Pennsylvanians give governor low marks on Sandusky probe: poll

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 26, 2012 3:38 PM
Pennsylvanians give governor low marks on Sandusky probe: poll

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Most Pennsylvania voters give Governor Tom Corbett fair or poor marks for his investigation, as state attorney general, into reports that former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sexually abusing children, a poll showed on Wednesday.

Only 17 percent of the state's voters think Corbett, who served as Pennsylvania's top prosecutor for two terms before becoming governor in 2011, did a good or excellent job investigating what became a scandal that shook college football, according to the Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

Some 65 percent said Corbett did a fair or poor job on the case that led to Sandusky's conviction in June for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.

G. Terry Madonna, the poll director, said the results reflect a sense that Corbett, a Republican who faces re-election in 2014, did not move the grand jury investigation fast enough and that he did not put enough manpower into the probe.

There are also questions about Corbett's decision to serve on Penn State's board of trustees after being elected governor, he said.

"The prospects that this will be over any time soon are not very good," Madonna said.

Kevin Harley, Corbett's press secretary, defended the governor's record on the Sandusky case.

"I would say the verdict of 45 (convictions) on 48 counts is a complete vindication of the thoroughness of the investigation," Harley said.

The scandal will generate headlines in coming months. Sandusky is scheduled to be sentenced on October 9, and one of his victims, now a young man, will testify, the man's lawyer said.

A series of civil lawsuits is expected to be filed by victims.

In January two former Penn State officials will face trial on charges they lied to a grand jury about the crime. They were cited in a report criticizing school leaders for staging a coverup to avoid bad publicity.

The telephone poll of 632 Pennsylvania voters, conducted September 18-23, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Xavier Briand)