Cover-ups, bribes, fraud, misuse of government funds. That's what federal authorities will be looking into during their investigation of Penn State in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, according, as usual, to Sara Ganim of The Patriot-News.
Make no mistake—this isn't an inquiry into Sandusky's alleged crimes but rather a deep dive into what PSU might have done wrong. The U.S. Attorney's office last month slapped the school with a subpoena seeking financial records, emails, computer hard drives, payments made by board members to third parties, and correspondence with Sandusky's Second Mile charity. The case has been assigned to a well-regarded prosecutor who cracked open an ugly "kids for cash" scandal involving corrupt judges.
The Patriot-News talked to a few experts to get their take on the investigation:
"The subpoena appears to be exploring when or whether there was any institutional awareness of Sandusky's alleged conduct at Penn State," said James W. Spertus, a Los Angeles lawyer and former federal prosecutor. "If, for example, there were private efforts by board members to settle claims before the matter became public, or there were reports to the board about the allegations, it could change the nature of the investigation."
Here's more from Bruce E. Reinhart, a former federal prosecutor:
Each year educational institutions like Penn State receive million of dollars in federal money earmarked for certain areas such as defense or medical research and educational programs.
If that money was used for other purposes, that could be a federal crime, Reinhart said.
"I'm sure they get all sorts of federal funding that flows into large state university's like that," he said. "As part of that sort of grant or funding, you have to certify those funds will only be used for the certain things. That could be why they'd be looking into interactions with Second Mile and Penn State."
It's about goddamn time. We've been saying this all along. To investigate Jerry Sandsuky, you also need to investigate the Second Mile. To investigate the Second Mile, you also need to investigate Penn State. They are conjoined, which is obvious to just about everyone who doesn't work for the state attorney general's office. It's obvious enough to the feds, who are now picking up what might generously be described as a fumbled ball:
And while Gov. Tom Corbett said in two recent television interviews that The Second Mile isn't under investigation by the state—although his staff says he was speaking in past tense and meant "wasn't"—the federal subpoena is specifically looking at issues related to the charity where it's alleged Sandusky met almost all of his 10 accusers.
I'm reminded of those cop shows where the crime scene is taped off and the weary but competent local detective is picking through evidence when the federal agents arrive (always in numbers). The lead agent, wearing a suit and perfect hair, arrogantly sweeps past the yellow tape and shoulders aside the detective.
"Hey, this is my case!" the detective protests.
"Not anymore it isn't," the agent says.
Well, that didn't happen here. This was more like the agent showing up on the scene and finding tumbleweeds rolling down University Drive. No detective, no yellow tape. Just Lanny Davis and a bunch of Penn State mandarins telling the world everything is going to be okay.
Experts: Penn State investigation could focus on cover-up [The Patriot-News]