Soon after Jerry Sandusky's arrest last November, the focus turned toward the insular overlap of several powerful Pennsylvania institutions: Penn State, The Second Mile (Sandusky's charity), and governor Tom Corbett, who had launched the Sandusky investigation during his previous tenure as state attorney general.
Corbett had come under fire because the Sandusky inquiry proceeded at a slow pace during his time as AG, all while he was taking in a shitload of campaign cash from individuals and businesses affiliated with The Second Mile, whose board members, in turn, were taking in plenty of money from Penn State. And since taking office in January 2011—10 months before Sandusky's eventual arrest—Corbett has served as a member of Penn State's board of trustees.
Corbett's not up for re-election for another two years, but his poll numbers are in the toilet, with nearly 40 percent of state residents saying he handled the Sandusky inquiry poorly. And now both candidates vying to become Pennsylvania's next attorney general want answers.
Last month, both Republican David Freed and Democrat Kathleen Kane told the Patriot-News of Harrisburg (Pa.) that, if elected, they would look into Corbett's role in the investigation. And yesterday, Kane upped the ante during an interview with the editorial board of the Scranton Times Tribune:
At first, Mrs. Kane suggested the delay in charging Mr. Sandusky was due to either "politics" or "inexperience," but then said it was "probably" politics after an editorial board member pointed out Mr. Corbett was not an inexperienced prosecutor.
"The reason it was probably politics is you look at all the other factors surrounding it," Mrs. Kane said. "You look at the amount of money that came into his campaign while this was going on from the Second Mile, from the Penn State board of trustees."
Corbett got the Sandusky case in March 2009, when the Centre County (Pa.) district attorney handed it over to the state attorney general, citing a conflict of interest. At the time, investigators were aware of just one potential victim—the 15-year-old boy from a neighboring county who had gone to authorities several months before. Sometime after that, rather than making an arrest, Corbett chose to impanel a grand jury—even as he had just one state trooper (though he would later say it was two) assigned to investigate.