Court rules on whether Jerry Sandusky can get his pension back

Nov 13, 2015 1:46 PM by Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania court is ordering the state government to restore the pension of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys.

A Commonwealth Court panel ruled unanimously Friday that the State Employees' Retirement Board wrongly concluded Sandusky was a Penn State employee when he committed the crimes that were the basis for the pension forfeiture.

The pension is worth about $4,900 a month to Sandusky and his wife, Dottie.

The judges also ordered the board to pay back interest. They reinstated the pension retroactively to when the board ended it in October 2012 on the day he was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

Sandusky collected a $148,000 lump sum payment upon retirement in 1999. He's now 71.

On Thursday, a judge ruled that state prosecutors must turn over any documents they may have about deals between Sandusky's victims and their civil lawyers.

Judge John Cleland gave the attorney general's office a week to give him, under seal, any book contracts, contingency fee agreements or similar materials involving any of the eight victims who testified against Sandusky.

The records also include speaking fees or "any other financial incentive to falsify ... testimony," Cleland wrote.

Sandusky attorney Al Lindsay said he will wait to see what, if anything, turns up.

"We're gratified to get anything we can get," he said.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office said it will review the order and respond accordingly.

Sandusky lost, however, other requests for information and for the power to subpoena people as he pursues an appeal of his 45-count conviction for child sexual abuse.

Cleland said the case did not meet the standard of exceptional circumstances that is required at this point in Sandusky's case to obtain the type of information he wants.

The judge wrote that Lindsay "appears to equate 'exceptional' with 'high profile.' However, it is not the case that must be 'exceptional.' The term exceptional in this context does not refer to the nature of the case - its notoriety, publicity or public interest."

Instead, he said, the term refers to exceptional circumstances that require the court to intervene in the interests of justice. It's not a substitute for "customary investigatory techniques," the judge wrote.

Sandusky wanted subpoena power to interview a young man he believes is Victim 2, the person seen by assistant coach Mike McQueary in a team shower with Sandusky in 2001. Cleland said Lindsay hasn't claimed the young man won't talk to him or that others won't testify if called to a hearing.

Victim 2 did not testify at trial, though a young man who says he is Victim 2 obtained a settlement from Penn State over his claims of abuse by Sandusky.

Cleland ruled last week that another aspect of Sandusky's request - information about grand jury proceedings that led to charges being filed - should be directed to the judge who currently supervises the panel.

Sandusky has already lost a direct appeal to the state Supreme Court. The appeal he is pursuing before Cleland, under the state's Post-Conviction Relief Act, is comparatively narrow in scope, confined to such topics as constitutional violations, newly discovered evidence and prosecutorial misconduct.


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