Jerry Sandusky will continue to fight for his pension.
The State Employees’ Retirement Board issued a 122-page opinion, deciding that Sandusky was still a Penn State employee beyond 2004, despite his 1999 retirement. That meant that the former Nittany Lions assistant football coach was subject to a state law that allows for forfeiture of a pension if convicted of certain crimes, including sexual crimes with students.
Sandusky has not received his $4,900 monthly pension since October 2012, attorney Chuck Benjamin said. Sandusky was convicted of multiple counts of child sex abuse in June 2012. He is serving 30 to 60 years at the state prison in Greene County.
According to Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System spokeswoman Pamela Hile, Sandusky has 30 days to file an appeal. Benjamin said that will be the next step.
“We certainly plan to appeal. It’s just part of the process. We just finished the administrative process and now we appeal to the court,” he said.
In June, a hearing examiner ruled that Sandusky was retired before the law changed in 2004, adding his crimes to the list meriting a forfeit, but the hearing board overruled that.
The board allowed into evidence the transcript of Sandusky’s criminal trial, which the examiner had excluded as irrelevant because the parties had already stipulated the facts of the conviction. However, the board decided “the transcripts were necessary to establish the facts and circumstances of the underlying criminal conduct that go to the nexus between (Sandusky) his employment, his crimes and the victims.”
“I think that for the SERS to say that Jerry somehow remained a Penn State employee after he retired from Penn State and went to work for (The Second Mile) is ridiculous and ignores reality,” wife Dottie Sandusky said in an email, The Associated Press reported. Sandusky’s wife would continue to receive half of his pension after his death, if it were reinstated.
The board found Sandusky to still be an employee based on things such as his continued use of an office and phone on campus, tickets to events and more, saying he “was directly involved as a liaison between Penn State and The Second Mile.
The Second Mile is the charity that Sandusky started to help at-risk youth. Victims included boys who were part of Second Mile programs.
The board decision was not unanimous. Hile said eight members of the board voted for the denial, with three siding with the hearing examiner.