by Christopher Paslay
Last July, as PA’s education budget was getting slashed by over $1 billion, Tom Corbett personally approved a $3 million state grant to Jerry Sandusky’s Second Mile Foundation.
When you hear the names Tom and Jerry, most people think of a cartoon cat and mouse—not a gray-haired Republican governor who cut education spending in Pennsylvania by over $1 billion, and a retired football coach who is charged with 40 criminal counts of child sex abuse.
According to Brad Bumsted’s story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Gov. Tom Corbett on Wednesday defended personally approving a $3 million state grant to The Second Mile Foundation, which prosecutors contend provided sexual assault victims for its founder, former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.”
“The Second Mile had good purposes,” Corbett said. “I’d like to see it go forward. I don’t know whether it will be able to continue to go forward, and I hope there is a successor to the organization.”
Corbett has since given directions to pull back the $3 million grant.
The Second Mile may have had good purposes, but Corbett’s timing is suspect. He approved the $3 million state grant in July, despite the fact that at the time, Sandusky, the founder of Second Mile, was being investigated for child sex crimes.
Corbett insists otherwise. According to the article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Corbett said that denying the grant would have posed the potential to ‘compromise the investigation.’” But Corbett’s explanation for approving the grant still doesn’t pass the smell test, considering the fact that he was the one who began the investigation as attorney general before becoming governor, and should have blocked the Second Mile grant long before July.
State Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Penn Hills) said that Corbett’s explanation “doesn’t make sense to me,” because of the fact that Corbett had known about the investigation for so long.
Corbett’s approval of the Second Mile grant is indeed debatable. Not just because he was putting money into a foundation started by a possible pedophile, but because he was cutting funding to hundreds of needy public school districts across the state while doing so.