Expenses rise for Kane’s review of how Attorney General’s Office handled Sandusky case

mdawson@centredaily.comMarch 3, 2014 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane meets with the Centre Daily Times editorial board on Wednesday, July 31, 2013.

CHRISTOPHER WEDDLE — CDT photo Buy Photo

The investigator reviewing the Jerry Sandusky case for state Attorney General Kathleen Kane was in Dallas last summer on the same day a victim and former prosecutor on the case spoke at a conference on child abuse in the Texas city.

A record of the trip to Dallas in August was included in documents released to the Centre Daily Times for an open-records request about the money paid to the special investigator, Geoffrey Moulton. He was hired last February to investigate why it took Kane’s predecessors, current Gov. Tom Corbett and Linda Kelly, more than two years to bring charges against Sandusky.

The documents reveal the review has cost $96,231.49 in wages and travel expenses, such as mileage reimbursement and hotel bills. The last date for wages was Feb. 14, and the last expense report was from late January.

But, the documents do shed some light on the confidential review about which Kane has said very little since it was launched. The records raise questions, too, about whether the two people at the conference, Aaron Fisher, the young man known as Victim 1, and Jonelle Eshbach, who assisted in conducting the grand jury investigation, were participants in Moulton’s review.

The gathering was the Crimes Against Children Conference at a Sheraton hotel in Dallas.

Moulton was in Dallas from Aug. 11 to 13 for what is described on an expense report only as a conference. Moulton stayed in a Sheraton hotel two nights and left the afternoon of Aug. 13.

Fisher gave the keynote address the morning of Aug. 12. He was the one whose allegations about Sandusky led to the investigation of the former Penn State coach.

Eshbach gave a presentation later that morning about the challenges of bringing a case against someone who is a celebrity. Eshbach was a senior deputy attorney general who assisted in the prosecution of the Sandusky case and left the office in September 2012.

Eshbach, who works as associate chief counsel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Maryland, declined to answer questions when reached by phone last week.

Joe Peters, a spokesman for Kane’s office, declined to comment, citing the attorney general’s no-comment policy until the review’s report is released.

Moulton’s expenses from the conference trip were $486.26, and that does not include his airfare.

The Dallas trip was the only one that took Moulton outside Harrisburg for the review, according to the expense records. He made 46 trips from his home in the Philadelphia suburbs to Harrisburg.

Moulton is working for $72 an hour and paid on a biweekly basis. Since March 1, 2013, he’s been paid a total of $88,860.91.

Moulton’s review was not as labor intensive at the start as it has been in the past few months, judging by the size of his paychecks.

Just one of the first seven paychecks topped $2,000. But since August, most of Moulton’s paychecks have been more than $4,000. Two of those were $5,580 and two more were almost $6,000.

Kane said in early February that “time-consuming challenges” had slowed Moulton’s review, and one of the most significant was difficulty in recovering emails from her predecessors’ administrations. She said her office has figured out a way to recover them and said the delays would be outlined in her report.

Kane also said the report has been delayed because some matters in the report are protected by grand jury secrecy. She said the judge presiding over the grand jury will have to approve the report because it will contain information that has not yet been made public.

Moulton does not have subpoena power, but he has interviewed a “wide range of witnesses,” Kane said in early February.

Moulton was paid $2,897 in mileage reimbursement, and he was paid $3,557 as reimbursement for hotel costs.

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