AG's office rebuts lawyer's Second Mile, Penn State claim

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A spokesman for the state attorney general's office has rebutted a lawyer's claim that part of the presentment in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case was in error.

On Wednesday, Wendell Courtney, partner in the State College firm McQuaide Blasko, said an assertion that he represented both Penn State and Mr. Sandusky's nonprofit, The Second Mile, in 1998, when a sex abuse investigation occurred at the university, was false.

He said he did not begin to represent The Second Mile until early 2009 and withdrew as the organization's counsel on Monday, after two top Penn State officials were charged with perjury in connection with allegations that Mr. Sandusky sexually abused eight children.

Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for Attorney General Linda Kelly, dismissed Mr. Courtney's claim.

"It's clear from the findings of the grand jury that Mr. Courtney had direct dealings with both Penn State and The Second Mile and he had knowledge and was aware of the 1998 incident," he said.

Mr. Frederiksen also said he perceived a difference in the value of information in the presentment and in comments made publicly.

"The grand jury findings are based on evidence and testimony," he said. "There's no dispute he had interaction with both [Penn State and The Second Mile]. If he wants to engage in semantics, so be it."

Annual reports prepared by The Second Mile show that Mr. Courtney and his wife, Linette, have been annual donors of $1,000 to $1,999 to the organization going back at least to 2005 (except for 2008, when they gave $500 to $999), and are part of the Arthur C. and Evelyn M. Sandusky Society, whose members have pledged part of their estates to The Second Mile.

Linette Courtney also served on the organization's state board of directors from 2005 to 2008. Reports for years prior to 2005 were not available.

Jerry Sandusky founded the charitable organization in the 1970s, and it has worked since then with troubled youth. The district attorney at the time of the 1998 investigation decided not to prosecute, and the investigation was closed.


Jon Schmitz: jschmitz@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1868.


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