Investigation To Focus On Governor’s Handling Of Penn State Abuse Case

Pennsylvania’s new attorney general is set to name a special prosecutor in the coming days to investigate Gov. Tom Corbett’s handling of the case, specifically why nearly three years elapsed before criminal charges were brought, The New York Times reports.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat elected in November, confirmed her plans in an interview here. She suggested that when he was attorney general Mr. Corbett, a Republican, slow-walked the investigation of a longtime football coach at the center of the scandal while campaigning for governor.

Mr. Corbett, who was elected in 2010, has flatly rejected the suggestion that he delayed the case.

But polls show that a majority of Pennsylvania voters are critical of his handling of the investigation, and Ms. Kane’s inquiry is likely to cast a shadow over his bid for a second term in 2014.

Mr. Corbett, 63, recently returned to the Penn State matter, an unhealed wound for many Pennsylvanians even after the conviction last year of the former coach, Jerry Sandusky, for molesting eight boys. In early January, the governor brought a lawsuit to lift the stiff penalties imposed on Penn State by the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a result of the episode.

The suit seeks to rescind a $60 million fine, a four-year ban on postseason football games and the forfeit of 112 Penn State football victories over a dozen years. It was filed six months after Mr. Corbett called on Pennsylvanians to accept the punishment, and it was widely viewed as calculated to win support from the legions of alumni who bleed Penn State blue and white.

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