Jerry Sandusky's $4,900 monthly pension is revoked by state retirement system
Convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky lost his state pension on the day a judge sentenced him to prison, a state spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.
Sandusky, 68, retired in 1999 as an assistant football coach at Penn State University. His benefits through the State Employees' Retirement System totaled about $59,000 a year.
State officials informed Sandusky that they ended his retirement payments, citing a state pension forfeiture law, SERS board Chairman Nicholas J. Maiale said. The rule halts state-funded pensions for public school employees convicted of sex crimes against a student or students.
A Centre County jury convicted Sandusky in June on 45 criminal counts, finding him guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years. Judge John Cleland sentenced him Tuesday in Bellefonte to 30 to 60 years in a state prison.
Maiale, in a prepared statement, said Sandusky has 30 days to respond to the decision.
“Since the board may be required to serve as adjudicator, it is inappropriate for any board member to discuss the details of this case further,” Maiale said.
Lawyers representing Sandusky said he would fight any effort to block his pension. The state does not appear to have legitimate grounds to end his payments, defense attorney Karl Rominger has said.
He said Sandusky's “alleged victims” were not Penn State students. Penn State is not a public school as defined in the relevant state statute, Rominger argued.
SERS has said Sandusky could keep more than $900,000 in pension payments he collected between his 1999 retirement and September 2012. State law does not enable SERS to seek money paid before the date of a conviction or plea.
Sandusky, whose lawyers plan to appeal his conviction, and his wife, Dottie, wrote defiant letters to his judge before sentencing, attacking the motives of his victims, expressing a loss of faith in the judicial system and insisting he isn't a child molester.
The letters were released Thursday by Cleland.
Dottie Sandusky wrote that she never saw her husband do anything inappropriate to any child and was deeply critical of the couple's adopted son, Matt Sandusky, who had been expected to be a defense witness until he claimed he also had been abused.
She said Matt Sandusky is bipolar but “refuses to take his medication” and “has had many run-ins with the law and has stolen....from our family.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Adam Smeltz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5676or firstname.lastname@example.org.