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Tags: Corbett | Penn | State | Case

Gov. Corbett Can’t Have It Both Ways in Penn State Case

By    |   Monday, 19 December 2011 04:09 PM EST

What’s the relationship between the following?

1. “Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s national profile rises in the wake of Penn State scandal.”

2. “Corbett has been mentioned as a VP candidate.”

They are inversely proportional. Typically a rising profile is good, but as the nation learns about some very disturbing actions of Corbett related to the scandal, his veep chances are now between zero and forgetaboutit.

Why the cover-up, and how far did it go? Why the lack of swift action from the University and law enforcement? And how could football have risen above the protection of children?

These questions were supposed to be answered by the state attorney general’s office. But as more information emerges, the less faith people have that justice will be served.

Enter Corbett.

In feeling compelled to address the national media, he said more than he had in his entire governorship, despite not answering most questions.

Interestingly, Corbett is wearing three hats: governor of a state that contributes millions to Penn State, a PSU Trustee who participated in Joe Paterno’s firing, and most significantly, the former attorney general who launched the investigation of former coach Jerry Sandusky in 2009.

Corbett wants it all: national publicity where he touts morality, and a free pass on accountability because of alleged confidentiality issues. But that tactic has backfired, as the more that is learned about Corbett’s actions (and inactions), the more his credibility tanks.


1. It took longer for the AG’s office to bring charges against Sandusky than it did to indict numerous politicians in the wide-ranging and complex Bonusgate corruption probe.

So how can that come to fruition quicker than a black-and-white child rape case? And where is the rule against making an arrest to get the molester off the street while continuing to build the case?

Given the possibility that children were molested during the investigation (now alleged, according to two victims), why did the attorney general assign only one investigator for 15 months?

If the answer is limited resources, try again. Giving priority to at-risk children is a no-brainer. But that wasn’t done.

The governor defends his actions, scolding those who dare question him, by stating that cases take time and that he can’t comment, but three years? That’s an insult, especially to the victims. You can’t have it both ways, grandstanding for political points but clamming up after tough questions.

Many are now asking if the investigation was delayed so that Corbett could avoid being the candidate who took down Joe Paterno and Penn State, both wildly popular in Pennsylvania.

2. In yet another instance of Corbett finishing what former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell started, the governor personally approved a $3 million taxpayer-funded grant to Sandusky’s Second Mile charity!

With full knowledge that Sandusky was under investigation for multiple child rapes, he still approved the money. How is that possible? And why is the national media not running with this?

In an offensive response, his spokesman said, “(Corbett) couldn't block that (grant) from going forward because of what he knew as attorney general . . . He couldn't let on what he knew.”

That is so wrong that it begs the question as to the real motivation.

The grand jury investigation was anything but secret, since it was reported in March. Corbett approved the funds in July! So not wanting to “let on” was clearly bogus.

He could simply struck it, since it would have been seen as a casualty of cutbacks, but didn’t. Why?

Well, consider that board members of the charity, along with their businesses and families, have donated more than $640,000 to Corbett since 2003.

That massively significant point slipped the governor’s mind during press conferences.

The Board cannot conduct an unbiased investigation, nor can the local police or the attorney general’s office. And nothing emanating from the governor can be taken at face value. Something is rotten to the core. The Feds need to take the lead, and that includes possibly looking into the AG’s investigation.

In discussing why Paterno was fired, the governor said, “the Board lost confidence in his ability to lead.”

With so many opportunities to play it straight, Corbett hasn’t done so. And that has caused many to lose confidence in his ability to lead.

In The American President, Richard Dreyfuss suggests that being president “was, to a certain extent, about character.” And Michael Douglas replies, “being president is entirely about character.”

Character isn’t limited to the Oval Office. It resides in everyone, including governors, trustees, coaches, police, and investigators.

Let’s demand that a basic legal and moral principle be followed: Fiat justitia ruat caelum. "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

The victims deserve no less.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter. He can be reached at

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What s the relationship between the following?1. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett s national profile rises in the wake of Penn State scandal. 2. Corbett has been mentioned as a VP candidate. They are inversely proportional. Typically a rising profile is good, but as...
Monday, 19 December 2011 04:09 PM
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