Lawyers seek to prevent Second Mile from dissolving

Future lawsuits expected against charity's assets

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Two attorneys are seeking a court order to prevent The Second Mile, a youth charity established by Jerry Sandusky, to stay solvent so they can file future lawsuits.

The Second Mile shouldn't be allowed to dissolve its assets, according to a lawsuit filed late Wednesday on behalf of someone who claims to be a victim Mr. Sandusky, the charity's founder.

Lawyers Benjamin Andreozzi and Jeffrey Fritz are seeking an injunction to stop The Second Mile from dissolving or transferring its assets. Nonprofit corporations that cease operations are generally allowed to transfer assets to other charitable groups with a similar mission.

"We felt it was necessary to take this action after learning the organization was considering transferring its programs and not continuing its operations," Mr. Andreozzi said, referring to reports last week that the charity was mulling several different options for its future, including the possibility of shutting down.

Mr. Sandusky, Penn State's former defensive coordinator and coach Joe Paterno's one-time heir apparent, founded The Second Mile in 1977. The group said last week it was considering its future in light of the scandal and its options include closing, though no decision has been made. The charity's most recent tax filing showed it had almost $9 million in assets.

David Woodle, who was named acting CEO earlier this month after longtime leader Jack Raykovitz resigned, said the organization is looking at three options as it moves forward: restructuring and keeping its programs going, even if it means doing so at a reduced level of service and funding; maintaining the programs by transferring them to other organizations; or shutting down.

Mr. Sandusky set up The Second Mile for youngsters from broken homes and troubled backgrounds, building it into an organization that helped as many as 100,000 children a year through camps and fundraisers.

But in the aftermath of the charges against him, questions have been raised about his role in the charity and how much its officials knew of the allegations against him before the release of a state grand jury report this month.

The grand jury said Penn State officials told Mr. Raykovitz in 2002 that there had been an issue with Mr. Sandusky and a minor. But the charity said it took no action against Mr. Sandusky because Penn State did not find any wrongdoing.

Mr. Sandusky informed The Second Mile's board in November 2008 that he was under investigation. The charity said it subsequently barred him from activities involving children.

Mr. Andreozzi and Mr. Fritz' lawsuit said the accuser -- identified as Victim No. 4 -- intends to charge The Second Mile with "failing to ban or restrict overnight activities between Mr. Sandusky and children" and failing to follow policies used by other organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, such as the "Two-Deep" rule, which generally calls for two adult supervisors on all outings.

The Second Mile has received the filing and will adhere to its legal responsibilities, a spokesman said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Mr. Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period. Authorities said he met them through the charity. Mr. Sandusky has acknowledged he showered with boys but said he never molested them.


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