HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett said Thursday that he probably would agree to meet with investigators as part of state Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane’s promised probe of that office’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case.
“If I believe it’s a political game, no. If I believe that they want to know exactly what was going on when I was there and my thought process, sure,” Corbett told reporters.
The topic of Kane’s planned investigation cropped up during a year-end interview of Corbett by reporters from several news organizations.
Corbett was attorney general when the state took over the investigation of Sandusky in early 2009 and continued through his 2010 election campaign. He had been governor for nearly a year when the ex-Penn State assistant football coach was charged in November 2011.
The Republican governor’s political adversaries have repeatedly suggested that he stretched out the investigation to ensure that it did not become public during the campaign and – theoretically – prompt Penn State loyalists to vote against him.
Sandusky, once a nationally renowned sports figure, was convicted in June on 45 counts of sexually abusing boys. He is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term.
Kane, who once specialized in child sex-abuse cases as a Lackawanna County prosecutor, vowed to launch an investigation into why it took 33 months to bring Sandusky to justice. She ran on the issue in her campaign to become the state’s first woman and first Democrat to be elected attorney general.
Kane, who has not spelled out details about her planned investigation, did not immediately respond to a request for comment relayed Thursday through her campaign spokesman.
Corbett has said he would have filed charges in mid-2010 if investigators had enough victims willing to testify against Sandusky. He reiterated Thursday that he never played politics with the investigation and said he would tell Kane’s investigators the same thing.
“I guess the question is, ‘Did I tell (state investigators) to do something they shouldn’t do?”’ he said. If “they want to ask me that question, come and ask. And I’ll tell you right now: ‘No.’ Why would I do that?”