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Judge approves Sandusky investigative report; Corbett to have chance to respond

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 6:39 p.m.
 

HARRISBURG — A judge overseeing the release of Attorney General Kathleen Kane's report on why the investigation of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky took almost three years on Tuesday approved that report, which now goes to Gov. Tom Corbett, the former attorney general, for a response.

The report examines whether Corbett delayed the investigation for political reasons as he ran for governor in 2010.

Sandusky, a former Penn State University assistant football coach, was arrested in 2011 and university trustees fired legendary football coach Joe Paterno, causing upheaval on the State College campus.

The judge's approval was a hurdle for Kane to meet in order to ready the report for public release.

Cambria County Judge Norman A. Krumenacher III approved the report's contents, a step that was necessary because it contains grand jury testimony. Grand juries meet in secret.

Kane told the Tribune-Review on Monday that the report may be released this month. She hired Widener University Law School professor H. Geoffery Moulton to conduct the investigation as a special deputy paid $74 an hour.

Moulton is a former federal prosecutor who investigated the FBI's handling of the 1993 Waco Branch Davidian compound in which 76 people were killed.

The report, fulfilling a campaign promise for Kane, a Democrat, comes at a critical time for the Republican governor, who is trying to tie together a difficult state budget while facing a deficit exceeding $1.2 billion in an election year. He trails Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Wolf in an early poll for the November election.

“What is expected from this report is the facts,” Kane on Tuesday told Pennlive's editorial board in an interview streamed online. “It is a very fair and accurate report.”

Among those Moulton interviewed were Corbett and former Chief Deputy Frank Fina, who oversaw the Sandusky investigation and is said to be a key figure in the report.

Corbett and Fina have the opportunity to respond in writing. It's not known how long they have to review the report.

Fina works for Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. Both have been at odds with Kane over a legislative sting case she declined to prosecute. Five Philadelphia Democrats, including four legislators, were recorded taking cash by an undercover informant. Kane sent the case file to Williams.

Kane questioned the timing of leaked details of the sting case, which became public in March, as efforts were underway to wrap up the Sandusky report.

When she was asked during the Pennlive interview about her biggest regret from her first 18 months as attorney general, Kane said the “most difficult” decision was not prosecuting a case.

“That's the truth,” Kane said. “There's no doubt that was a difficult decision,” an apparent reference to the sting.

Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol reporter. Reach him at 717-797-1405 or bbumsted@tribweb.com.

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