Conklin calls for impartial investigation into Penn State response to Jerry Sandusky case

mmorgan@centredaily.comFebruary 12, 2013 

A local legislator is calling for another investigation into Penn State’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal — this time from an impartial source.

State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, said the person for the job is new Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who already has pledged to investigate Gov. Tom Corbett’s handling of the Sandusky case.

“I’d love to see her looking at this in a nonbiased way and just strictly at the facts,” Conklin said. “I believe she’s the perfect person to do it.”

Conklin said he would like to see all the facts about Sandusky’s relationships with everyone involved and who the convicted child molester was as a person. He said he has always looked at former FBI director Louis Freeh’s report as the “Freeh opinion,” and Sunday’s Paterno report only cemented his desire for an impartial and thorough investigation.

He said he would help Kane in any way possible. State Sen John Yudichak, D-Luzerne, has also been an advocate for another investigation.

State Sen. Jake Corman is angry that the NCAA relied so heavily on the Freeh report in making the decision to sanction Penn State and hopes they would re-evaluate now that “significant doubt” about Freeh’s findings have been raised.

“The Freeh report is incomplete, he said. “To make the conclusions that they did — I thought this for a long time — was erroneous.”

Corman said since the beginning he has been calling for due process and waiting for all the facts to come out and called the Freeh report and the sanctions a “rush to judgment.”

He encourages everyone to read both reports in their entirety and not just summaries so they can form educated opinions on the findings. It’s something he said is especially important for Penn State President Rodney Erickson and the board of trustees.

He said the university officials must carefully go over both reports and make a public stand on whether they still support the findings of the Freeh report.

Conklin agreed that red flags were raised for him the moment he read Freeh’s 267-page document.

“I was always bewildered that the governor and the board of trustees accepted the Freeh report that was without any type of facts,” he said.

The representative said he is strongly against the sanctions and thinks the NCAA never had the right to impose them.

Corman said the next step is to wait for the trials of Tim Curley, Gary Schultz and Graham Spanier to hear the proceedings and see more of the facts come out.

The Paterno report includes findings of family attorney Wick Sollers, former U.S. attorney general and former Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh, FBI profiler Jim Clemente and Fred Berlin, the director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit.

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.

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