The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is arguing to strike a witness certification in Jerry Sandusky’s petition for a new trial.
The witness? Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Peterson filed a motion in Centre County court protesting the certification Sandusky’s attorneys filed Monday.
“Counsel for Sandusky provided the solicitor general ... with a rough draft of the witness certification for ... Kane late in the afternoon of May 5, 2016, for the purpose of reviewing the proposed certification with the attorney general,” Peterson wrote.
The solicitor general is Bruce Castor, the personal attorney of Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller. Castor is also a special assistant district attorney in Centre County, sworn into that position in April 2015 amid the battle between the DA’s office and a host of others, including the county, the commissioners, a judge and several lawyers.
Peterson said Castor advised Sandusky’s attorneys on Monday that he had reviewed the document with Kane and told them she did not agree with and would not testify to “factual assertions suggested” in the document.
“No notice was provided to the solicitor general or any other member of the OAG that counsel for Sandusky intended to file the witness certification in advance of the filing deadline, or that such a certification would be filed prior to Sandusky’s counsel receiving a response with respect to the rough draft that had been submitted for review,” Peterson wrote.
Sandusky’s attorneys had until Thursday to file the certification.
Peterson said a telephone conference between the OAG and the defense attorneys, as well as the court, was held, where Kane’s representatives said the certification was “inaccurate to the proposed testimony.”
According to the certification, Sandusky’s attorneys said they believed Kane would testify that Frank Fina, the OAG prosecutor in Sandusky’s 2012 child sex abuse trial, did not investigate leaks from the grand jury that returned Sandusky’s indictment, and that “under attorney Fina’s watch, the grand jury presentment was improperly leaked by being placed on a website, which could only have been done by the government and that no witness could have leaked that information.”
Kane is charged with leaking grand jury information in a different case, and recently filed a motion to quash on the basis of “selective and vindictive prosecution.”
Sandusky’s attorneys raised the specter of that case in their most recent hearing in front of McKean County Senior Judge John Cleland, specially presiding in Centre County on the Sandusky case. Cleland offered them the opportunity to add the certification for Kane.
Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse crimes. He is serving a 30- to 60- year sentence at Greene state prison in Waynesburg. He will be in Centre County again on May 20 for another argument in his Post-Conviction Relief Act petition.