Thursday, November 1, 2012
ONLY AN INVESTIGATION WILL SORT THIS MESS OUT
If so, then today provides even more rationale for a probe of then-Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Corbett's lack of action that allowed a violent child-predator to walk the street for years after his heinous crimes came to light.
Agent Randy Feathers tells the Patriot News today that:
"'Anyone who sat through that trial knows it was a thorough investigation,' he said. 'I don't care what it looks like. I know because I was there. There was no holding back.'" (Patriot News 11/1/2012)
Yet, just hours later at the news conference to announce charges against former Penn State University President Graham Spanier, a reporter paraphrased State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan regarding why only one state trooper was assigned to the investigation for more than a year:
"Noonan: does not wish, in hindsight, for more personnel. 'there would have been nothing for them to do.'" (Ganim Tweet 11/1/2012)
Well, what was it? Was it the no-holds barred, aggressive, turn-over-every-stone, pursuit of a dangerous sex offender that Feathers described? Or, the leisurely investigation Noonan describes where only one trooper was enough?
It's tough to tell, given even Feathers contradicts himself nearly in the same breath:
"'I didn't want a whole lot of investigators on this case,' he continued. 'You don't want 20 different investigators going after a bunch of kids. You want to keep it as small as possible.'" (Patriot News 11/1/2012)
No holding back or keeping it as small as possible? Which was it?
Furthermore, it is becoming murky now as to who was actually calling the shots. Feathers clearly is fall guy Corbett will use if an investigation is initiated in 2013. Here is Feathers taking responsibility for the assignment of a single trooper to the Sandusky case:
"Feathers also says he, not Corbett, made the decision to limit personnel on the case until January 2011. Until then, there was one state police trooper working with his supervisor, plus an agent working under Feathers. Feathers was supervising a unit out of Altoona and also worked on the case himself. 'I was asked weekly if I had enough personnel,' Feathers said. 'I never asked for help until 2011 when we had more subpoenas and more evidence. Then, I got eight more troopers and four more agents. If anyone wants to criticize, I'm the one to criticize because I made that decision weekly." (Patriot News 11/1/2012)
But, in Victim #1's book, the brave young man and his psychologist make it clear that at every turn they were told it was then-Attorney General Tom Corbett who was the final authority on all things Sandusky:
"Gillum writes about conversations with [Senior Deputy Attorney General] Jonelle Eshbach, and how she kept promising that an arrest would come - first in March 2010, then in the summer of that year, and continuously until it finally happened in November 2011. Each time, Gillum writes that Eshbach wouldn't give a straight answer for a delay, but instead says that her 'hands were tied' or that her boss, Corbett, makes all the final decisions." (Patriot News 10/25/2012)
Under oath, will Eshbach stick with her original story, or shift to Feathers' newly found sense of responsibility?
Perhaps the most telling bit of information is the biggest "no-shit-sherlock" statement out of the Office of Attorney General up to this point. Again, here is a reporter's paraphrase via tweet from today's Spanier news conference:
"Grand jury process was much more effective after the Nov. 5 charges [against Sandusky] were filed last year." (Ganim tweet 11/1/2012)
Of course the investigation got easier and more victims came forward...Sandusky was "off the street" and under supervision. Very vulnerable victims for the first time could finally feel safe to step forward and know they were not alone...as with all similar investigations.
Was the investigation aggressive and robust or slow and incremental? Was Feathers calling the critical shots or did the buck stop with Corbett? And, how was the OAG so daft not to understand a quick arrest of Sandusky would make the investigation go so much more smoothly?
Only an investigation in 2013 will sort this mess out.