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Sandusky still to receive state pension - abc27 WHTM

Sandusky

Sandusky still to receive state pension

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

After being convicted on 45 charges of child sex abuse, Jerry Sandusky will continue to receive his state pension, which is funded partially by taxpayers. 

State records show that Sandusky began receiving his pension nearly three months before he coached his final Penn State game on December 28, 1999. After being convicted last week on 45 of 48 charges against him, Sandusky is still getting that pension -- at a rate of $4,908.17 a month.

Prosecutors can only request that a person's pension be forfeited after they are sentenced and if they have been convicted of an Act 140 crime. 

However, Act 140 does not include violent crimes, such as rape.

State Senator Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, confirmed that this is what the law states. 

Attorney Jim Kutz has spent decades in law, he even worked in the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office when Act 140 began in 1978. He also confirmed what abc27 had found. 

"Regrettably, the crimes of which Mr. Sandusky was found guilty of by this jury probably don't comport with the parameters of this statue."

This means that taxpayer dollars, in some capacity, will continue to pay convicted Sandusky $59,000 a year for the rest of his or Dottie Sandusky's life. ab27 has filed a Right-to-Know request to determine what percentage of Sandusky's pension is taxpayer funded. He contributed a portion of his salary to the pension while he worked for Penn State. 

Anna Puig, co-chair of the Tea Party group the Kitchen Table Patriot, is upset about this. 

"I don't like it. I mean, I don't like my dollars going to a child molester. That's the bottom line," she said. 

Matthew Bizzell doesn't like that Sandusky will be getting rewarded even though he's a convicted criminal. 

"He's still getting rewarded for his actions over many, many years," he said. 

Anastasia Przybylski, who is also a co-chair of the Kitchen Table Patriot, said, "I think it's terrible that he gets our tax money. And, I think something needs to be done about it."

Folmer agrees.

"No one ever thought that you would have something so heinous coming out of people in public positions," he said. "But, you're right. I mean we should be very watchful on how taxpayer monies are being spent."

Currently, there are six proposed bills that would amend Act 140. House Bill 1567 would include corruption of minors. However, even if those bills were passed, Sandusky would still get paid according to Kutz.

Kutz said stripping Sandusky of his pension would be nearly impossible.

"There are times when the General Assembly has passed bills, there are efforts to apply retroactively. Sometimes with success. But, in the criminal setting, it is an uphill battle to apply conduct retroactively."

Kutz also said Penn State could not terminate the pension since it is a binding contract between the public employer and SERS.

"I don't think Penn state could do anything if they wanted to," he said. 

Puig stressed that the state needs to pay attention to these reforms going forward. 

"The people of Pennsylvania need to make sure we push the right kind of reform that situations like this don't arise again," she said. 


 

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