Second Mile president resigns amid Sandusky scandal
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The president and CEO of the charity founded by accused child molester and former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has resigned.
The Second Mile, a State College-based nonprofit that works with troubled children, announced the resignation of its top official, Jack Raykovitz, this morning. He had headed the organization for 28 years.
A grand jury has accused Mr. Sandusky of sexually abusing at least eight boys across 15 years, all of whom he met through The Second Mile.
"Although the allegations against Jerry Sandusky and the alleged incidents occurred outside Second Mile programs and events, this does not change the fact that the alleged sexual abuse involved Second Mile program children, nor does it lessen the terrible impact of sexual abuse on its victims," the organization said in a statement.
David Woodle, vice chairman of the agency's board, will be responsible for day-to-day operations, the agency said.
Mr. Raykovitz testified before a grand jury that he had knowledge of allegations against Mr. Sandusky going back to 2002, according to a statement released by The Second Mile two days after Mr. Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of abusing children.
In its statement, the agency said Mr. Raykovitz testified that he had been told by Penn State athletic director Tim Curley that an internal investigation had found no corroboration for an allegation of inappropriate contact by Mr. Sandusky with a child in the shower of a university athletics building.
It wasn't until November 2008 that The Second Mile took steps to keep Mr. Sandusky away from children.
It was then, according to the organization's statement, that "Mr. Sandusky informed The Second Mile that he had learned he was being investigated as a result of allegations made against him by an adolescent male in Clinton County, Pa. Although he maintained there was no truth to the claims, we are an organization committed first and foremost to the safety and well-being of the children we serve."
In its statement today, The Second Mile said it would investigate internally its policies, procedures and processes and produce findings by the end of December. It also announced it has hired the law firm of Archer & Greiner, one of whose partners is former Philadelphia district attorney Lynne Abraham, as general counsel. It succeeds lawyer Wendell Courtney, who resigned last week, citing his work for Penn State as a potential conflict of interest.
In a separate statement, Mr. Raykovitz said: "I have submitted, and the Board has accepted, my resignation as President/CEO of The Second Mile. Providing any statement beyond that sentence takes the focus from where it should be -- on the children, young adults and families who have been impacted. Their pain and their healing is the greatest priority, and my thoughts and prayers have been and will continue to be with them. I continue to urge anyone with information regarding this investigation to contact investigators from the Office of Attorney General at 814-863-1053 or Pennsylvania State Police at 814-470-2238."
First Published November 14, 2011 10:41 am