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State House Democrats want investigation of Gov. Corbett's handling of Sandusky

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Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 7:20 p.m.

HARRISBURG — House Democrats on Wednesday pushed for passage of a resolution calling on the Justice Department to investigate how the then-attorney general, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, handled the Jerry Sandusky investigation.

It asks why the attorney general “took so long” to arrest Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator for Penn State's football team who in June was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys.

“Unfortunately they (Democrats) are victimizing the victims by playing politics with the investigation,” said Corbett's spokesman, Kevin Harley.

A Centre County jury's guilty verdicts on 45 of 48 counts is proof of the investigation's success, Harley said.

Authorities should have arrested Sandusky once they received “credible eyewitness accounts of misconduct,” the resolution says.

It took the attorney general's office 33 months to arrest Sandusky and charge two Penn State administrators accused of taking part in a cover up. Corbett became governor in January 2011, and the investigation continued under his replacement, Attorney General Linda Kelly.

House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody of Oakmont said his party will continue to attempt to shut down House business if necessary until the Republican majority allows a vote on the resolution.

“They chose political campaigning over substance,” said Stephen Miskin, spokesman for House Republicans. The House was about to take up legislation on schools mandating awareness of child exploitation when Democrats called up the Sandusky matter, Miskin said.

There's no merit to the resolution calling for the investigation of “the successful prosecution of a child predator,” Miskin said.

The resolution sponsored by Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Penn Hills, had three GOP co-sponsors. It asks the Justice Department to investigate Sandusky's alleged transportation of minors across state lines.

Corbett has said winning a conviction against a once-revered coach was only possible because of the weight of evidence presented at trial by testimony from numerous victims. Making an arrest based on the testimony of one witness would have been a mistake, he said.

Sandusky will be sentenced Tuesday.

Brad Bumsted is state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or

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