Bucks County Courier Times
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane owes Gov. Corbett an apology, as well as some of the other folks who preceded her in the Attorney General’s Office.
You might recall that among Kane’s promises when she was running for AG was that she’d investigate the investigators who handled — or in her view, mishandled — the Jerry Sandusky case, launched during Corbett’s tenure as attorney general.
Kane alleged that during his campaign for governor, Corbett delayed the Sandusky case for political reasons. Now that Kane’s own probe is complete, here’s the finding on that issue:
“This report found no direct evidence — no email, no confession, no statement from anybody — indicating that (Corbett’s staffers) were told to slow this down because of politics.” There is some measure of justice in the fact that Kane had to read that statement during a press conference announcing the investigation’s findings.
So, naturally, one would expect Kane to apologize for questioning Corbett’s integrity, if not damaging his reputation. But nothing of the sort was offered. In fact, Kane doubled down and in what has the appearance of a face-saving tactic, said the report characterized Corbett as a hands-off leader who together with his top assistants failed to help front-line investigators make critical decisions about the Sandusky investigation.
In addition to essentially exonerating Corbett of ordering intentional delays, Kane said the report “also shows long periods of inexcusable — by inexcusable I mean even the parties involved couldn’t offer an excuse — for the delays that are quite honestly unfathomable to most of us.”
“Unfathomable”? We’re not lawyers, but here’s our take:
In fact, there was a delay in arresting and charging Sandusky, the nationally known defensive coordinator for legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. Prosecutors had only one teenage witness claiming to have been abused by Sandusky. He surfaced in 2008. Concerned about the credibility of a teenage accuser versus a college football icon, investigators chose to assemble more witnesses and then bring the case before a grand jury where the witnesses could testify in secret.
Here’s what Kane’s handpicked investigator had to say about that: “In short, there is no clearly ‘right’ answer to the question whether Sandusky should have been charged in 2010, particularly since the question turned to a great degree on the necessarily speculative forecast of how (Victim 1) would fare as a trial witness.”
Sounds like vindication to us. But back to the timeline.
Sandusky was charged in 2011, tried and found guilty in 2012. He’s now serving what amounts to a life sentence. Case closed. With the exception of an apology that likely won’t be forthcoming.