Government
9:17 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Corbett Tackles the Lottery and Agrees to Cooperate with Sandusky Investigation

The governor’s office is still reviewing the lone bid submitted to run the Pennsylvania Lottery.  The bid came from a British company after months of behind the scenes work.         

Governor Corbett is downplaying his misgivings about gambling when discussing its potential expansion in the state.

“The question is, is there more gambling?  Yes.  Is there a benefit to it?  Yes.  Am I concerned about gambling addiction?  Yes,” said Corbett. “But it is going on.  And I’m looking at, you know, can we get more revenue for senior projects, for senior programs.”

Corbett’s answer came during a lengthy interview with reporters in the governor’s office, one of a very few such chats with Capitol reporters he’s conducted since he’s been in office.

Democrats have criticized the manner in which the Corbett administration has explored leasing the state’s lottery operations to a private firm.  When only one company made a bid on the Lottery, some accused the administration of setting up a “sweetheart deal.” 

Corbett said his office sought competition, and he doesn’t have an answer to why there was only one bidder.  The bid is currently under review.

Helping on Sandusky review

Governor Corbett also said he would, in theory, agree to talk with prosecutors tasked with investigating the handling of the prosecution of convicted child abuser Jerry Sandusky.

Democratic Attorney General elect, Kathleen Kane, campaigned on a pledge to investigate how the case was pursued under Corbett when he was Attorney General.

Corbett has criticized the promise as playing politics with what he calls a plainly successful case that put a predator behind bars. 

But when asked if he would agree to sit down for an interview with Kane’s investigators, he said: "probably."

“I’d have to see – if I believe it’s a political game, no.  If I believe that they want to know exactly what was going on when I was there, and my thought process, sure.”

He suggested Kane would need to use outside prosecutors, so the people interviewing him aren’t the very staff members under his direction while he was heading the Attorney General’s office.

Kane has criticized the office’s use of a grand jury to press charges against Sandusky, who is currently serving an effective life sentence in prison. 

She has said grand juries are notorious for taking a long time, and that Sandusky should have been arrested sooner.