The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 31, 2012

Local Penn State graduate pushes for Corbett probe

MILTON — A local Penn State graduate is lobbying for a state House resolution that calls for an investigation into why then-Attorney General Tom Corbett delayed action in the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse investigation.

A state lawmaker, Rep. Brandon Neuman, D-48 of Washington County, authored the resolution, HR 520, but it has been waylaid in committee.

The resolution calls on the U.S. attorney general to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of the investigation by Corbett, now the state’s governor, and to investigate whether that sexual abuse may have violated federal law.

“I was a student at Penn State back in the mid-1990s, and I distinctly recall rumors that Sandusky was under investigation by the state’s attorney general,” said Kent Strohecker, of Milton. “But nothing came of it.”

Strohecker, a research coordinator, said that in retrospect, he thought it curious that other cases took precedence at the time.

“I think the conduct of the Office of the Attorney General under Tom Corbett should be looked into,” he said Monday night, adding that he wants the “whole truth” to come out.

Pennsylvanians have the right to know why the attorney general didn’t charge Sandusky immediately, when there was evidence — “credible, I believe,” Strohecker said. “Doing so would have stopped Sandusky from preying on more young men.”

Stochecker has the kind of mind that wants answers, so when he researched the resolution, he learned that it was stuck in committee, and he wondered why.

State Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver, R-108 of Sunbury, was called for a comment, but was unavailable. Culver’s colleagues in the state House, Fred Keller, R-85 of Kreamer, and Kurt Masser, R-107 of Elysburg, also were contacted Monday but did not return phone calls.

Strohecker said he is not sold on the Freeh report either. “I don’t think it was as well researched as it might have been had investigators set up shop in State College,” he said. “I don’t believe the conclusions made were necessarily fair. I have no doubt that Sandusky was guilty, but there is a lot more to this than the crime itself, which was admittedly terrible. I am a proud graduate, but I need more answers.”

Meanwhile, a group of Penn State graduates will hold a “Rise and Rally” informal gathering today to show support for the football team. The rally begins at 6 a.m. in the Holuba Hall parking lot on the University Park campus.

“These guys are under a lot of pressure,” said Keith Conlin, PSU football letterman and event organizer. “Some of us started talking about how the community might show our support, and this idea came up. The coaches suggested we try something like this.”

The rally is timed to coincide with the players arriving for early-morning workouts.

“We are hoping to get a lot of fans there to let the team know we are behind them,” Conlin said. “We hope to get a few hundred if not a few thousand people there.”

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