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Pennsylvania state officials conceal radiation-contaminated student housing
Documentary wins top prize at international film festival
Freeh Report ignores obvious question:
What about Tom Corbett?
Read the entire essay on Penn State, Jerry Sandusky and Gov. Tom Corbett.
1. Busted: Narcotics agent nabs Jerry Sandusky
2. 'JoePa' takes the fall: A slow Tom Corbett throws Joe Paterno under the bus
3. The Magic Moment: Six decades of Pennsylvania governors, AGs, and the state Republican Party
Part 1 The Appointed Years 1950 to 1980 >
Part 2 The Elective Years 1980 to 1995 >
An insider's timeline of the Corbett/Sandusky/PSU scandal
A timeline decades in the making
Editor's note: There is more to the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky scandal than meets the eye, associates of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett say.
Events took place over decades, many people are involved, and it is a complex story. To help sort out key events, yardbird.com and NewsLanc have put together a detailed timeline based on public record, published accounts, and information from those close to the situation. This timeline serves as an introduction and guide to articles that will soon follow.
The connections among pedophilia, illegal drugs, and politics in the state attorney general's office suggests that, like an iceberg, there is much more beneath the surface than the Sandusky pedophilia charges indicate.
1950: Joe Paterno is hired by Penn State as an assistant football coach.
1966: Joe Paterno is named head coach of Penn State football team.
Coach Joe Paterno in the 1960s
1969: Jerry Sandusky is hired as assistant coach at Penn State. Sandusky and his wife begin adopting their first of six children.
1977: Sandusky forms the Second Mile charity. The foundation takes its name from Matthew 5:38-41: "Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles." (Catholic) "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two." (King James version)
1995: Sandusky's adopted son, Matt, attempts suicide shortly after moving in with the Sanduskys, prompting Matt's probation officer to write letters to a judge saying that she was concerned about Matt's "safety and his current progress."
October 3, 1995: Tom Corbett is appointed Pennsylvania Attorney General following the resignation of AG Ernie Preate, who is indicted on federal mail fraud and corruption charges for taking payoffs from organized crime and gambling interests. Interim AG Corbett fills out Preate's term until January 22, 1997. In late 1996, AG Corbett learns of an ongoing sex ring in York, Pennsylvania, involving Republican State Senator Dan Delp and dozens of other "VIPs." AG Corbett intentionally cripples or otherwise bungles that investigation, York city officials assert. The York sex ring continues unabated.
May 1998 : Report of Jerry Sandusky in PSU shower room lifting Victim 6 up to shower head. After Sandusky brought her son home with wet hair, Victim 6's mother reports the incident to Penn State University police. The complaint was referred to Ray Gricar, the District Attorney of Centre County. The case was first assigned to Centre County Assistant DA Karen Arnold. Arnold had the case for "two or three days," she says, and then DA Gricar took the case from her, saying he (Gricar) was going to personally handle it. No charges were filed.
Ron Schreffler of the PSU police department originally referred the Sandusky case to the DA's office in 1998. Schreffler was an investigator with the university police department. He handled the original 1998 Sandusky complaint. Schreffler in those days oversaw most of the important investigations at the university, including those involving drugs, football betting, arson and bomb incidents. Schreffler helped produce the 100-plus-page report about the 1998 Sandusky incident that was referred to DA Gricar. That report has become one of the more sought after MacGuffins in the current media paper chase for Sandusky documents.
May 1999: Coach Joe Paterno tells Sandusky that Sandusky will not be named Paterno's replacement as head PSU football coach, and Sandusky retires with emeritus status. Sandusky still has access to Penn State facilities. The grand jury presentment states: "Victim 4 remembers Sandusky being emotionally upset after having a meeting with Joe Paterno in which Paterno told Sandusky he would not be the next head coach at Penn State and which preceded Sandusky's retirement. Sandusky told Victim 4 not to tell anyone about the (Paterno) meeting. That meeting occurred in May, 1999."
Fall 2000: PSU janitor James Calhoun reports to other janitors that he witnessed Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy in the Lasch Building shower room.
Paterno talks things over with Mike McQueary
March 1, 2002 (or is it February 2001?): Graduate assistant Mike McQueary says he observes Sandusky apparently having anal sex with a young boy in the Lasch Building shower room. That night McQueary talks with his father and discusses what to do. The next day, McCreary meets with Coach Joe Paterno and tells Paterno explicitly what he had observed. Paterno tells McQueary, "‘Well, I'm sorry you had to see that. It's terrible.' And he said, ‘I need to think and tell some people about what you saw and I'll let you know what — what we'll do next.'" (December 16, 2011 preliminary hearing transcript page 26.) Paterno reports the incident to his boss, PSU Director of Athletics, Tim Curley, the following Monday. The grand jury presentment reads (page 8): "Schultz testified that he was called to a meeting with Joe Paterno and Tim Curley, in which Paterno reported ‘disturbing' and ‘inappropriate' conduct in the shower by Sandusky upon a young boy, as reported to him by a student or graduate student."
The presentment further reads (page 7): "Approximately one and a half weeks later, the graduate assistant was called to a meeting with Penn State Athletic Director Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz. The graduate assistant reported to Curley and Schultz that he had witnessed what he believed to be Sandusky having anal sex with a boy in the Lasch Building showers. Curley and Schultz assured the graduate assistant that they would look into it and determine what further action they would take. Paterno was not present for this meeting."
In May 2012, the AG's office would file court papers stating these incidents allegedly occured not in March 2002, but in February 2001, some 13 months before the grand jury originally reported.
Late March 2002: Curley contacts McQueary to say that Sandusky no longer has keys to the PSU locker room, and that the incident has been reported to Second Mile charity. Curley and Schultz meet with PSU President Graham Spanier, according to the grand jury presentment, "to report an incident with Jerry Sandusky that made a member of Curley's staff ‘uncomfortable.'"
The presentment reads (page 7): "The graduate assistant heard back from Curley a couple of weeks later. He was told that Sandusky's keys to the locker room were taken away and that the incident had been reported to The Second Mile. The graduate assistant was never questioned by University Police. … Curley testified that he informed Dr. Jack Raykovitz, Executive Director of the Second Mile of the conduct reported to him and met with Sandusky to advise Sandusky that he was prohibited from bringing youth onto the Penn State campus from that point forward."
The presentment further relates (page 9) that: "Schultz testified that the 1998 incident was reviewed by the University Police and 'the child protection agency' with the blessing of then-University counsel Wendell Courtney. Courtney was then and remains counsel for The Second Mile."
January 18, 2005: Tom Corbett is sworn in as Pennsylvania's 46th Attorney General, having won election the previous November.
DA Ray Gricar with AG Tom Corbett at March 31, 2005 drug bust press conference
March 31, 2005: AG Corbett holds a press conference with Centre County DA Ray Gricar to announce the prosecution of Taji "Verbal" Lee in the "largest heroin operation that we have ever seen in Centre County, feeding a drug trade that stretched throughout the region and allegedly resulted in at least one deadly overdose," AG Corbett says. Senior Deputy Attorney General Michael T. Madeira, who works in AG Corbett's Drug Strike Force Section, will prosecute this drug case, AG Corbett announces. The State College newspaper reports that, "Gricar pointed out that heroin and cocaine were problems that have been increasing throughout Pennsylvania."
April 15, 2005: Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar vanishes.
April 20, 2005 : Days after DA Gricar's disappearance, a former Brigham Young University offensive lineman makes a splash in the national press by saying there is widespread steroid use in college athletics, including at BYU.
April 2005: In a press conference in Bellefonte, PA, Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon, when asked about a possible connection between DA Gricar's disappearance and drug cases, says, "They're looking into that." Referring to decisions already made in Attorney General Corbett's office, Dixon says, "they don't think" drug cases had anything to do with DA Gricar's strange disappearance. Though Chief Dixon has jurisdiction in the missing person case, he cedes authority in this area to the attorney general's office. Chief Dixon points out that the recent "Verbal" Lee heroin case, for example, was not actually prosecuted by DA Gricar, but by Senior Deputy Attorney General Michael Madeira.
Former Corbett drug prosecutor and DA Gricar replacement Michael Madeira
January 2006: Tom Corbett's drug prosecutor, former Deputy Attorney General Michael Madeira, is sworn in as the new district attorney of Centre County, replacing missing DA Ray Gricar. There is still no serious investigation of Ray Gricar's disappearance. Instead, unsubstantiated reports in the press of Gricar sightings are treated as reasons not to suspect foul play.
March 2009: Citing a personal conflict of interest between himself and Jerry Sandusky, Centre County DA Madeira refers a pedophile complaint or complaints involving Sandusky to his former boss, Pennsylvania AG Corbett. Corbett associates say Corbett makes it clear to his staff that he does not want to prosecute the Sandusky case, and effectively places the Sandusky investigation in limbo.
Between May to September 2009: Pennsylvania's two statewide grand juries are in recess, as normal, for summer.
September 14, 2009: AG Tom Corbett formally announces that he is running for governor of Pennsylvania. The Harrisburg Patriot-News -driven "Bonusgate" scandal becomes the core of Corbett's political campaign for governor. The Patriot portrays AG Corbett as a corruption-fighting crime buster.
There are only two statewide grand juries at any time, each with 18-month terms. Grand jurors only meet part time, a few hours each week. In an effort to get Tom Corbett elected governor, the grand jury time is by now almost totally saturated by "Bonusgate" matters.
December 10, 2009: Acquittal in "Bonusgate" trial of former state Rep. Sean Ramaley. Corbett fears for his election prospects. AG Corbett orders all the agents in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to drop whatever they are doing to perform background checks on approximately 350 potential jurors in the "Bonusgate" jury pool. Corbett says he suspects jury tampering by his political opponents. The Sandusky investigation continues to languish.
AG Corbett: Politicking when he should be prosecuting, then talking like a prosecutor when he's governor...
November 2, 2010: AG Tom Corbett is elected governor of Pennsylvania.
November 2010: First Deputy Attorney General William Ryan, a longtime career prosecutor in the AG's office, is mentioned in the state press as a logical contender for appointment as Corbett's replacement as attorney general.
Ryan however soon learns that he will be passed over by Corbett for the honor. Ryan is increasingly the de facto AG after the November election while Corbett is absorbed by the transition. Corbett associates say Ryan is "pissed off," and tells AG office staff that he will make no major changes or decisions until the permanent AG is sworn in sometime in 2011.
November 2010: AG Office Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control Agent Anthony Sassano, conducting a narcotics investigation, performs a "toll search" of telephone records and gets a hit on the office PACE system (Police Assisted Computerized Entry) that reveals to Sassano the Sandusky pedophile investigation that has stalled within the AG's office. Agent Sassano soon learns of the 1998 and 2002 pedophile complaints involving Sandusky.
Also in November 2010: AG's office investigators researching the 1998 and 2002 pedophile complaints against Sandusky recognize that the one person who has crucial information about the Sandusky Centre County pedophile investigation(s) — former DA Ray Gricar — has been missing for more than five years. This raises the question: What happened to Ray Gricar?
December 2010: Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary is finally put in front of the Thirtieth Statewide Grand Jury. This is what should have happened in March 2009, Corbett associates say. The grand jury presentment states, "The graduate assistant (McQueary) was never questioned by University Police and no other entity conducted an investigation until he testified in Grand Jury in December, 2010."
January 12, 2011: Penn State officials Curley and Shultz are called to the grand jury. Coach Joe Paterno also testifies before the grand jury in January 2011. Curley and Shultz tell the grand jury that they were never told by McQueary of any sexual contact. The grand jury will charge Curley and Schultz with perjury.
Magic Moment prosecutor: 'Pissed off' that he's been passed over for AG, Acting Attorney General William Ryan says he won't make any major decisions ...
January 18, 2011: Tom Corbett is sworn in as governor of Pennsylvania. At the moment of Corbett's inauguration, per the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, First Deputy AG William Ryan automatically becomes Acting AG. This is a "Magic Moment." Acting AG Ryan and the other professional staff are not beholden to politics or politicians, as they have been for some years.
Late January 2011: The Thirtieth Statewide Grand Jury's term expires.
Late January 2011: Seven additional state police and AG office agents are assigned to the Sandusky case.
February 8, 2011: Gov. Corbett officially nominates Linda Kelly to succeed him as attorney general. The state senate won't confirm Kelly until May 23, 2011. Until she is confirmed, William Ryan remains Acting AG.
February 2011: New Thirty-Third Statewide Grand Jury is convened.
February 2011: Karen Arnold, the former assistant district attorney who originally handled the Sandusky case in 1998 for DA Ray Gricar, is asked to testify before the Thirty-Third Statewide Grand Jury. It is a totally new grand jury that uses information from the former grand jury(s).
March 10, 2011: Arnold testifies before the grand jury. Arnold will later say there are aspects of the Sandusky case ignored by the grand jury.
May 23, 2011: AG nominee Linda Kelly is confirmed by the state senate and only now becomes Pennsylvania attorney general.
August 19, 2011: Gov. Tom Corbett appoints former Acting AG William Ryan as chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
November 2011: Grand jury presentment is released and Jerry Sandusky is charged with pedophile crimes.
November 2011 onward: PSU Coach Joe Paterno, and university president Graham Spanier both are fired at Gov. Tom Corbett's behest. A student riot ensues in State College. A new head football coach will be hired despite protests by Penn State alumni and players. There is no indication that anyone from the existing PSU football staff will be retained.
Want to know more? Read these Yardbird bestsellers about Pennsylvania attorneys general:
The Sins of Our Fathers: Moments before shooting himself to death at a news comference, Pennsylvania Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer implicated the PA attorney general in a deadly bribery conspiracy. Two young writers investigate, and find dark secrets about their hometown. Read more >
Or buy The Sins of Our Fathers paperback edition now!
Revised Second Edition
with a new afterword
Revised Second Edition
with a new afterword
169 pages, perfect bound
The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna: A year and a half before the disappearance of Pennsylvania DA Ray Gricar, Baltimore federal drug prosecutor Jonathan Luna mysteriously vanished from his office in downtown Baltimore, turning up dead in a stream in Lancaster, PA, stabbed dozens of times... Is it just us, or does it seem like lots of prosecutors are going missing in Pennsylvania? Read more >
We All Fall Down A Chronicle of an Impeachment Foretold: "In We All Fall Down, writer William Keisling tells the story of the impeachment of Pennsylvania state Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen, a once-popular Pittsburgh jurist. Larsen is prosecuted by corrupt Pennsylvania Attorney General Ernie Preate, shortly before AG Preate's own conviction on federal mail fraud and corruption charges. Keisling's account suggests that Larsen's impeachment was a blemish on democracy that should concern all Americans. Keisling describes the breakdown of nearly every democratic institution in the state that cradled American democracy."
Cloth cover, Smyth bound, 336 pages.
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