Special deputy told Gov. Corbett of 'inappropriate' emails, campaign manager says

| Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

HARRISBURG ­— A special deputy hired by the Attorney General's Office made Gov. Tom Corbett aware of emails shared among his former staffers that “may have been inappropriate,” Corbett's campaign manager said on Saturday.

Campaign manager Mike Barley said the governor wanted to clarify comments he made to Tribune-Review editors and reporters during a visit to Pittsburgh, to set the record straight.

Corbett had said that he had no knowledge of the emails reputed to contain sexually explicit images, shared by staffers when he was attorney general, and that special deputy Geoffrey Moulton did not discuss them with him.

Moulton interviewed Corbett in May as part of a review of how the office handled the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse investigation. Moulton, hired by Attorney General Kathleen Kane, determined that Corbett did not slow that investigation because of his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

“To clarify, the governor did not have any discussions with Mr. Moulton during the official interview regarding this matter,” Barley said in a statement. “After that interview concluded, Mr. Moulton told the governor that emails were uncovered during the investigation that may have been inappropriate.”

Moulton, a former federal prosecutor and law school professor, declined to comment.

He found the emails among an estimated 20 million deleted ones that investigators reconstructed, sources said.

The Trib has requested access to the emails through the state's Right-to-Know Law. A judge has stayed the release of the information without explanation.

Asked whether Moulton told him about the emails, Corbett initially told the Trib: “We did not get into that at all.”

Barley said Corbett “does not recall exactly how the emails were described by Moulton, other than it was made clear to him that they were inappropriate.”

In the statement, Barley said: “To be clear, the governor had no knowledge of these alleged emails while he was attorney general, nor has he ever seen them.”

Corbett was attorney general from 2005 to January 2011.

“(If) he would have known about any inappropriate emails being sent, he would have put a stop to that type of activity immediately,” Barley said. “He would never condone that type of behavior, and if these reports are true, he will be very disappointed.”

The judge who froze the Trib's request for the emails oversees a statewide grand jury. It's not known how the request got to his court. Grand juries are secret proceedings.

James Koval, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, said Judge Norman A. Krumenacker III is expected to rule on whether to lift the stay when he concludes an unrelated trial.

Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol reporter. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or bbumsted@tribweb.com.

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