The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

October 15, 2012

House GOP blocks vote on Sandusky resolution

HARRISBURG — A state House resolution asking for a federal investigation into Pennsylvania prosecutors’ handling of the Jerry Sandusky case appeared to be dead for the current legislative session Monday after Republicans blocked another effort to bring it to a vote.

The House voted several times against a Democratic-led attempt to bring to the measure to the floor. The resolution was largely symbolic and would carry no legal weight with the U.S. attorney’s office or FBI.

Its supporters want the Justice Department to look into whether the three-year probe of allegations against the former Penn State assistant football coach took too long and put children’s safety at risk.

Sandusky plans to appeal his conviction after being sentenced last week to at least 30 years in state prison for sexually abusing 10 boys. The scandal led to the firing of longtime coach Joe Paterno and criminal charges against two Penn State administrators for allegedly failing to properly report suspected child abuse and perjury.

Penn State confirmed federal prosecutors have sought a wide range of Sandusky-related materials from the university, but the target and nature of that investigation are unclear.

“In fact, an FBI investigation is taking place, coincident with the work that is being done by the attorney general’s office,” said Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, during floor debate.

Democratic Whip Mike Hanna, D-Clinton, said it was “absolutely inexcusable” that Republican leaders had canceled the final two days in November of the current two-year legislative session, leaving too little time to bring up discharge resolutions.

“This resolution is about protecting Pennsylvania’s children,” Hanna said. “Nothing should be more important to the members of this body.”

The issue has clear political overtones. The Sandusky investigation began under Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, when he was attorney general. The pace of the investigation, which did not become public until after he was sworn in as governor, has been a topic of much criticism and speculation.

Corbett has said the amount of time was needed to ensure prosecutors would be able to secure a conviction, while critics have said child molestation cases normally do not take nearly as long as Sandusky’s did.

Sandusky, 68, was arrested in November and convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. Corbett’s office has repeatedly pointed to that verdict as vindication of decisions made during the investigation.

The resolution, introduced in December, called for the federal government “to completely investigate why the Office of Attorney General took so long to investigate this matter and to finally take action to remove Mr. Sandusky from further contact with minors.”

The trial of Tim Curley, the school’s athletic director on leave, and Gary Schultz, a retired university vice president, is scheduled for January in Harrisburg. Both men have repeatedly denied the allegations against them.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 4/20/2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads