Last week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett called for an investigation into The Second Mile, the charity that gave accused child rapist Jerry Sandusky access to thousands of young boys around the state.
"I need to know what [the charity's] board members knew," Corbett told the Wall Street Journal.
It shouldn't be hard for him to find out. Many of the charity's board members are Corbett's campaign donors. Take Lance Shaner, the Chairman of the Shaner Companies and CEO of Shaner Hotels. Shaner served on The Second Mile board from 1998 through 2006, many of the crucial years when it comes to the Sandusky case. Shaner contributed $155,550 to Corbett's gubernatorial campaign.
Then there's Bob Poole, who runs a construction company and has been with The Second Mile since 1998. Poole is currently the chairman of the board, a position he's held for years, although you wouldn't know it because the charity has scrubbed the board information from its website. Pool gave Corbett's gubernatorial campaign $9,133.34.
The connections between Corbett and The Second Mile are numerous, as you might expect with a charity that spiderwebs out from Penn State across Pennsylvania. Corbett has been dipping into the wallets of Second Mile board members since he first ran for attorney general in 2004. For now, though, let's limit our analysis to direct contributions from board members to Corbett's campaign for governor, which took place in the 2009-10 election cycle.
The numbers below won't tell us much about Corbett's mindset or his work investigating Sandusky as attorney general. But they do illustrate the relationships among The Second Mile, Penn State, and all of Pennsylvania, and they capture just how well-connected Sandusky's charity was. Corbett even approved a $3 million state grant this summer to help The Second Mile build an expansive new facility, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The grant is now on hold.
Here's a list of past and current board members of The Second Mile who gave money to Corbett's 2010 gubernatorial campaign:
2011 State Board of Directors
Bob Poole, Chairperson
President and CEO, S & A Homes and Poole Anderson Construction
Dave Woodle, Vice Chairperson
Chairman & CEO, NanoHorizons, Inc.
Cliff Benson, Director
Retired, Deloitte Tax LP
Michael Fiore, Director
Executive Vice President, Leonard S. Fiore, Inc.
Bruce Heim, Director
Chairman, Keystone Real Estate Group, LP
Heidi Nicholas, Director
Real Estate Developer & Manager
Al Pringle, Director
Real Estate Developer/Appraiser
Nancy Ring, Director
Realtor, REMAX Centre County
2011 Central Board of Directors
Michael Hawbaker, Director
Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.
Ben Heim, Director
President, Keystone Real Estate Group
Benjamin Hulburt, Director
President & CEO, Rex Energy
Jack Infield, Director
Regional President, Graystone State Bank, State College
Alan Kirk, Director
Esquire, Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir
Harry Sickler, Director
CPA, Owner, Harry Sickler and Associates
Michael Trombley, Director
Retired, President, Keystone Real Estate Group
2011 Southcentral Board of Directors
Rod Savidge, 1st Vice Chairperson
VP, Director of HR, Gannett Fleming, Inc.
Michael R. Gillespie, Director
Chief Accounting Officer, Hersha Hospitality Trust
Ex-Second Mile Board Members Since 1998 Who Donated To Corbett's 2010 Gubernatorial Campaign
Anne Deeter Gallaher, Director
Kimberly Ortenzio-Nielsen, Director
Rick Karcher, Director
James Swistock, Director
Lance Shaner, Director
Derek Walker, Director
[Campaign contribution figures crunched through Sunlight Foundation's Transparency Data project.]