Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Penn State files paperwork to sue The Second Mile

For more than five years, as Penn State’s name is repeatedly linked to law suits involving Jerry Sandusky, some people have asked one question.

What about The Second Mile?

That question may have started to be answered.

On Friday, attorneys for Penn State filed paperwork to take the first steps in a suit against the defunct charity and former executive director Jack Raykovitz. The specifics of what the university is suing for and why are not yet detailed.

The Second Mile was Sandusky’s charity for at-risk youth. Sandusky was convicted of 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse against young boys from the charity. He is serving 30 to 60 years in state prison, but is in the midst of a Post-conviction Collateral Relief Act petition seeking a new trial or dismissal of charges.

Meanwhile, Penn State has picked up a lot of bills because of the criminal case, as well as the many other civil issues and other consequences that have spidered out from it.

The university paid $93 million in settlements to 32 claimants. There was the $60 million penalty under the NCAA sanctions, which were settled, making the final figure $48 million to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and another $12 million that stayed in-house at Penn State but dedicated to research and programming to address child maltreatment. Then there was the $8 million for the Freeh report, $2.4 million in Clery Act penalties and yet another $12.3 million that was awarded to former assistant coach Mike McQueary for his whistleblower suit.

And there are legal fees — lots and lots of legal fees.

Former FBI director Louis Freeh, in a blistering statement released after former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s conviction in March, put the total cost of the Sandusky incident at over a quart of a billion dollars

The praecipe for a writ of summons against the charity was not unexpected. Alexander Bilius, the Saul Ewing attorney who signed the paperwork, previously submitted responses to the court suggesting that such a suit would be forthcoming.

“The university hereby states that in addition to filing claims for indemnification against The Second Mile and/or its insurers, the university also may file other claims against those entities and/or against officers or members of the board of directors. ... The university reserves all rights with respect to all of the claims it may file against these entities and individuals,” Bilus told the court in 2016.

Why did he make that statement? Penn State was submitting a response to a petition of dissolution for the charity. The court acted on that in March 2016, putting all assets in the hands of the Office of the Attorney General, which said the funds came in at about $750,000.

The university followed up the statement with a proof of claims filed in July 2016.

“The university filed the writ against the Second Mile in order to preserve its rights to pursue claims against it. We have no further comment at this time,” Penn State said in a statement.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce