Lubert’s ties to Sandusky’s charity should disqualify him from chairmanship

MEMO To: Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees
From: Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship
c.c: Governor Tom Wolf; Auditor General Eugene
DePasquale; Solicitor General Bruce Castor
Date: July 19, 2016
Re: Chairman Election

The leadership of Penn State has been under intense national scrutiny for nearly five full years. Rumors, accusations and unsupported conclusions — but very few proven facts — have divided our community and unfairly damaged the reputation of our fine university.

While Penn State’s liability remains unclear, one fact is indisputable: Jerry Sandusky used The Second Mile to gain access to every single one of his accusers. Just last week, that fact was reinforced in every claimant’s deposition related to the PMA Insurance case. Furthermore, the PA Solicitor General has undertaken a review of the activities and liability of The Second Mile. And, in a separate filing, Penn State indicated it plans to seek settlement funds from The Second Mile, asserting it was in a position to stop and prevent Sandusky from abusing children and negligently failed to do so.

The noose is tightening around The Second Mile… and with very good reason.

So, then, in evaluating candidates for the next Chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees, we make this obvious — but emphatic — appeal: Please disqualify Ira Lubert, the candidate with deep, far-reaching and questionable ties to The Second Mile.

• Mr. Lubert previously served as a Director of The Second Mile from 2005 to 2008.

• Mr. Lubert has a track record of significant donations to The Second Mile, including in-kind usage of his own Green Hills Camp facility in Reading, PA.

• Mr. Lubert left the Penn State board after serving from 1997-2000 and returned as a Governor’s appointee in 2007-2014. During that time, he presided over the initial round of settlement claims worth $60 million. He then returned to the board in 2015 as a Business and Industry trustee.

• Despite a clear conflict of interest, Mr. Lubert served as chair of the Legal Subcommittee that oversaw the settlements that Penn State disbursed to claimants against Jerry Sandusky. This committee failed to coordinate with Penn State’s insurer, yet another error that is causing further financial and reputational damage to Penn State. Furthermore, this committee has failed to adequately pursue claims against The Second Mile, the organization that was truly responsible for Sandusky’s interactions with children.

Electing a Penn State Board Chairman so closely connected to The Second Mile will certainly NOT move Penn State forward. Rather, it will severely set us back and only raise more questions that threaten to even further compromise the integrity of Penn State and its leadership.

Instead, we urge you to consider supporting Governor’s Appointee Dr. Robert Capretto as 2016-2017 Chairman. Dr. Capretto is eminently qualified, engaged and poised to lead. Moreover, through his words and actions, he has already demonstrated his ability to unify, not just the Board of Trustees, but the many loyal stakeholders of Penn State. That quality in a Chairman is not only essential; it is long overdue. Thank you for your consideration.

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