Charity linked to Penn State scandal announces layoffs

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 07, 2011 5:13 PM
Charity linked to Penn State scandal announces layoffs

By James B. Kelleher

(Reuters) - The youth charity founded by the former Penn State football coach accused of serial child sex abuse said on Wednesday it was laying off an unspecified number of employees, citing a sharp drop in donations.

In a statement posted on its website, The Second Mile said it had "lost significant financial support" in recent weeks as the allegations emerged. The former coach, Jerry Sandusky, met several of the alleged victims through his work with The Second Mile, according to the charges.

The Second Mile said it informed an undisclosed number of employees on Wednesday "that their employment will end over the next several months in an orderly phase-out."

The Second Mile said the cuts were needed to "put the organization in a better position to preserve programs." The charity had previously said it was considering options for its future including the possibility of ceasing operations.

The announcement of layoffs at the charity came as Sandusky, who was already charged with 40 counts of abusing eight boys over 15 years, was re-arrested on Wednesday and charged with 12 new counts of sexual abuse.

Officers led Sandusky, Penn State's former defensive coordinator, from his home in handcuffs and a judge later set bail at $250,000 cash, a spokesman for the attorney general said.

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The fresh charges refocused national attention on a scandal that has shaken Penn State and The Second Mile. Both institutions have been criticized for failing to act earlier on suspicions and allegations against Sandusky, and officials from both Penn State and The Second Mile have lost their jobs as a result.

Prosecutors allege that Sandusky used The Second Mile, which he helped found in 1977, to meet and groom his young victims.

(Editing by Greg McCune)