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State may revoke Sandusky pension

| Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky's state pension — reported at $59,000 a year — may be in jeopardy.

The State Employees' Retirement System said on Wednesday that it would review the status of his retirement plan. A state pension-forfeiture law applies to public school employees convicted of a sex crime against a student or students.

A Centre County jury in June convicted Sandusky, 68, in a child-rape case involving 10 boys over 15 years. Jurors found the former Penn State assistant football coach guilty on 45 of 48 counts. Judge John Cleland sentenced Sandusky on Tuesday to 30 to 60 years in prison.

Sandusky worked for Penn State for 30 years before his retirement in 1999. He abused boys in several locations, including his home outside State College and in university facilities.

Reached on Wednesday evening, Sandusky attorney Karl Rominger said he doesn't think the state has grounds to end his client's pension.

“It seems like they're trying to shoehorn it in, but it's not going to fit,” Rominger said of any attempted revocation. He said Sandusky's victims were not Penn State students. Nor is Penn State a public school as defined in the state statute, Rominger argued.

The university is classified as a state-related — not a state-owned — institution.

Rominger had not yet seen a formal pension-review announcement from the retirement system, he said. Retirement system officials could not be reached.

Frank Fina, a state deputy attorney general, has said the Legislature should tighten pension-forfeiture rules for public officials. A bill sponsored by state Rep. Eugene DePasquale, D-York, would end state pension benefits for former officials placed on the Megan's Law list of sexually violent predators.

Cleland classified Sandusky as such a predator.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Adam Smeltz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5676 or asmeltz@tribweb.com.

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