Corbett says he'll cooperate with investigation into handling of Sandusky case
HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett said he probably will talk with attorney general's investigators reviewing his handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse case when he was the state's top law enforcement official.
In an interview Thursday with Capitol reporters, Corbett, attorney general from 2005-10, said he would cooperate unless he perceives that the investigation by incoming Democrat Kathleen Kane is political. She won election as attorney general on Nov. 6 and made Corbett's 33-month investigation of the Sandusky case a key campaign issue.
After she takes office in January, Kane will have all the investigators who handled the case in her employ, said Corbett, a Republican. But, the governor added, “Mrs. Kane doesn't have the right experience” to handle an internal investigation.
Kane could not be reached for comment.
A jury in June convicted Sandusky, 68, of molesting 10 boys over 15 years. He is serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years.
The former Penn State University assistant football coach once was a revered figure known for the charity he established called the Second Mile. It was intended to help disadvantaged children, but Sandusky found his victims there.
Corbett said the Penn State investigation, which revealed an alleged cover-up by administrators who are awaiting trial, took time because he used a grand jury.
The statewide grand jury meets one week per month, meaning a month's worth of work takes about four months.
“It made no sense for me to delay it” as some critics have charged, Corbett said.
Corbett was running for governor in the fall of 2010 while he was attorney general. Sandusky wasn't charged until a year after Corbett became governor and, therefore, a member of Penn State's board of trustees.
Kane, who prosecuted sex crimes as an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County, said she has never used a grand jury.
Corbett disputed an ESPN Magazine report that he was “yukking it up” about former head coach Joe Paterno the night that trustees decided to fire Paterno.
He had dinner with several people, including Penn State professor and former Inquirer writer Russ Eshelman. He said he would not “yuk it up,” adding, “I'm a pretty cautious person.”
On a range of other topics, Corbett provided little insight into his evolving plans on transportation funding, state pension reform and privatizing the state liquor system.
Brad Bumsted is state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.