Despite Thursday's indictment against former Penn State President Graham Spanier, the Attorney General’s office isn’t calling the investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal a closed case.
" There are other things that probably require some attention and further investigation, and I’m not going to comment further,” said Attorney General Linda Kelly.
Spanier was charged with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children and conspiracy for trying to hush up child molestation allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz, who were indicted last year, were charged with new counts of endangering the welfare of children, obstruction and conspiracy.
Not Politically Motivated
The charges come less than a week before Election Day, and the handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation has been an issue of some contention in the state attorney general race. But Kelly says the charges are simply “ripe” now.
“The grand jury has completed its process. The presentment has been returned and I can tell you unequivocally, the charges being filed today (Thursday) have no relationship to any election.”
Spanier’s lawyers issued a written statement calling the charges the work of Governor Corbett, trying to divert attention away from the three-year investigation of Sandusky, which began under his tenure as attorney general. Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley denied Spanier's allegations.
“Graham Spanier’s statement is the ranting of a man who has just been indicted for covering up for a convicted pedophile.”
In a statement, Penn State says Spanier will be placed on leave immediately. He had been a tenured professor, but on sabbatical leave. Penn State says Curley, who has been on administrative leave, will not have his contract renewed next June. Schultz is retired.
A-G Won't Speculate Whether Paterno Would Have Been Charged
The grand jury presentment detailing charges against mentions Joe Paterno frequently. The late football coach died in January. He was evidently in touch with Spanier and the other administrators now charged with covering up what they knew about allegations that Sandusky had abused young boys. The same was noted several months ago by the university’s internal investigation. But Attorney General Linda Kelly doesn’t address, head-on, questions about whether Paterno would have been facing similar charges as Spanier if he were still alive.
" I’m not going to speculate or comment on Mr. Paterno’s relationship to this investigation. He’s deceased, and that’s the end of it. "
The grand jury presentment also writes that Spanier considered Paterno something of a wild card. It describes Spanier being “disturbed” that he was in the dark about what Paterno was telling police.