Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is scheduled to attend Friday evening’s Penn State University Trustees’ emergency meeting. It is an unusual appearance for the Governor, and the circumstance of the meeting, the sordid child molestation charges against Penn State coaching legend, Jerry Sandusky, is also unusual.
Why the Governor would impose himself on such a meeting has not been explained. But his interest in going to the meeting raises questions about Corbett’s previous role or non-role in the Sandusky case.
In 1998, according to the recently released two-year grand jury report into the charges, the then Centre County District Attorney, Ray Gricar, had reviewed allegations against Sandusky, including a police report of two conversations secretly recorded by police of Sandusky admitting to the mother of an 11 year-old boy inappropriate behavior with her son.
Despite this, and additional evidence from a “lengthy” internal investigation by Penn State into Sandusky, District Attorney Gricar, with a reputation for rectitude and integrity, decided not to press charges against Sandusky.
A reasonable question is whether a straight-arrow DA like Gricar, a Republican, when confronted with an unprecedentedly explosive case involving a major Pennsylvania institution and personage, would turn to a superior to confer on the case. A person to whom Gricar might naturally turn would be the Pennsylvania Attorney General. In 1998, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania was D. Michael Fisher, a Republican in the Tom Ridge administration
Gricar stayed in office for several years after the first investigation. As the grand jury report has pointed out, there were other eye witnessed accounts of Sandusky sexually assaulting young boys during those years, between 1998 and 2005.
It is again reasonable that reports of those incidents reached District Attorney Gricar. In 2004, the Attorney General for the state of Pennsylvania was current Gov. Tom Corbett.
With mounting evidence against Sandusky, did Gricar confer with the Attorney General Corbett about prosecution of Sandusky? The Governor should answer that question.
In 2005, District Attorney Ray Gricar went missing and his body nor a trace of his existence has been found. His hard drive on his computer was destroyed.
The charges against Jerry Sandusky are sickening and unfathomable. But if there was a squelching of these crimes years ago, directed at the highest levels of state law enforcement, that is equally disgusting and should be investigated thoroughly.