Tom Corbett’s Pants Afire

Right after the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky news broke Gov. Corbett admonished his fellow Board of Trustees members and the Penn State community:

“But we must keep in mind that when it comes to the safety of children, there can be no margin of error, no hesitation to act.”

The problem is Attorney General Tom Corbett also failed to act.  There was enough evidence to arrest Sandusky after the 2008 incident in Clinton County.  Instead the AG assigned a single State Trooper to the case for a year and a half.  In fall of 2010 he assigned investigators from the Office of the Attorney General to supplement the Trooper’s efforts.  The coach’s home was finally searched last summer and he was allowed to go on a trip to Ohio just before being arrested.  The arrest only came when the grand jury presentment was accidentally posted on a Magisterial District Judge’s website by mistake.

Then after his own investigation was questioned he said this:

“But we must keep in mind that when it comes to the safety of children, there can be no margin of error, no hesitation to act.”

In other words Gov. Corbett is telling child sexual predators that if they limit themselves to just one kid they won’t be prosecuted.  So who is the monster Jerry Sandusky, Tom Corbett or both?

Of course the reality is that child predators are arrested and convicted routinely based on single incidents.  It isn’t normal to use a grand jury for such investigations either.  Those are normally used for difficult probes in which witnesses aren’t forthcoming, there is widespread corruption (organized crime for instance) and where secrecy is paramount.  The Sandusky case fit none of those benchmarks.

What we do know about Tom Corbett’s record as Attorney General is that his was a highly political office pursuing political cases which would spring him into the Governor’s Mansion.  BonusGate was the best example.  Triggered by bonuses given to House and Senate staffers who worked actively on political campaigns while being paid by taxpayers it broke open the cesspool of corruption in Harrisburg.  All four caucuses (House and Senate Republican and Democratic) were fraught with rot and state resources were routinely being used to run campaigns.

Corbett targeted the House Democratic caucus first and spent two years investigating it through a grand jury.  Then he finally got around to serving a warrant on the House GOP caucus computers.  In other words he gave his Republican allies two years to cleanse their records.  Amazingly they forgot to erase the database they spent 20 million tax dollars on for their campaigns.  The Senate caucuses were never investigated and then we discovered Sen. Jane Orie had done the same things as the House Dems.  Corbett never investigated her.

Att he same time he was prosecuting legislative staffers and Representatives for using state resources for political purposes Corbett was using his AG’s office cell phones for his Gubernatorial campaign.  He was doing the same thing.

Then he goes and lambastes the Penn State Board of Trustees for dragging their feet acting on the Sandusky case.  This after he dragged his feet on it for three years.  Gov. Corbett is a “do as I say not as I do” kind of guy.  His denials that he acted properly is a blatant lie.  His own Office of the Attorney General prosecuted child sexual predators swiftly and in cases where there was but one victim, except for Sandusky.  Why the exception?  The former Nittany Lion Defensive Coordinator was extremely popular and well known.  Corbett was accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Penn State and Second Mile Trustees.  Those funds would have dried up if he’d indicted Sandusky before the 2010 election.

Tom Corbett’s pants are on fire with his lies.  He must stop spinning this for political purposes and resign.  If Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno had to take the fall for not doing what was right so does Tom Corbett.

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