A Democratic-led effort to debate whether to have federal authorities look into how the Jerry Sandusky investigation was handled caused the abrupt end to Wednesday’s House session. The resolution would urge the U.S. Attorney General to investigate the way then state Attorney General Tom Corbett’s office handled the Sandusky situation.
“There are so many unanswered questions by elected officials and the public and if we do an investigation, no matter what we find out, it will bring closure to this case,” said Representative Brandon Neuman (D-North Strabane), one of the cosponsors of the resolution.
Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in June, following a lengthy investigation that started under then-attorney general Tom Corbett, who is now governor.
“One of the questions we have is why, with the three year investigation, why was Jerry Sandusky allowed to be around children with no restrictions during those three years, knowing there was credible evidence that he was a pedophile,” said Neuman.
On Wednesday House Democrats tried to bring the proposal for a federal investigation up for a vote through a so-called discharge resolution. When that happened, House Speaker Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) put the House in recess.
Neuman said the measure has been sitting in committee for several months, and cannot be called up with less than six days left in a session, hence the discharge resolution. The House has four days in session later this month and four more after the election, so Neuman said time is running out, though he added there will likely be another chance in 2013.
“I’m sure somebody will take it upon themselves to issue a similar resolution,” he said, “unless there’s some answers to the questions that everybody’s asking, there needs to be an investigation so we can be confident our attorney general did everything he could do keep Jerry Sandusky away from children.”
Governor Tom Corbett’s spokesman Kevin Harley says Democrats are playing politics and their effort to bring in the federal government will "revictimize" Sandusky's victims. Sandusky is scheduled for sentencing next week.