Pennsylvania’s auditor general is looking at just why The Second Mile was slated to receive state money.
On Monday, Eugene DePasquale announced that his office will be investigating one grant in particular.
The Second Mile, the charity for at-risk children started by former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, provided services in multiple counties for four decades. A $3 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant was approved for the group in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
It was at about the same time that the then-retired Sandusky was indicted for child sex abuse crimes. He was convicted on 45 of 48 counts of those crimes in 2012. The victims in that trial were 10 young men who were Second Mile kids.
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The grant was later rescinded.
DePasquale said the investigation is not an audit of The Second Mile.
“We’re auditing the capital budget program overall,” he said. “We are looking at what did get awarded and what didn’t. It’s just one of the ones we want to look at. We’re looking at projects all over the state.”
However, DePasquale is not unaware of the attention the Sandusky connection will bring.
“There is no question this is one we know is of great interest, but we’re not going in just because it’s The Second Mile,” he said.
The Second Mile was dissolved in March after a slow slog through the court system. A judge oversaw the divestiture of funds and property to another charity, and the sale of 60 acres of ground in Patton Township for $1.05 million.
At the time of dissolution, assets were listed at $750,000. Those funds were transferred to the Office of Attorney General for administration. The OAG said then that anyone with a claim against The Second Mile had 120 days to do so. That timeline will be up in July.
The Auditor General’s Office said there was no attempt to address anything regarding funds in the audit. Spokeswoman Susan Woods said it would be premature to discuss any potential outcome.
The Second Mile has recently been in the news as state Solicitor General Bruce Castor has proposed the idea of investigating the charity. DePasquale said that was not part of his reasoning in picking the group as part of his audit.
“This is why it rose: I want to make sure the taxpayers are getting the biggest bang for their buck on job creation and community benefit,” he said. “I want to know, how did it stack up?”
Sandusky remains incarcerated at Greene state prison in Waynesburg, serving a 30- to 60-year sentence. He maintains his innocence and is in the midst of a Post Conviction Relief Act petition, seeking a new trial.
Penn State has paid out almost $93 million to 32 claimants.