Second Mile Is ... Penn State: School Paid $25 Million To Company Run By Chairman Of Sandusky's Charity

Bob Poole is the chairman of The Second Mile board of directors (or, perhaps, former chairman—nobody really knows who's running things now). He's held that position for 17 years. He was chairman, then, in 1998, when an attorney for both Second Mile and Penn State learned about an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by Jerry Sandusky. Poole is also the CEO of Poole Anderson Construction, a big State College outfit that was the fifth-highest-compensated independent contractor employed by Penn State in 2010. PSU paid Poole's company $12,154,402 in the last fiscal year. In 2009, Poole's company got even more money: $12,936,843, according to the "Right to Know Reports" the school is required to file with the state. That's a total of $25,091,245.

The documents don't specify which projects Poole Anderson worked on, but I found information about the company's recent Penn State-related construction jobs on its website. It's quite a list:

Second Mile Is ... Penn State: School Paid $25 Million To Company Run By Chairman Of Sandusky's Charity

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Poole Anderson is also the construction manager for the $11.5 million "Center for Excellence," a Second Mile project that had long been a dream of Sandusky's. The learning center, which was to be financed in part by a $3 million state grant approved by Gov. Tom Corbett, was supposed to have classrooms, dorms, athletic facilities, and an auditorium. The state grant is now on hold.

We mentioned Poole on this site two days ago after state Rep. Mike Vereb released documents showing that Poole had raised money for Leslie Dutchtot, the district judge and Second Mile volunteer who let Sandusky out of jail on unsecured $100,000 bail. (Dutchtot has since been taken off the case.)

This Sandusky scandal looks more incestuous and more political by the day. The Second Mile is so embedded in the Penn State community that we might as well start thinking of the charity as an extension of the university. Everyone knows everyone else. They sit on the same boards. They give each other jobs. They donate money to the same politicians, including the attorney general who investigated the case while running for governor. I'm not saying these people were in on a cover-up. All I'm saying is that—given these connections and given the gravitational pull of the university across the state—a lot of people had a lot of incentive to do nothing whatsoever.

Back to Poole. He's one of the bigwigs at The Second Mile and one of the biggest recipients of Penn State's largesse. As you might imagine, he's also one of Penn State's biggest benefactors. Here's his bio from PSU's Smeal College of Business:

He was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2001 and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006. He and his wife, Sandy, have funded the following endowments: The Robert and Sandra Poole Endowment for Excellence in Real Estate Studies, The Robert and Sandra Poole Schreyer Honors College Scholarship, The Robert and Sandra Poole Graduate Assistantship in the Libraries, and the Robert and Sandra Poole Faculty Fellowship in Business. Bob and Sandy also funded the Dean's Suite at the new Smeal College of Business Building. Bob is a member of the Mount Nittany Society. Mr. Poole is on the Executive Committee and Chairs the Leadership Gifts Program "For the Future Campaign" at Penn State. He also Chairs the Schreyer Honors College and is on the Board of Visitors for the Smeal College of Business at Penn State. He previously served on the Steering and Executive Committees of The Penn State Grand Destiny Campaign. Bob received his MBA from Farleigh Dickinson University.