October 7, 2014
IT HAS perversion, stupidity and eddies of irony, and it's spreading like an STD. I refer, of course, to Pennsylvania's high-profile porno scandal. So far, it's X'ed a Cabinet member, Environmental Secretary Christopher Abruzzo, and his deputy counsel, Glenn Parno (that's Parno, not porno), both of whom resigned last week. It ensnared a member of the state Board of Probation and Parole, Randy Feathers, who was asked to resign but refuses, and whose first name, given the issue, all but demands the observation that "you can't make this stuff up. " It's brushed a state Supreme Court justice, Seamus McCaffery, and the head of the state Gaming Control Board, William Ryan Jr. It touched State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, who tells Gov. Corbett that he never opened any of 300-plus e-porn gifts received.
October 5, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Gov. Corbett on Friday sought the resignation of a third state official - his appointee to the state Parole Board - amid disclosures that the man had participated in the exchange of pornography over state computers. But Randy Feathers said he would not step down from the $116,000-a-year job. In an interview, Feathers said he sent a letter to Corbett explaining his stance and a second to Attorney General Kathleen Kane asking for an independent forensic expert to review the sexually explicit messages that she says he received or forwarded.
September 30, 2014
IT JUST never ends. The state that was the keystone of colonies, the cradle of Democracy, a lofty leader for what's good and right just keeps finding ways to degrade itself. And I'm not talking bond ratings. I'm talking X-ratings. As you may have heard, the governor, the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the attorney general are embroiled in a porn scandal. The guv and chief want more details (snicker, snicker) on what the A.G. has regarding who used government computers to send, swap or watch sexually explicit videos and images.
September 25, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has launched an internal investigation into alleged sexually explicit e-mails sent and received on state computers, her office said Tuesday. The disclosure came in a letter denying an Inquirer request for the e-mails, which sources have said circulated among scores of state employees, including prominent officials. In the letter, the Attorney General's Office said it had decided that the material does not fall under the legal definition of a public record, and argued that any such e-mails would be exempt because they are part of an internal inquiry, and may be relevant "to the investigation of violations of agency policy and the appropriate use of agency equipment.
September 23, 2014
A headline Monday with a story Monday on a social worker who heard allegations against child abuser Jerry Sandusky from a victim wrongly indicated that she was the first to hear claims about Sandusky. Concerns about Sandusky and possible child abuse were raised as early as 1998. In addition, the courtroom illustration in a photograph accompanying the story was done by Art Lien. A story Monday about a Conestoga High School student who has co-authored two scientific research papers wrongly stated details of his childhood.
September 23, 2014 |
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Six years after her interview with a teenage boy set off one of the most explosive criminal cases in state history, Jessica Dershem still works in the same windowless office in her hometown. Dershem, a 32-year-old caseworker with the Clinton County Children and Youth Services department, investigates custody disputes and claims of child abuse and neglect. She handles 12, maybe 15, cases each year. Most never make the news - because they don't involve someone like Jerry Sandusky.
September 22, 2014 |
A BIG BATCH of porny emails may be the very last thing Gov. Corbett, trailing badly in the polls to Democrat Tom Wolf, needs to hear about right now. Still, a judge yesterday said the state Attorney General's Office may release emails requested in the last two months by four newspapers, including the Daily News , which may have been sent or received by Corbett's top deputies when he was attorney general. The newspapers, in requests filed under the state's Right-to-Know law, described the emails as "pornographic" in nature.
September 21, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Citing increased costs and the desire to create a business innovation program, Pennsylvania State University will seek a 6 percent increase in state funding next year. President Eric Barron, speaking at a board of trustees meeting Friday, called the request a "modest increase" aimed in large part at creating a "strategic partnership" with the state to bring business leaders to campus to help guide ideas developed by student researchers into the marketplace. The board-approved request of $307 million represents an increase of $17 million over last year.
September 10, 2014 |
CONSIDERING THE horrific nature of the incidents that led to the football program at Penn State being slapped with severe sanctions by the NCAA, it is difficult to separate emotions from an objective analysis. When we are talking about the case of a serial pedophile possibly being granted access to more innocent victims because of the inaction of others who may have been aware, it is hard to care about the collateral damage from the penalties laid down by the NCAA. While it is still a matter of considerable debate, I personally believe that members of the Penn State athletic department, including legendary coach Joe Paterno, knew enough about what former defensive coordinator and now convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky was doing but turned eyes in favor of protecting the program over the safety of children.