Although officials at The Second Mile hope to move quickly to shift property and money to a Texas organization, we think all potential transactions must be frozen until the agency’s role in the Jerry Sandusky scandal is fully determined.
We understand the plea from remaining leaders at The Second Mile, who say they will be broke if the situation is not settled quickly.
We just don’t agree. On Friday, interim CEO Dave Woodle told CDT reporter Mike Dawson: “If they give us a hearing six months from now, it’s going to be too late.”
The Second Mile’s building on South Atherton Street in State College is for sale, along with land along Bernel Road in Patton Township once slated for relocation of the charity. That idea was nixed after the Sandusky scandal broke.
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The Second Mile did an internal investigation of the organization’s role in Sandusky’s activities. He was convicted in June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.
However, none of the agency’s findings were made public.
That leaves us with few answers on how the former Penn State assistant coach could have stalked and isolated his victims through Second Mile activities, as was described in testimony during his trial, without someone at the agency becoming suspicious.
The community deserves to know more.
And if anyone involved with The Second Mile was involved in a cover-up — such as was detailed in the Freeh report concerning leaders at Penn State — then similar legal action could be in order.
Former Penn State director of athletics Tim Curley and vice president for finance Gary Schultz are awaiting trial on charges of failure to report a crime and perjury. They are accused of lying to a grand jury concerning their knowledge of Sandusky’s acts.
Additionally, the late Joe Paterno and former university president Graham Spanier were fired by the board of trustees for their roles in the scandal, although Spanier has so far avoided legal entanglements.
But what of The Second Mile? Jack Raykovitz stepped down as CEO in November. He had been in that post for 28 years, including the period beginning in 1998 that was cited during testimony in the Sandusky trial.
Raykovitz has said little since his resignation.
The Second Mile continues to hold youth camps this summer.
And its plan is to turn over what remains of the charity to Arrow Child and Family Ministries Inc., of Houston. Not surprisingly, community support and donations to The Second Mile have declined since the Sandusky scandal broke.
Attorneys for Sandusky’s victims have asked the court to delay any release of Second Mile property until it can be determined if the organization has liability in the case.
Because Centre County’s judges all have ties to the organization or the university, an outside judge was appointed to preside over the transfer of assets to Arrow. Senior Judge William F. Morgan, of Warren and Forest counties, will handle the case.
The attorneys’ motivations are aimed at punitive damages for the victims, and we do side with them in this debate.
Our community deserves to know the full extent of The Second Mile’s involvement in Sandusky’s crimes.
The organization should not be permitted to sell off property and slip quietly away while Penn State and the rest of our community are left to clean up the mess.