Kane: Review of Sandusky case delayed

Posted: February 07, 2014

HARRISBURG Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Wednesday that her inquiry into how state prosecutors handled the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse investigation has been delayed by, among other things, a struggle to gather potential evidence and a need to have the report reviewed by a judge.

In a statement, Kane said she remained committed to releasing the report on the decisions made by her predecessors. The investigation began in 2009, when now-Gov. Corbett was running the office, and continued under Attorney General Linda Kelly.

"Pennsylvanians deserve the full and true story," Kane wrote, "and I will not permit a rush to judgment to interfere with a thorough review."

Kane set no timeline for the report's release. Political observers have advised that if her report is not ready by spring, Kane, a Democrat, should hold off on releasing it until after the November election, lest her office be accused of playing politics.

Corbett, a Republican, faces a difficult reelection battle in the fall.

The trial of three former high-ranking Pennsylvania State University officials accused of covering up evidence that Sandusky was molesting children could also factor into when Kane releases her report. Legal analysts have questioned whether that report could jeopardize that prosecution, also being handled by the Attorney General's Office.

A trial date has not been set for former university president Graham B. Spanier, retired vice president Gary Schultz, and former athletic director Tim Curley.

Kane was elected in 2012 after a campaign that included her contentions that prosecutors under Corbett should have moved more swiftly to charge Sandusky.

Corbett convened a grand jury in 2009 to investigate Sandusky and, later, the actions of high-ranking Penn State officials, including football coach Joe Paterno.

Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, was charged in November 2011, a year after Corbett was elected governor.

Kane stated numerous times during her race, which she handily won, that she would not have allowed the case to go before a grand jury, which could add months to any investigation.

After taking office, she enlisted former Philadelphia federal prosecutor H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr. to oversee the review.

In her statement Wednesday, Kane said that several factors had slowed the inquiry, including "significant and time-consuming challenges in obtaining important written records, particularly e-mails."

She added: "For reasons that will be described in more detail when the report is made public, until last fall we believed that [Attorney General's Office] e-mails for the relevant time period had been permanently removed ... and were unrecoverable. Since then, we have developed a recovery process that is ongoing."

Another factor delaying the report, said Kane, is that it will contain grand jury matters that have not been made public. As a result, her office will have to get judicial approval before releasing anything publicly.

And, Kane added, "certain individuals" discussed in the report will be allowed to review it and comment on it.

She did not elaborate, although it appeared she was referring to giving prosecutors and investigators who handled the case the opportunity to give their side of the story as part of whatever report she makes public.


acouloumbis@phillynews.com

717-787-5934 @AngelasInk

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