Corbett denies lack of manpower on case
By Brad Bumsted
Published: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 2:56 p.m.
Updated: Friday, July 13, 2012
HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett, the former attorney general who started the Jerry Sandusky investigation, said Thursday it's “absolutely false” that he assigned only one investigator to the case while tying up most resources in public corruption investigations.
In a news conference after the release of former FBI Director Louis Freeh's report, Corbett defended the state's criminal investigation for taking “a monster off the street.”
He disputed the claim about one investigator that news media frequently reported since Sandusky's arrest in November. A jury last month convicted Sandusky, 68, the former Penn State football defensive coordinator, of 45 charges of molesting 10 young boys over 15 years.
Corbett, a Republican from Shaler, said the office assigned Anthony Sassano and Randy Feathers, two Bureau of Narcotics agents who used to be police officers, to the Sandusky case.
The Tribune-Review could not reach Feathers or Sassano.
When he became governor in January 2011, Corbett said he assigned more state police resources to the case.
Appearing at an event at the Pennsylvania Farm Show building, Corbett said he had not read the Freeh report but planned to do so Thursday night.
The governor, often criticized for a three-year investigation, became agitated when a reporter asked whether the report made him reflect that he could have done things differently, including finishing the investigation more quickly.
“Why are you all obsessed with that? It's been answered over and over and over again … 45 of 48 counts. We do not hold up investigations for anything. You are disparaging the reputation of men and women in that office who have worked very hard to get results and take a monster off the street,” he said.
To continually ask that question is “out of line,” he said.
Corbett said agents needed time to thoroughly investigate and present a jury with 10 cases of abuse. Presenting one case would not have worked, he said.
Brad Bumsted is state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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It is Corbett's wisdom in appointing Dep Atty Gen Eshbach to lead the investigation that should be questioned. Her softball questions to Paterno, particularly her failure to press him regarding the "rumors" of a prior incident, suggest that maybe it was a very bad idea to put an admittedly devoted fan of Paterno in charge. The Freeh report underscores the significance of Paterno's knowledge of the 1998 incident. Although Eshbach may not have had the benefit of the documentation found by Freeh, it does not appear that she was interested in the details of what Paterno knew and when he knew it. That was a dropped ball under any standard. It may have been just one of those missed opportunities, but it has troubling implications. The AG couldn't find someone who was not a Penn State grad and Paterno admirer for the investigation?