Bernstein: Feds On Penn State Case, Finally

By Dan Bernstein- Senior Columnist

(CBS) Four months after the world found out about the sick activities at Penn State, the big boys are finally involved. Four long months of suspicious, pussyfooted law enforcement will now be supplemented – if not superseded – by more powerful hands.

Welcome to the party, US Justice Department.

Since I first read the grand jury report detailing Jerry Sandusky, the ensuing revulsion and fury has caused me to cling to satisfying, cinematic images: a line of black SUVs rolling inexorably toward Happy Valley. Windowless vans disgorging stern-faced agents. Computers yanked off desks, file cabinets seized. Tommy Lee Jones barking staccato orders amid the chop of helicopters.

As is usually the case, I’ll have to settle for a scene that’s far less thrilling, but satisfying indeed.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News broke the story last week that the US Attorney has subpoenaed the university, requesting documents, records and administrators’ computer hard drives relating to Sandusky dating as far back as 1998. Also under new scrutiny are the Second Mile charity and Sandusky’s travel records.

Up to this point, the local Pennsylvania bumpkins have appeared unmotivated, ineffective, compromised and corrupt. Every judge in the state seems connected to the school or the charity, with one Second Mile donor setting an initial low-ball bail and numerous others forced to recuse. Sandusky will be allowed a jury of football cultists in Centre County, and is still lounging around his house, watching local schoolkids from his porch.

Ray Gricar, the DA involved with the initial investigation, has gone missing, his computer trashed in a river. Attorney General Tom Corbett had every reason to pursue Sandusky but dragged his feet for years. He waited until well after he was elected governor – thanks in part to a $25,000 contribution from the Second Mile – before doing anything, since crossing Joe Paterno’s fiefdom would have doomed his campaign. He then gave the Second Mile a $3 million state grant, even as he knew the grand jury was investigating its use as a victim-farm by Sandusky. Corbett sits on Penn State’s Board of Trustees.

At long last, the money trail will come into sharper focus. Federal prosecutors want information on payments from board members to the university or third parties on the university’s behalf, with some reports suggesting a search for hush-money payoffs to other victims and families. Sandusky also lavished boys with gifts as part of his grooming and maintenance system, and somebody had to pay for them.

The murky mix of dollars moving between the football office, school coffers and the Second Mile will now be examined for illegalities regarding federal taxes, public disclosure requirements, and RICO statutes. It’s also time to get to the bottom of the scuttled $125 million real estate deal engineered by Paterno, Second Mile chairman Robert Poole, PSU trustee William Scheyer and others. Paterno also was reported by The to be in other side businesses with Second Mile board members that included a bottled-water company, a coaching website and a convenience-store chain.

Penn State is already being investigated by the Department of Education for possible violations of the Clery Act, which requires the reporting of campus crimes. The school has refused to turn over any information on their campus police’s 1998 Sandusky inquiry (after which he admitted to showering with boys, said “I wish I were dead,” and went uncharged), claiming it needn’t release the report to a noncriminal justice agency, per state law.

Now, they can be compelled to provide it.

Also within the grand jury findings were one victim’s descriptions of interstate trips provided by Sandusky, on which he says he was molested. He was taken to the Outback Bowl in Tampa in 1998 and the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio in 1999. This would appear to be in obvious violation of the Mann Act, which makes a federal crime of transporting for the purpose of illegal sex acts.

Use of the internet to communicate across state lines in the commission of crimes falls under federal criminal jurisdiction, as well. NBC News reported Friday that, incredibly, Sandusky had the use of a Penn State email account from shortly after his arrest to as recently as two weeks ago. The silver lining of that shocking fact is that any communications in that time are subject to subpoena.

The half-hearted effort to bring justice for Sandusky’s victims has gone on long enough. After years of feigned ignorance, deaf ears and outright enabling at every level of a public university, every level of a sinister charity, and every level of local and state law enforcement all the way up to the current governor of Pennsylvania, it is past time that the larger case be advanced.

There will be new questions asked by some very serious people, and new answers provided.

Answers too many have not wanted to get.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Feds On Penn State Case, Finally

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s columns here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts >>

More from Dan Bernstein
  • been banned

    This is good news—but Dan, somehow you leave the impression you personally wont be satisfied until every single resident of Central PA, is, as you put it, on the air,”napalmed”.

  • Cameltoe Rancher

    I too feel that anger that Dan has. If there wasn’t such evidence that young children were treated so horribly, Pennsylvania’s justice system would be a laughing stock.

    Joe Pa wasn’t the only elder citizen permanently stained with the filthy-slurry of corruption. How can anybody associated with law enforcement, justice or the University have a clear conscience?

    The napalm that Dan prescribes for the Quaker State is the light of justice and truth. Unfortunately, perhaps actual napalm may be a gentler pill to swallow at this juncture? May the light of truth be revealed through this federal investigation and may the infestation of child-rape abettors be eradicated forever!

  • Danielo

    For way too long there, it looked like Pennsylvania would be able to continue their charade of an investigation. Thank God the real authorities are finally sinking their teeth into this.

    • PA Marc

      As a proud citizen of Pennsylvania and a proud Pitt alumni, I feel I have to straighten some things out.

      There is an old joke, what is between Pittsburgh and Philly? Pennsyltucky.

      The center of the state is completely different from the bottom corners. The “t-zone” is full of backwoods Nitters (that’s the slang for a PSU fan).

      Please don’t lump all of Pa in the with the joke that is the center of the state.

      Just like not all of Texas is intolerant, not all of Pa wants this covered up.

      • NY Lansman

        Does this have anything to do with the issue at hand? Is this how they teach you to debate or comment at your school? I am sure your administration and Pittsburgh is proud of your contribution to this blog.

  • sam sheneman

    Money talks doesn’t it? many sad things like this have adverse affects on peoples lives. even more sad, they are allowed to continue for the almighty buck! Joe P knew what was comming and the stress of it all did him in before all the specifics came out on this fiasco. that’s not to feel sorry for him, but just stating my opinion.

    • Danielo

      Paterno, without question, rotted himself from the inside out. That’s how he died.

  • The Dry Aged Remains Of Gerald R. Ford

    I knew this was coming since the story broke and, while listening to the mindless drooling defenders of Paterno have been saying silently to myself ‘just wait, you’ll be sorry…’ Now the Feds ARE involved and they aren’t going to be put off by the Paterno sycophants, they are coming with a hammer and the proverbial nuclear device in possible violations of the RICO statute-Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act for all you Paterno fans out there-that’s the tool the Feds use on drug lords and mafia dons and a nice little offshoot of this is the Feds can seize assets they deem tainted. For the drug lord it is the drug money, in this case what if PSU used university funds for paying off victims…And we might find out what happened to DA Gricar, murder perhaps as he might have ‘known too much?”

    I am going to enjoy watching some of these hacks and yahoos in Centre County start twisting in the wind as the Feds file more supoenas and collect more evidence and convene a grand jury of their own and I’ll take bets who’ll be the first stool pigeon to sing and rat out the others.

    The only thing I am worried about is that a certain presidential candidate with ties to the university-graduate of PSU Law School-will make this a political football and accuse the one in the Oval Office of persecuting PSU and Paterno.

    • Danielo

      PSU’s goin down… I really hope the football program gets the death penalty, as that’s really the most sacred thing in the lives of all those sick, twisted idiots out there. Wishful thinking?

      • Jeb

        Idiot. The NCAA investigation has concluded. No penalties were imposed because there were no violations fallling under its jurisdiction. This isn’t and never was a football issue.

      • PA Marc

        The NCAA HAS NOT made any conclusions.

  • Terri Noonan

    Dear Dan,
    Thanks for keeping up on this story. I love your passion and the show.

    • Paul

      “Up to this point, the local Pennsylvania bumpkins have appeared unmotivated, ineffective, compromised and corrupt.”

      Once again, Bernstein shows he hasn’t got a clue about what’s going on. Hey Dan, don’t let the facts temper your rage.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Biggest hammer the Feds have is tax exemption.

  • Antec Launches EarthWatts Platinum PSU Series | News Maniac

    […] have to settle for a scene that's far less thrilling, but satisfying indeed. Read more on CBS Local This entry was posted in Computers and tagged Antec, Earthwatts, Launches, Platinum, PSU, Series […]


    Hey, if this were Illinois, there wouldn’t be a big house to put them in. It’d be ankle bracelets for all. So, where did the money for the 65 to 55 bipass come from?
    Who asked for this? Why was Exit 315 on I-57 turned into a big boy sand box?

  • FC

    Well said and written Sir. I usually disagree with your commentary; however, regarding this topic, you are right on. Punisment to each one of these sickening men is underway. They will indeed pay for what they have done.

  • Evan

    Aim2bme is lucky being stupid isn’t a crime

  • Larry Horse's water trough

    Well then Aim2bme, you should be arrested as well. To me, what you just posted qualifies as hate speech too. I might suggest to you and NY Lansman, if you hate Bernstein so much, go away.

    And don’t come back.

  • Jake

    Time for full disclosure, Bernstein. Were you molested as child?

    • Larry Horse's water trough

      What does that have to do with anything? Maybe YOU should disclose something Jake.

      Are you molesting children?

  • kev in skokie

    Great work on this story. I feel your show is the only place I can go for honest, rational information on this shocking story.
    BTW- This obviously changes your opinion, which I shared, that he will walk on all of this, right? I don’t really care what charge they make stick, as long as he spends some quality time in a correctional facility. Good luck on the yard… NOT!

  • kev in skokie

    What I cannot get over is McQuery, the assistant coach who witnessed a rape in progress and told his daddy. I hear people say he’s heartless cause he had to look at a child rapist for nine more years, and they’re right! Not only did look at a child rapist for nine years, we know the rapist always had kids with him, so he also had to look at those kids! And by his own addmission he knew what was up… There’s a lot of male people, but not a lot of men anymore, proof: Mike McQuery.

  • Nazey

    I’m not so convinced the Feds are going to make any more impact than the local authorities. If it took them four months to join the party, why would there be any greater sense of urgency now to do a thorough, legitimate investigation into all aspects of the case?

  • Lil' Bycracke

    Talk more child rape. Talk more hockey. Talk more child rape by hockey players while JoPa turns his back.

    Actually I wish Bern-STEIN would just stop talking altogether.

  • Tony Tyler

    I see the Rogaine isn’t working yet Dan .. keep the faith.

  • Tony Tyler

    You are one ugly stick figure Bernie.

  • Tony Tyler

    You lost me at “Four” ..

  • Rita

    Dan forgot the governor of PA who alllowed a discusting crime to go on for 3 years while collecting over 600,000 from the second mile for his gubernatoral campaign. That is where the real crime is and the root of the problem not as you keep stating.

  • Clark

    Another Bernstein rant. This man is too filled with hate to write anything but a diatribe.

  • Larry Horse's water trough

    I’m curious Potatohead, if that was YOUR son Sandusky was molesting, would you be satisfied with everything that Paterno did? If the answer is yes, then I really hope that you don’t have any kids. Ever.

    And just what are your facts moron? Dan read the grand jury indictment. Was that “his opinion”? It’s really funny just how hypocritical you Paterno defenders are. You accuse Bernstein of being a hate monger, yet every damn thing you idiots write drip more venom towards him than he ever had. Give it up you sick freaks. Paterno, Sandusky and that whole crew in Pennsylvania are guilty of destroying children. And they should be held accountable, even after death. Like I said, if that was your son, would be satisfied?

    You people defending Paterno make me sick. And I hope that not one of you starts to breed.

  • Paul

    You want conspiracy theories? Why did Corbett have the story leaked? Why would a guy who sandbagged an investigation for years want the focus on Paterno, a guy with a partial 2nd hand story?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live