Penn State's football program became more important than young boy's safety from a predator along with an out of control Attorney General who had plotted his way to the Governor's office. Once Governor, he threw Paterno under the bus like he had nothing to do with it as Attorney General. He was more concerned about putting political enemies behind bars then he was protecting young boys as the details have come out.
Started this research when I watched an ESPN video today about the aftermath where they mentioned Gov Corbett who then as Attorney General had done nothing with the allegations against Sandusky but took campaign contributions knowing about the allegations from the Second Mile Charity of Sandusky and a lot of Penn State donors. What I discovered has left me speechless. I am still shocked at what I read today about this scandal and would have to wonder how Corbett can still be Governor.
Now Gov Corbett friends are asking the same questions that those of us not involved with Penn State are asking. Why didn't the Attorney General Corbett have his office investigate all of this aggressively. Was it because he wanted those campaign donations and support to run for Governor? Sure looks like he put his political career over the safety of young boys who were left alone with Sandusky.
Will Gov. Tom Corbett's role in the Sandusky investigation continue to haunt him when he seeks re-election?Chris Freind, a longtime supporter of Gov. Tom Corbett, has penned an open letter (letter below) to the state leader asking tough questions about the Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal.Columnist and investigative reporter
Freind says Corbett refuses to answer disturbing questions about his role as attorney general in investigating Sandusky.
Freind contends that Corbett could have stopped Sandusky, but didn't.
Pennsylvania has re-elected every governor for a second term since 1971.IMHO Governor Corbett should not be reelected but needs to take the honorable route and resign but after reading the details, the chance of that happening is zero, zip, nada. When he stood at the podium and talked about the voter ID bill he had just signed was going to elect Romney it left me speechless as I watched it this week. But then while looking for that video, I discovered that Gov Corbett has contracted with a Romney fundraiser for the ID bill. Chris Freind who is a reporter made these comments which every last journalist should be living by today:
Bottom line: this isn’t personal, and it’s not partisan. It’s only about one thing: the truthThose two sentences should be followed by every last reporter and network. Fox News has proven that they have little regard for truth in this election cycle as Roger Ailes promotes Mitt Romney including taking the President totally out of context which led to Limbaugh and the Romney camp running with that. Truth has taken a huge hit at Fox News this time.
This letter from Chris Friend blew my mind:
Freind: An open letter to Gov. Corbett on Sandusky affair
Published: Monday, July 16, 2012
By CHRIS FREIND,
Special to the Times
An open letter to Pennsylvania’s governor, who refuses to answer disturbing questions about his role investigating the Penn State sex scandal:
Bursting with righteous indignation, his cheeks flushed with rage, the governor banged the podium in disgust while berating a journalist - in fact, chastising the entire media - for the audacity to ask questions on the issue.
We’re not talking about New Jersey’s Chris Christie, who gets away with such outbursts because of his stellar track record and pure gravitas.
No, this tantrum came from Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett after being queried about his incredibly long investigation of child predator Jerry Sandusky.
And it backfired in spectacular fashion. Why?
Because Tom Corbett is no Chris Christie.
Since questions on this matter remain unanswered, it seems only fitting, on behalf of the media and public, to pen an open letter to Mr. Corbett.
For the record, no media commentator in Pennsylvania supported Corbett’s ideas more than Freindly Fire during the 2010 campaign, from increased Marcellus Shale drilling to school choice to liquor privatization. In fact, FF even backed Corbett’s decision to subpoena Twitter during the Bonusgate corruption probe - a highly unpopular position. Bottom line: this isn’t personal, and it’s not partisan. It’s only about one thing: the truth.
Dear Gov. Corbett:
Since there are a number of questions which you have failed to answer concerning your investigation of Jerry Sandusky, on behalf of the media and the public, I respectfully ask for clarification in the following areas:
1) Based on a decade’s worth of evidence of Sandusky’s predatory activities, why did it take the Attorney General’s Office three years to arrest him? I fully understand that it takes time to conduct an investigation, but as numerous prosecutors have stated, you could have arrested him quickly and continued building the case.
Tragically, it is probable that Sandusky continued to molest victims during your epic investigation, as predators do not stop preying unless forced to do so. Had he been arrested early, (standard procedure in many cases with a lot less evidence), Sandusky would have had to post bail, had restrictions placed upon him, and, most important, been under an ultra-intense media and community spotlight - every minute of every day until his trial.
In short, children would finally have been safe. And contrary to your assessment, this would have created a much more favorable environment for additional witnesses to come forward, knowing their bigger-than-life demon could hurt them no more. Arresting Sandusky quickly would have in no way jeopardized the strength of the case.
One of two things seems to be true, as there is no third option. Either A) you were an incompetent attorney general, which virtually no one believes, or B) the investigation was deliberately understaffed and drawn out because you did not wish to be the gubernatorial candidate who took down fabled Penn State - with its massive and intensely loyal alumni network - and the beloved Joe Paterno. Since doing so would have presented difficult campaign challenges, many are asking if politics was placed above children’s safety. Which leads to the next question.
2) Why was the investigation so understaffed? Yes, you just now claimed - after eight months - that media reports are wrong that only one investigator was assigned the case for the first 15 months. The real number, as you now state, was a whopping two. We know you were busy with Bonusgate, but political corruption never threatens anyone’s physical well-being, particularly defenseless children.
And the two investigators assigned were narcotics agents. While Sandusky’s heinous crimes were many, drug offenses were not among them.
Yes, they were former police officers. But wouldn’t the reasonable course have been to assign agents with experience in child molestation cases? Did their inexperience lengthen the investigation more than normal … say, past your election in November 2010?
Additional resources were available. Upon becoming governor, you placed state police on the case. You could have made that same request to Gov. Ed Rendell, and, given the stakes, there is virtually no possibility he would have refused. And since you are a former United States attorney, you undoubtedly realized that federal assistance was also available.
3) Do you believe ethical and moral lines were crossed when, after investigating Penn State as Attorney General, you then participated as a member of the Board of Trustees upon becoming governor?
In other words, knowing full well that the investigation was still in full swing, conducted by your handpicked attorney general successor, you nonetheless chose to sit on the very board you had been - and still were - investigating!
Did you ever consider recusing yourself from board activities until the investigation was concluded? Since governors rarely attend board meetings, this would have in no way raised suspicions.
4) As governor, why did you personally approve a $3 million taxpayer-funded grant to Sandusky’s Second Mile charity, given your knowledge that Sandusky was under investigation for multiple child rapes?
Your statement that blocking the grant would have tipped people off to the investigation is utterly disingenuous, particularly since the media reported on the investigation in March, and you did not approve the funds until July 2011.
Vetoing the charitable grant would have simply been viewed as another financial cutback in a budget full of slashed programs.
So one has to ask if the $640,000 in campaign donations from board members of the Second Mile, along with their businesses and families, had anything to do with your actions?
If not, fine. But how did such a massively significant point slip your mind - until the media brought it up? And was that question also out of line?
Since these are matters of grave concern, I and many others look forward to your immediate response.
The media talks about Penn State’s Big Four casualties: Joe Paterno, former President Graham Spanier, Senior Vice President Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley. But perhaps they are missing the biggest: Tom Corbett.
He has always claimed to hold himself to a higher standard, and has roundly criticized Paterno and others for not doing more to stop Sandusky. But when it came down to it, when Corbett had the power to put a speedy end to Sandusky, he didn’t.
If mistakes were made, fine. People can accept that. But to stonewall reasonable questions on such an important matter, and then stalk off , is something that should not, and will not, be tolerated.
Tom Corbett has a choice, perhaps the biggest of his career. He can either answer now - or in 2014.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.comThere should be a huge outcry out of the people of Pennsylvania for Governor Corbett to resign. Is this the type of Republican that the Tea Party has chosen to be elected? Beginning to look like it more and more that ethics and integrity do not count in the Republican Party of today -- it is the hatred of all Democrats that is the most important. This statement says it all:
The media talks about Penn State’s Big Four casualties: Joe Paterno, former President Graham Spanier, Senior Vice President Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley. But perhaps they are missing the biggest: Tom Corbett.Today ESPN reporters talked about Governor Corbett and his cover-up while Attorney General. The last paragraph of the Corbett story is far from over as more and more people learn the truth. The following is an essay on the whole situation that ended with the author hearing about the death of Joe Paterno so this predates the Freeh investigation but is damning to Corbett, the media, and the Attorney General's office who spent their time working for Corbett's campaign while he was doing a witch hunt against Democrats in the legislature. The current Governor when you read the facts was an out of control Attorney General who put his own election for Governor as the primary guiding factor in the AG's office. This is mind boggling and I have only excerpted as it is a very long article. What we have learned about Paterno and others since this article after the Freeh Report leaves you asking the question if there are any honest people in the leadership of PA State Government. Bill Keisling IV, posted this on January 22, 2012:
under the bus
in his final days, our debt of gratitude,
not a death of instant scandal and ruin'
"What counts in sports is not the victory, but the magnificence of the struggle," Penn State Coach Joe Paterno for years was fond of saying. It's a variation of the phrase, "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game."
This ethos of fair play, honesty, doing the right thing, abiding by the same rules as everyone else, hard work, proper preparation, and decency in all our endeavors is lost on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.
Insiders at the state attorney general's office speak of moral bankruptcy, blatant hypocrisy and raw politics in the AG's office under Corbett.
Tom Corbett misused the office of attorney general to win the Pennsylvania governor's office at any and all cost, by any means necessary, those around him say. Part of the great cost paid, we now see in the Jerry Sandusky case, included the safety, dignity and well-being of children.
Tom Corbett's lack of sense of decency or character, his fundamental dishonesty, and basic incompetence were magnified by the political nature of the elected attorney general's office. This gives cause to pose plenty of troubling questions about the stalled legal case against Jerry Sandusky.
Look at the wreckage in Corbett's wake. The reputations of Coach Joe Paterno, Penn State, and its football program, are all in tatters and ruin. Like a scandalized widow, Penn State would contemplate changing its name. Penn State's once-proud football team, for decades among the finest in the nation, suffered a fall from grace, deep disgrace, and was in jeopardy of disbandment.
The moral authority and integrity of the governor's office and its predecessor -- once occupied by great, sincere and hard-working men like Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Curtin, and Gifford Pinchot -- has also taken a devastating hit.
Pennsylvania and some of its most hallowed institutions would be discredited and become the butt of national jokes and disbelief. All that has been much discussed.
Not so clearly seen and spoken about is that Corbett, on his political run to the governor's office, would leave in tatters the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and potentially the careers and reputations of the many good and dedicated people who work there.
But that's only part of the unseen story.
'Don't do it here'
Jerry Sandusky's kid glove treatment at the hands of diverse Pennsylvania institutions, from 1998 until late 2010, reveals a classic pattern of looking the other way. From at least 2009 onward, AG Tom Corbett would be the lead player in this culture of cover-up, shielding and confidentiality.
In March 2009, a former Corbett underling, Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira, referred several Sandusky pedophile complaints to AG Corbett. Madeira was a former deputy AG, and a drug prosecutor, under Corbett. He'd been elected Centre County DA following the strange disappearance of Ray Gricar in 2005. Passing the case along to AG Corbett, Madeira cited a personal conflict of interest with a relative.
DA Madeira himself hadn't done much with these Sandusky complaints while they were in his office. The complaints, after all, had been referred to Madeira the previous year, in 2008. Neither would AG Corbett do much with them.
After the Sandusky scandal became public, speculation arose as to possible motivations behind Corbett's reluctance to take action. His concern that he'd be perceived as having impeded or obstructed the investigation. His fear of offending major contributors. Fear of backlash from alumni and friends of Penn State.
While certainly there are issues of politics, largesse (Marcellus Shale, for example) and patronage deserving keen public scrutiny to help explain Corbett's misconduct, we must consider an obvious harsh reality:
Sandusky's protection by Corbett, and others, mirrors a pattern that is all too familiar to those who've investigated or studied other long-running pedophile crimes, I've been told repeatedly by experts.
Sandusky's treatment by superiors at PSU and the law enforcement community in Pennsylvania is little different from that received by Catholic priests in this and other countries. This familiar pattern of non-investigation -- amounting to shielding and protection -- would later scandalize the Roman Catholic Church.
Pedophile priests for years would simply be told to go to a different town and parish.
"Just don't do it here," became the bottom line. Like it or not, culturally and socially, for decades, this is how pedophile cases curiously have been handled by church and state authority figures alike, here and abroad.
This happened with Jerry Sandusky. Complaints from victims and their families would be given lip service by school officials, charity overseers, and law enforcement -- including Attorney General Tom Corbett. Any complaints filed, and any supposed investigations, would be allowed to languish in the dark for years. And Sandusky would remain free to carry on.
Jerry Sandusky would simply be told, again and again: Don't do it here. Don't do it in the shower room. Don't do it at Penn State.
Much like those questionable disciples, AG Corbett would keep the children from the supposed safe harbor and long arms of the law.
There would be an investigation of Sandusky in name only, and opportunities to prosecute Sandusky for pedophilia would be avoided time and again.
It would come down to matters of priorities and political expediencies, Corbett's associates say.
Corbett, for his part, has doubtfully explained his failure to prosecute Sandusky. It was the fault of a "slow grand jury," Corbett explains. Very slow indeed.
He would say he wanted to make sure there was enough evidence before bringing a case. But he did little to collect more evidence, and stymied the investigation. Corbett in fact did next to nothing from early 2009 onward, when the Centre County DA Michael Madeira referred the case to him. It was Tom who was slow.
Corbett adds that he was focusing his attentions instead on a long-running public corruption case known in Pennsylvania as "Bonusgate." That, observers say, is somewhat closer to the truth.
But it's not really the whole truth. The whole story is far more complex and troubling.
The whole story is, in fact, mind-boggling.
The inability of victimized Pennsylvanians to get help, or to simply be heard with their complaints, is at the heart of the overall problem. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania no longer has a government, or a press, that is much, if it all, interested in all of its citizens. Rather, privileged insiders (like Jerry Sandusky) have become all-important, and take precedence. It has become the Privilegedwealth of Pennsylvania.
How did we get here?
A lot of this, to paraphrase Terry Gross, simply is not as it should be. To understand the decades-running Sandusky story you have to be prepared to go from one mind-boggling event to another.
The bottom line is that Tom Corbett's personal misuse of the state AG's office to run for governor all but destroyed the morale and integrity of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. Previous to 1980 the AG was an appointed position. Elective politics have proven to be poison for the AG's office.
Most ironically, the staff of the AG's office has been left as helpless as the victims. No one working in the state AG's office seems to know where to turn for help, or how to explain to the public the deep problems.
"It's all politics," with a sigh, is how I've heard described what's going on.
Did AG office employees know they were helping Tom Corbett get elected governor?
"Hell yeah," I'm told.
"It was all political, and everyone knew it," is also how I've heard these and other practices described.
"Everyone in the AG's office knew they were working to get Corbett elected governor with 'Bonusgate,' and with everything else they were told to do."
It was the truth that everyone knew, but no one could speak.
The sad twist of irony is that, in late 2011, the Harrisburg Patriot-News decried the two years the Sandusky case had languished in the AG's office.
The complaint I've heard is that it was the Patriot's own self-serving chest-thumping about the "Bonusgate" donnybrook that ate up an overwhelming chunk of the finite resources of the state AG's office, and the limited time of the grand jurors.
The political AG's office had become media driven.
This is where the media drove it.
As we see here, a politically elected attorney general let loose to plague society can easily misuse his public trust to control a political and social hot potato. That's what happened to the AG's Sandusky pedophile non-investigation for a year and a half, from 2009 to late 2010. It was put on ice. The slow boat to China. Given File 13, as cops say.
Tom Corbett simply did not want to prosecute the Sandusky pedophile case.
"Tom didn't want to do it," I'm told.
"What do you mean, 'He didn't want to do it?'" I ask again.
"He didn't want to do it."
I have to keep asking the same question, and getting the same reply, before it begins to sink in.
By assigning only a single trooper, yet not instructing or even allowing his prosecutor to push the case, AG Tom Corbett did the bare minimum he could do to cover his ass and to say that he was doing something about the Sandusky pedophile complaint(s).
In actuality Tom Corbett was doing nothing, except, intentionally or not, protecting and shielding Jerry Sandusky, and Sandusky's well-connected associates and institutions.
This would be exactly the same excuse offered by Pope Benedict in Rome to explain why pedophile complaints had languished for decades in his old Vatican office, without a good shepherd, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, before his election as pope. "Stavamo lavorando su di esso." That's Italian for, "We were working on it."
The cardinal's inactions hurt the papacy.
Just as Attorney General Corbett's inactions now injure the governor's office.
The green-domed Harrisburg state capitol building, I should mention, is modeled after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Candidate Corbett orders background
investigations of 356 potential 'Bonusgate' jurors
Over time it became all-too apparent to those working in the AG's office that Tom Corbett's "Bonusgate" investigation itself was political in nature. "Bonusgate" was used by AG Corbett as his main strategy and pillar in his political run for the governor's office.
It was stunning hypocrisy. AG Corbett was running for governor by prosecuting public employees for mixing elective politics with state work. Corbett was now openly doing the same thing: mixing elective politics with state work. The attorney general was prosecuting others, and jailing them, for doing what he was now doing, and making his staff do.
No one seemed able to speak out about it. At least, no one could be heard.
"The whole AG's office knew we were helping Tom Corbett to get elected governor," is one complaint I've heard. "Our focus from 2008 on was that. Everybody was working on 'Bonusgate.'" And, "The whole office was political."
The AG's office, now running its boss for governor, simply had no time, or resources, for the Sandusky pedophile case -- even if there was the will to pursue the allegations, which there was not.
JoePa takes the fall for TomCo
For Gov. Tom Corbett, meanwhile, there remained one more important task following the nationwide public relations fiasco of Jerry Sandusky's long-overdue arrest. Corbett had to protect his own carcass, and cover his own ass for the nuclear blast he now feared was about to blow.
It wouldn't do to have the public focus on Corbett's own refusal to investigate or prosecute Jerry Sandusky for a year and half. Corbett sought to change the conversation. He looked around for a likely scapegoat(s) to take the fall for him. What's one more victim, or two?
Corbett incredibly settled on a beloved 85-year-old to take the fall. The Gipper was down, why not kick him down some more? Gov. Corbett landed on the brilliant idea of throwing Joe Paterno under the bus. As Nixon observed, when the wolves are gaining, it's time to toss a baby from the sled.
After all, hadn't Joe Paterno failed to follow up by calling the university police or DA Gricar? It wasn't nearly as bad as deliberately sandbagging the Sandusky case for a year and half, and actively shielding and protecting Jerry Sandusky, as AG Corbett had done.
But Corbett knows from first-hand experience that today's corporate media is servile, for the most part isn't all that smart or morally scrupulous, and doesn't look into things all that deeply or for very long. And more and more these days they simply write what they're handed. Corbett himself learned this on his long slog for the governor's chair, and all through the recent years of growing corruption in Pennsylvania. That business with the 6,500 kids sold down the river in Wilkes-Barre had blown over. Maybe the serial rape of innumerable kids at Penn State will blow over too.
Corbett's job as attorney general had been to prosecute. To uphold the law. To protect the public. He didn't do so well in that job. Now, as governor, the job was altogether different.
A competent governor, and a good man, would have, and should have, asked the public not to rush to judgment against Joe Paterno. A competent leader, and a good man, would have asked the public to wait for all the facts to come in. A competent governor, and a good man, would have reminded the public of the great and exemplary services performed for Pennsylvania, and Penn State, by Joe Paterno in over 60 years on the job. A competent governor, and a good man, would have pointed out that that Joe Paterno was Our Coach.
Joe Paterno was Pennsylvania's Coach, and we owed him, in his final days, our debt of gratitude, not a death of instant scandal and ruin.
"It's going to kill Joe," suddenly was on everyone's lips. "It's going to kill him." Tom Corbett, as usual, had his own not-so-sorry ass to worry about. It would be the pathetic act of a desperate, morally bankrupt man.
On November 9, 2011, Gov. Tom Corbett indulged the Penn State board of trustees, by telephone, to throw Joe Paterno under the bus. At the moment of the vote to fire Paterno, Corbett said over the speakerphone, "Remember that little boy in the shower."
From the 31 trustees in the room there was no response. No question. No objection. Just silence. Despite the illustrious backgrounds of most of them, they all marched in lockstep, following Corbett's lead.
Corbett wasn't there to look them, or Paterno, in the eye. He wasn't there to explain why he had done nothing to help that little boy. He wasn't there to explain why he himself had prevented any investigation for a year and a half. He wasn't there to explain the double standard. Why should the coach be punished, but not the attorney general/governor? As I say, in Tom Corbett's Pennsylvania, some are more privileged than others.
That night Corbett got his scapegoat, and the students rioted in State College. A weary nation turned its eyes to the fleeting images of the saddened cries, groans and crashes of the decline and fall of Pennsylvania.
A simmering story in the sports columns in moments ignited into an all-consuming firestorm, a national disgrace, and a world-class scandal.
Excerpt: Read More at Yardbird.comThen I found this letter to the editor that goes after Corbett for his not prosecuting Sandusky in 2008 (my bold in the letter):
Most likely there was no one more relieved when the memorial services for Joe Paterno ended than Gov. Tom Corbett and the rest of the Penn State Board of Trustees. They are banking on the fact that people will forget what they did by throwing Paterno to the curb in the manner that they did. They could not be more wrong. Where was the due process? Corbett's poor excuses for not arresting Jerry Sandusky in 2008 - slow grand jury, the need for more evidence, working on other cases - could lead one to conclude that had Paterno involved the state police in 2002, it might not have led to an arrest anyway.
After all, it took the attorney general's investigator an entire year to find the police report filed in 1998. It also took him an entire year to find out that Sandusky wrote a book. Where was the sense of urgency to get a child predator off the streets? What happened to the sense of urgency to report in a timely manner? Who is at fault if Sandusky abused more children from 2008-2011? So why was Paterno excoriated for not doing enough when Corbett's office dragged its feet several years later? There is more to this scandal than the people are being told, but thanks to people such as Phil Knight, Anthony Lubrano and Bill Keisling, who found the courage to say publicly what needed to be said, the public is learning more. I will remember forever, especially when election time comes around.
Domenic Parenti, Lower Heidelberg TownshipIf the judicial system is going to prosecute the former Penn State Administrators former President Graham Spanier, Senior Vice President Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley who along with Paterno were covering-up for Sandusky according to the Freeh Report, then the current Governor needs to be right there as he also covered up for Sandusky as well. Shame on the Republican Party of Pennsylvania for continuing to support this Governor and not question why he covered up his inaction in this sordid event when he was Attorney General.