Resolution on Sandusky inquiry brings state House to a halt

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HARRISBURG -- An effort by state House Democrats to force a vote on a resolution seeking details about the Pennsylvania attorney general probe of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal led to an abrupt halt to today's legislative debate.

A measure calling for a federal investigation of how then-Attorney General Tom Corbett's office handled its inquiry into allegations against the former Penn State University assistant football coach has been sitting in committee since December.

Democrats filed a motion in June to bypass the typical legislative process and bring the measure up for consideration by the full House. When they attempted to do so today, House Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, ended session for the day.

The state House of Representatives has four session days scheduled for later this month, and four more after the November election that are not expected to include votes. Democrats said they sought debate on the resolution because of the dwindling time left this year and lingering questions on how the attorney general's office handled the case.

"Until we get answers, people are going to speculate," said Rep. Brandon Neuman, D-North Strabane, and one of the measure's co-sponsors. "We want closure to this."

House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin pointed to a pending bill on the calendar that would require awareness education of child exploitation, arguing that a substantive response to the Sandusky scandal was scuttled by the minority party's politically motivated measure.

"They are asking for an investigation of an investigation which led to the successful prosecution of a child predator," Mr. Miskin said.

Mr. Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, and awaits sentencing next week. The trial of two Penn State officials also indicted in the probe is scheduled for January.

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Harrisburg Bureau Chief Laura Olson: lolson@post-gazette.com or 717-787-4254.


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