Attorney General Kathleen Kane taps former prosecutor to lead internal Sandusky review

mdawson@centredaily.comFebruary 5, 2013 

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has appointed a former federal prosecutor to take on the review of how her predecessors handled investigating Jerry Sandusky, a promise the state’s top law enforcement officer made on the campaign trail and parlayed into a win at the polls.

Kane announced on Monday the appointment of H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr., who will report directly to her and have the internal review as his only responsibility. In addition to Moulton’s eight years as a federal prosecutor, he has worked as a law professor and he compiled a report about the failed federal raid of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993.

“Mr. Moulton is a highly respected former federal prosecutor who will assist us in providing a comprehensive and independent examination of the facts surrounding the handling of the Sandusky investigation,” Kane said in a news release announcing the hire.

Kane has said she will release the findings when the investigation is complete. She has said the investigation would review any and all pieces of information, such as grand jury transcriptions, evidence, media leaks, police reports and interviews.

“We’ll leave no stone unturned, and we will do it in a timely manner,” Kane said in an interview with the Centre Daily Times in January. “I’m not taking anything off of the table. There isn’t anyone we aren’t going to talk to if they have relevant information, and there isn’t any area that I’m going to avoid.”

Moulton’s pay will be $72.24 an hour, a spokeswoman for the attorney general said.

Kane, a Democrat who was sworn into office Jan. 15, said her office would begin the review on her first full day. The appointment comes about three weeks after she took office.

On the campaign trail leading up to November’s election, Kane questioned why it took her predecessors so long to bring charges against Sandusky, who was first accused of abuse by Aaron Fisher in Clinton County in 2009 but not arrested until November 2011.

In the CDT interview last month, Kane criticized her predecessors’ use of a grand jury to investigate the child abuse allegations, saying it slowed the process of taking a predator off the street. She said she had no plans to use the grand jury for the internal review.

But prosecutors in the Sandusky case, in an interview with the CDT after a court hearing for Sandusky in January, stood by the use of the grand jury.

Prosecutor Frank Fina said the allegations by Fisher, who was known as Victim 1 in the grand jury presentment, might not have been enough for a conviction. A loss could have scared away other victims from coming forward, and so prosecutors sought to strengthen their case by gathering evidence through the grand jury.

Fina resigned at the end of former attorney general Linda Kelly’s term and now works in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

During Moulton’s time as a federal prosecutor, he served four years as first assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia. In that role, he ran an office of 130 lawyers and supervised all major cases, Kane said.

From 2009 to 2011, Moulton, an associate professor at Widener University’s law school, held senior positions in the federal government, including a job as chief counsel to U.S. Sen. Ted Kaufman, of Delaware.

Moulton also was a law clerk for former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawson.

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