to keep on with it.

  27. 27
    Anonymous At Work says:

    I still can’t believe that Corbett is going after the NCAA sanctions. The NCAA bent over backwards to avoid the “death penalty” conversation. If Penn State went before the Infractions Board, the phrase “lack of institutional control” would have been used, triggering a discussion of the death penalty. That would have forced the NCAA, almost certainly, to have used it. If SMU gets it for paying players, a mere violation of NCAA rules, why wouldn’t Penn State get it for covering up felonies of the most horrific sort?

  28. 28

    @JPL: Corbett took money from Second Mile even after he knew Sandusky was under investigation.

  29. 29
    handsmile says:

    @geg6:

    On other Keystone State shenanigans:

    I believe it was you who recently posted links to the legal travails of the Orie sisters, former State Senator Jane and suspended State Supreme Court justice Joan. If so, many thanks!

    I had been unaware of this particular example of Republican graft, and reading your links and related accounts I found the whole matter schadenfreudelicious. And there’s been some actual comeuppance!

    Would it be too much to hope that there might be some connection to the vile Corbett?

  30. 30
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    My serious answer to this is that elected lawmakers in these states are just not as sophisticated as the parties they are dealing with here. They’re conservatives, so they’re SURE they’re fabulous bidnessmen and tough negotiators, but they’ve set up these incredibly complicated deals with some very savvy for-profit large entities and even if they wanted to provide oversight and regulation (they don’t) I’m not sure that they’re on a level playing field with the entity on the other side of the table.
    I think one sees it with the tax break deals they set up with huge corporations in states. They get screwed in those deals, over and over. They’re bleeding their own taxpayers.
    The same is true of the charter school deals. There are so many layers to the transactions, rental agreements, sales contracts, multi-level payments going out and then round and round that I’m not sure even well-intentioned state regulators or lawmakers could keep it straight. Public funding of public schools was straightforward. The money came in from taxes and was paid out to public employees who answer to elected, local boards. That’s no longer true in the case of charters, or any other privatized public asset.

  31. 31
    Paul in KY says:

    @JGabriel: Scott Walker is a major player in the Repubodouchbag game. Please don’t forget him.

    Edit: Omnes beat me to it by a mile!

  32. 32

    @geg6: Even the funds going towards education are a scam, since he hopes to pass legislation privating public schools(I bet).

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    @Phil Perspective: Wow! Indirectly isn’t that taking money from Sandusky himself?

  34. 34
    Paul in KY says:

    @Kay: Excellent point. Jindal can also be that way.

  35. 35
    Paul in KY says:

    @Roger Moore: I assume he sold the managing of the lottery.

    Still a douche thing to do (unilaterally).

  36. 36
    Wat says:

    The ideal NCAA response to the whinging lawsuit: “Fine – if you don’t want to accept punishment, then GTFO. Penn State football is banned.”

  37. 37
    burnspbesq says:

    @aimai:

    there was nothing to stop him from dropping a word in the ear of any number of top trustees

    I’m not certain whether Pennsylvania law tracks Federal law on grand jury secrecy, But I assume it does, and at the Federal level that would be a felony. It’s also almost certainly a violation of the applicable rules of professional conduct.

    o in your parallel universe Corbett should have risked jail time and disbarment to alert Penn State that it had a problem in Sandusky, with no assurance that Penn State would do anything about it. That’s a bit much to ask.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    My serious answer to this is that elected lawmakers are just not as sophisticated as the parties they are dealing with here.

    Sure, but that’s exactly why there are standard good practices to protect the public interest. Individual sales have to be approved by the legislature to prevent the governor from having excessive power. Sales have to be done by open public bidding to ensure there’s some competition and protect against cronyism. That the Republicans are deliberately bypassing those restrictions and trying to avoid public scrutiny tells me that they know damn well that they’re engaged in shenanigans that the public would hate if they knew about them. I find it impossible to avoid a conclusion of bad faith.

  39. 39
    JoyfulA says:

    @Phil Perspective: Corbett took hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from Second Mile board members and then allocated a big pile of state funds to Second Mile, all the while knowing Sandusky trolled Second Mile for victims.

  40. 40
    kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    In Ohio, right now, Kasich is being sued for his JobsOhio board, which I think was organized to get around Ohio’s (strict) sunshine laws.
    It’s a failure of the legislature that it had to go to a court, IMO. It should have been questioned by lawmakers as a matter of course. “Unlawful” is a ridiculousy high bar to set. He needs more oversight than “it’s all good as long as a court doesn’t strike it down”.

  41. 41
    JPL says:

    @JoyfulA: That is just so shocking to me. I might be naive but that just seems to be on a breaking bad level.

  42. 42
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Ray Gricar, the PA state prosecutor in the district that includes PSU, went missing in April, 2005, a few months after Tom Corbett became PA AG for the second time, and during the time when Sandusky was molesting boys.

    Gricar’s state-issued laptop was found in the Susquehanna River, under a bridge, but the hard drive was missing. Gricar, or his body, has never turned up and he was eventually declared dead.

    Wikipedia link

    Was Gricar on Sandusky’s trail? Was he murdered to cover up the scandal? Was Corbett an accessory? It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  43. 43
    gene108 says:

    @Kay:

    I remember reading about several cities that got into complicated financial deals with Wall Street firms, when MBS and CDO’s were the rage 5-10 years ago. When 2008 rolled around these cities got screwed, because their investments weren’t paying anything or the counterparties needed to get paid.

    Private enterprise, when you start dealing with 6-9 zeros behind a transaction, is utterly ruthless in a way government should never be.

  44. 44
    J R in W Va says:

    @Kay:

    Brylcreme, a little dab’ll do ya!

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki:

    Well, actually, it is the height of irresponsibility to speculate, but this is Balloon Juice, a place of respite from the norms of civilized behavior.

  46. 46
    Poopyman says:

    @JoyfulA:

    … all the while knowing Sandusky trolled Second Mile for victims.

    Allegedly. That’s why having the special prosecutor is so … interesting.

    Hope s/he is good at looking under rocks. Slimy, slimy rocks.

  47. 47
    HelloRochester says:

    As a former resident of Chicago, I thought I had seen the nadir of good state governance but the state government in Pennsyltucky really takes the cake- I just found out that the delicious Asher’s chocolate factory a mile from my house is owned by a really great guy- he has a felony conviction for perjury, racketeering, conspiracy and bribery related to state contracts while serving as Chairman of the PA Republican State Committee (1987) which also resulted in the on-air suicide of Budd Dwyer who was later memorialized in Filter’s “Hey Man, Nice Shot”. He has since been the Zelig of PA without any time in the wilderness. He chaired Tom Corbett’s gubernatorial campaign, and is now a member of the Republican National Committee (!!). I am just stunned by the brazen attitude of these clowns.

  48. 48
    eemom says:

    As I recall the pro-Corbett spin when the Sandusky scandal broke was even more effective than what is described here, and that it made him out to be some kind of pedophile-bashing knight in shining armor. I distinctly remember reading stuff that caused me to wonder if he was that mythological good republican.

  49. 49
    Poopyman says:

    @HelloRochester:

    I am just stunned by the brazen attitude of these clowns.

    When there’s never a price to be paid, why shouldn’t they be brazen?

  50. 50
    JoyfulA says:

    @JPL: As AG, Corbett went on a rampage of investigating state reps and senators for utilizing their staffs in their reelection campaigns—which breaks the rules but has been done for decades and maybe centuries by all of them. He managed to indict many Democrats including leadership but didn’t get around to GOP allies, just a few. (This is what he was busy doing while assigning just one state cop, a narcotics specialist, to investigate Sandusky.)

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    I thought this whole series was fascinating:

    A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains.
    The cost of the awards is certainly far higher. A full accounting, The Times discovered, is not possible because the incentives are granted by thousands of government agencies and officials, and many do not know the value of all their awards. Nor do they know if the money was worth it because they rarely track how many jobs are created. Even where officials do track incentives, they acknowledge that it is impossible to know whether the jobs would have been created without the aid.
    “How can you even talk about rationalizing what you’re doing when you don’t even know what you’re doing?” said Timothy J. Bartik, a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Mich.

    Even if they are well-intentioned good stewards of public funds, do they have the staff to track these complex transactions? I was the treasurer for a statehouse candidate this last cycle, so I needed to amend a finance report with paper (you file initially online) so I called the SoS and the staffer laughed almost hysterically when I asked him if it was “too late” to amend just that report. They don’t have the staff to even look at anything I’ve filed for the last year. It’s all just submitted, and there it sits.

  52. 52
    geg6 says:

    @Wat:

    Ummmm, Penn State isn’t arguing for any change in the sanctions. At all. In fact, the university is pretty happy to have gotten off as easily as it has and is going along with all the requirements. PSU is NOT a party to Corbett’s lawsuit.

  53. 53
    JoyfulA says:

    @Poopyman: I skip “allegedly” because Corbett had been investigating Sandusky for two or three years by then.

  54. 54
    shortstop says:

    I like to say “Susquehanna.” Also “Rappahannock.”

  55. 55
    geg6 says:

    @handsmile:

    Yep, that was me. I have detested the Orie sisters for decades. I can’t tell you how happy I am that they are finally being taken down. My favorite part was the bad forgeries in the Jane Orie case. The judge was not, to say the least, amused.

  56. 56
    geg6 says:

    @JoyfulA:

    And rightfully so. Corbett damn well knew what was going on and took their filthy money anyway.

  57. 57
    J R in W Va says:

    The Republican party leadership has become a moral-free playground for shysters, pedophiles, grafters and grifters, and people with no sense of right-or-wrong other than “Will I get indicted?”

    When you use Grand Jury indictment as your moral compass, things are pretty bad, which most conservatives don’t seem to understand. Everything that is immoral isn’t illegal, and probably shouldn’t be. Lying to your spouse or friends isn’t really illegal. Imagine if it was.

    But that doesn’t make it right. The R from SC who went “hiking the Appalachian Trail” to visit his girlfriend in South America… tehnically probably not illegal, just… wrong. Fundamentally wrong. Something the Fundamentalists in general don’t get.

    Friend who is an Episcopal priest sat beside an independent fundy “pastor” on an airline trip, and they chatted and found that they shared employment, kinda. So the fundy asked the whiskeypalian what the “take” was on the Sunday collection.

    Seems that in fundy churches pastors are paid a percentage of the collection. So the better the exhort / extort the rubes to dig deep for christ, the better take-home they make. Episcopalians are employees of their diocese, I think is the organizational word. My priestly friend was shocked and appalled…

    I’m not religious, and so all this was new info for me. But the general Republican morality-free zone wasn’t. Once upon a time when Ike was president (and I was 6!) I suspected Rs (like my Dad) were more honest than Ds, but then I saw the real world, and Nixon, and Arch Moore, and learned different.

    So why do religious people (people who profess to be religious at least) put up with allowing their political party be run by convicted fraudsters? And pedophile supporters? and grifter con-men? One of the great mysteries of our time!

  58. 58
    Randy P says:

    You@burnspbesq: You do realize that the “irresponsible not to speculate” quote originated with Peggy Noonan, not Bj, right?

  59. 59
    catpal says:

    @Phil Perspective: we need an investigation of the Second Mile charity — which Corbett took campaign $$$$ from – then gave them $3 MILLION just before the Sandusky arrest, — then Corbett let the Second Mile charity “quietly” disappear. Very suspicious.

    Corbett is Unpopular for many reasons – especially his total lack of empathy for the disabled and poor in PA. He cut benefits for many disabled who have Republican family members.

    And many Republicans do NOT like child abusers being allowed to roam free for three years

    Here’s the bottom line. The Sandusky investigation took three years, was reportedly staffed by a single investigator at the outset, and later spearheaded by two narcotics agents, neither of whom had any experience in child molestation cases. Compare this to the army of investigators Corbett used in the “Bonusgate” political corruption probe, including, sources say, agents from child predator units.

    and Corbett’s latest a$$holery of selling off the PA Lottery to a foreign company – has now awakened the PA Senior voters to dislike him.

  60. 60
    Paul in KY says:

    @Poopyman: Because it is more ‘elegant’ to not be brazen :-)

  61. 61
    catpal says:

    and even Republican voters will be disgusted by this –

    Corbett admitted worrying that Sandusky could still be victimizing boys during the lengthy investigation, stating, “It was a calculated risk.” (CBS Philadelphia/KYW New Radio, June 26, 2012)

    So Corbett knew of the risk, and yet decided that investigating a child-victimizing monster was worthy of only two investigators.

  62. 62
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @burnspbesq:

    o in your parallel universe Corbett should have risked jail time and disbarment to alert Penn State that it had a problem in Sandusky, with no assurance that Penn State would do anything about it. That’s a bit much to ask.

    Clearly, sir, you are a pedophile.

  63. 63
    catpal says:

    @geg6: but Corbett did not include former Repub Pa Senator Orie – in Corbett’s investigations of political corruption — why not? No investigation – even after Orie staffers filed written complaints with Corbett’s AG office.

    1) obviously because she was a Repub, and 2) Orie’s brother worked for Corbett in the AG’s office.

  64. 64
    gorillagogo says:

    Corbett received at least $640,000 in campaign contributions from Sandusky’s Second Mile charity. He also approved a $3M grant to Second Mile after he was governor.

  65. 65
    drkrick says:

    @Kay:

    Prosecutors really do have a lot of discretion, so it will come down to if there’s evidence that he proactively didn’t pursue something, rather than just used a perhaps excessively cautious approach. If it’s a judgment call, he’s fine.

    That certainly worked out great for Paterno. Unlike the coach, it was Corbett’s actual job to prosecute criminals.

  66. 66
    burnspbesq says:

    @Randy P:

    Yeah, I do know that. Peggy Noonan as role model? ‘scuse me while I vomit.

  67. 67
    El Caganer says:

    Wasn’t Corbett also on the board of Penn State while he was AG? I seem to recall reading that.

  68. 68
    Kay says:

    @drkrick:

    Unlike the coach, it was Corbett’s actual job to prosecute criminals.

    Well it is, of course, but he had a lot of legit discretion on what to pursue, when to bring it, etc.

    There’s potential for abuse with that discretion, corruption, really, but it’s also important for prosecutors to be independent, and the risk runs both ways. Corbett could have erred on the other side, an over-zealous “political” prosecution. That’s the flip side of this. We all have to rely on their ethical standards because interfering with their judgment gets us into a whole other set of problems. That’s not something we’ll ever be able to “cure”.

  69. 69
    geg6 says:

    @El Caganer:

    He’s automatically on the Board of Trustees as governor, as all PA governors are. I don’t think he was a board member when he was AG.

    @catpal:

    Exactamundo! Meanwhile, Mike Veon still sits in state prison. Not that I condone what he did, but he really was a good state rep. Beaver County will never recover from losing his advocacy.

  70. 70
    geg6 says:

    @Kay:

    Corbett could have erred on the other side, an over-zealous “political” prosecution.

    No, he saved that for the entire Dem leadership of the state legislature, some of whom still sit in state prison today.

  71. 71
    Kay says:

    @geg6:

    Right, but that’s the price of having independent prosecutors, which I think we all agree has to be part of the system, or we’d have the nightmare of purely political prosecutions. They have a lot of power and they are not subject to constant interference or oversight. That’s the nature of the beast, and it’s necessary but it also carries risk. You just have to try to get honest people in that job. We can’t really have the executive (governor, president) or legislative or even voters bossing them around.
    They have to have discretion and a certain amount of autonomy and independence or the other “political” actors in the elected branches would go hog wild directing them this way and that, and they’d be discredited as law enforcement, and that can’t happen, or we’re screwed.

  72. 72
    JoyfulA says:

    @Kay: Overzealous political prosecution is what he was busy doing to Democratic legislators while he ignored everything else, including Sandusky.

    (I see geg6 already covered this!)

  73. 73
    Kay says:

    @JoyfulA:

    Yeah, I just think the nature of these charges are such, and Penn State is so hugely important there, that it would be remarkable if he didn’t consider the political fall-out. This had to be absolutely earth-shaking as it was revealed. The question is whether he let that guide or influence his work, so hopefully we’ll find out.

  74. 74
    geg6 says:

    @Kay:

    Funny how the “independent” prosecutor only found corruption among Democrats. And all the while Jerry Sandusky was ruining children’s lives and the Orie sisters were plundering the state on a scale that Mike Veon could only dream of.

    He gets no passes from me on any of this. Fucker knew what was happening in both cases and covered up all of it. He’s still doing it.

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @geg6:

    It’s so bad, because it ripples. It discredits the whole process. We have a situation here locally where a city councilman embezzled from a non-profit. He resigned, and the county prosecutor has apparently decided not to bring charges (it’s felony theft). They’re all “R’s” but everyone here is an “R”, so I think it has more to do with social status than politics. People here will tell me that we have a two-tier justice system, little guys get hammered and well-connected people walk, and they will be right. I think it just makes people more cynical and bitter than they already are.

  76. 76
    JoyfulA says:

    @Kay: Then again, Kane won her primary and her election on what appear to be promises to “investigate” (read “prosecute”) Corbett.

    Interestingly enough, she’s our first Democratic AG ever. (We’ve had elected AGs only for 20 years or so.)

  77. 77
    Kathy says:

    There is another angle here that goes to the utter stupidity of Corbett. The summer before the Sandusky scandal broke, Corbett takes a chainsaw to higher education funding across the board. Only one school president pushed back and pushed back hard against these cuts, it was-wait for it… Graham Spanier, president of Penn State and known Democrat. When the Sandusky story broke and the board held their emergency meeting, Corbett attended for the first time and was incredibly vocal against yes Paterno but also Spanier. Other board members commented that it was the first time Corbett, or any other PA Governor spoke up at meeting or took any real interest in the procedings. My guess is that Corbett really could care less about what was going on at Penn State until he could use it to get rid of Spanier. Since he was stupid, he had no idea of the backlash that would occur if the shit hit Paterno.

  78. 78
    AHH onna Droid says:

    You use mr and ms thru the article like a prig and then refer to fans bleeding blue and white without a drop of self consciousness. Classy, nyt.

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