Statement on Commemoration of Joe Paterno’s 50th Anniversary

PS4RS Statement on Commemoration of Joe Paterno’s 50th Anniversary

September 1, 2016 —- Penn State President Eric Barron today announced that the university will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Joe Paterno’s first game as Penn State head coach during the Temple football game on September 17, 2016. This represents the university’s tacit admission that the “conclusions” of the Freeh Report were wrong. However, we will accept this recognition of Joe on September 17 as only the first of many steps necessary to repair the needless damage caused by the unwarranted condemnation of Joe and the entire Penn State community. The university must explicitly repudiate Freeh’s bogus “conclusions,” which were improperly influenced by outside forces acting against Penn State’s interests, including the NCAA and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. The university must publicly state that Paterno handled the report that was made to him in precisely the manner required by the university, and apologize to the Paterno family. We also encourage Penn State to join the Paterno family in their action against the NCAA, which sought to “leverage” the Freeh Report to extort the university. Finally, the university must apologize to the entire Penn State community for allowing Freeh to smear our entire culture with his outrageous statements about our priorities. Penn State must take these steps to begin to repair the damage done.

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS), with more than 40,000 members, was formed to promote positive change within the University Board of Trustees, demanding transparent, trustworthy leadership. For further information on PS4RS, please visit http://www.PS4RS.org, email ps4rsinfo@ps4rs.org, or go to http://www.facebook.com/PS4RS. Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS.

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.

PS4RS Statement on PMA Insurance Documents Release

July 12, 2016 — Today, a Philadelphia judge released settlement records relative to Penn State’s ongoing dispute with PMA Insurance. The insurance carrier had previously declined coverage of $93 million in claims that the University had already dispersed to more than 30 Sandusky accusers.

Files released today provide no additional or definitive information with regard to Joe Paterno’s knowledge of accusations that allegedly date back to the 1970s. In fact, they raise even more questions as to the University’s overall liability, given the fact that most of the claimants were not part of the original Sandusky court proceedings, spoke only through depositions represented by their attorneys, and have not had their accusations corroborated nor substantiated in a court of law.

In fact, the most damaging and consistent information provided by the claimants was the initiation of every one of their relationships to Sandusky through The Second Mile, the non-profit organization he founded and funded. Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship has continually called for a state inquiry into the activities and liability of the charity that falls under the purview of the Office of the Attorney General, and served as a gateway to every one of Sandusky’s victims.

“Analysis of the information released today further underscores the Penn State Board of Trustees’ inability to act in the best interest of Penn State at every turn,” said Maribeth Roman Schmidt, spokesperson for Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, the grassroots watchdog group that has been critical of the trustees’ handling of the Sandusky case since 2011. “It is our opinion that the legal subcommittee is criminally negligent for paying out claims without first having the approval of the insurance company, and with seemingly haphazard inconsistency,” she said.

“Furthermore, today’s documents provide stunning insight into the University’s true opinion of the Freeh Report, for which it paid more than $8 million,” continued Schmidt. In its bid to hold PMA Insurance responsible for paying $93 million in claims, Penn State attorneys actually argued AGAINST the validity of the report, even scolding PMA for having a “myopic preoccupation with the Freeh Report.”

“This is the very document the University not only readily accepted without argument or challenge in 2012, but actually relied upon to pay the NCAA $60 million in fines. It is astounding that Penn State is blatantly trying to play both sides,” said Schmidt. “Why would the University accept the Freeh Report for the purposes of the NCAA Consent Decree, yet rebuke it when it comes to settlement claims?”

A final outcome of today’s document release exposes criticism regarding the lack of vetting of the claimants and the amounts of the settlements. An expert who reviewed the settlements characterized the payments as high to “extremely high.”

“This is a clear fiduciary breach on behalf of the Penn State Board of Trustees, and specifically the Legal Subcommittee who negotiated these settlements. We ask that any and all trustees who were privy to this process be summarily dismissed from their roles on the Penn State board.”

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS), with more than 40,000 members, was formed to promote positive change within the University Board of Trustees, demanding transparent, trustworthy leadership. For further information on PS4RS, please visit www.PS4RS.org, email ps4rsinfo@ps4rs.org, or go to http://www.facebook.com/PS4RS. Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS.

MEDIA STATEMENT

May 6, 2016 — “Since Day One, Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship has promoted truth and transparency. That mission has not changed. We have learned firsthand that rushes to judgement are not productive and are often extremely harmful. Therefore, in the interest of truth and transparency, we ask that Penn State officials produce all records related to the PMA insurance investigation so that they may be evaluated fairly and fully in an environment of complete transparency.”

PA Attorney General Candidate Radio Interviews and TV Debates

The five candidates for Pennsylvania Attorney General did one hour individual interviews on WHYY – Philadelphia RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane. Click on the links to listen to them:

Republican Candidate Joe Peters interview  – Joe Peters official website

Republican Candidate John Rafferty interview – John Rafferty official website

Democratic Candidate Steve Zappala interview Steve Zappala official website

Democratic Candidate Josh Shapiro interviewJosh Shapiro official website

Democratic Candidate John Morganelli interviewJohn Morganelli official website

 

The three Democratic Candidates debated on NBC Philadelphia:

Democratic AG Debate: Candidates Seek to Fight Child Abuse, Heroin and Injustice

Pa Attorney General Candidates Forum April 13th

 

Vote for PA Attorney General April 26th

The three below (two Democrats and and one Republican) are candidates for Attorney General in the Pennsylvania Primary April 26. Please be sure to vote.

Official statement from PA Attorney General Candidate (R) Joe Peters:

“Protection of the children of Pennsylvania is unquestionably among my highest priorities, as it should be for all of those, past and present, who hold the position of Attorney General of our great commonwealth. By way of example, if there are still unanswered questions arising out of the Jerry Sandusky case, I will pursue the truth.

“As a part my inquiry, if elected and entrusted with the responsibilities of the attorney general, I will embark upon a review of any remaining questions arising out the Sandusky investigation and prosecution, including any that arose as legitimate complaints received regarding Sandusky’s then-charity, “The Second Mile” or any other charities or organizations. Of course, no individual will be unfairly scrutinized or maligned in this review, as that is as important an obligation in the pursuit of truth and justice. Since oversight of nonprofits is the responsibility of the Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section of the Office of Attorney General (OAG), it is incumbent upon the OAG to explore under the parameters of the law, the handling by the “Second Mile” of complaints and obligations to report, regarding Sandusky’s interactions with children.

“Additionally, given the spending (estimated in excess of $200 million) in the wake of the Sandusky charges, including interactions with the NCAA as may have been revealed through the discovery process surrounding the Corman vs. NCAA lawsuit, it would be reasonable to inquire into the fiduciary decisions of the university’s board of trustees, in order that this unfortunate episode may never again repeat itself.

“Most importantly, to vigorously pursue our obligation to protect our children, we must recognize that pedophiles live among us. Let us heed the lessons learned from the tragedy of the Sandusky case to further our inquiry about their horrific predilections, how they hide in plain sight, and how to earlier recognize their behavior so that we may take them off the streets under the rule of law and bring them to justice sooner…not later. We must ask the daunting question: Are our children safer than they were five years ago? If the answer is no, or just as frighteningly, we don’t know, then we are ignoring valuable lessons of misplaced trust and lack of accountability. Sadly, that would dangerously deny us all a critical opportunity to protect today’s and tomorrow’s children.

“Please know that I am fully committed to protection of all our children, justice for anyone unfairly maligned and accountability for those who should bear it.”

Official statement from PA Attorney General Candidate (D) Josh Shapiro:

“Child abuse, in all its forms, is far too prevalent in our society and must be rooted out. I’m a father of four – I care deeply about protecting the children of Pennsylvania from predators. As Attorney General, I will aggressively prosecute perpetrators of these heinous crimes and work to give victims the support they need to come forward and to heal.

“With regard to Jerry Sandusky and others involved in that scandal, I will follow the evidence wherever it leads, whether that is to Second Mile or any other organization. No one will be off limits, there will be no sacred cows and no powerful interests will be protected. Everyone will be equal in the eyes of the law.

“It is vital that the Attorney General restore that basic sense of fairness to our justice system. Nothing in Pennsylvania should be too big, too untouchable or too out of reach for the law, including Second Mile or anything or anyone associated with the Sandusky scandal. We need to be serious about taking on the powerful interest in Pennsylvania. It’s what I’ve done throughout my entire career and what I’ll do as Attorney General.”

Official Statement from PA Attorney General Candidate (D) Stephen Zappala:

Upon taking the office of Attorney General I will immediately do an audit of the Sections and Divisions of the office and determine where we have been succeeding in our protection of the people in our Commonwealth and identify areas that we can improve and strengthen the office. I can assure you that in that assessment, I will be keeping in mind the concerns of PS4RS as I share your concern toward many of these issues.

I will continue to prosecute public crime and corruption perpetrated by those that are in positions of public trust such as Judiciary, state officials and state employees. I find the breach of this trust one of the most egregious to our citizens. I will fortify the Public Corruption Unit of the Attorney General’s Office to actively investigate and enforce the laws of this Commonwealth. I have a long record of prosecuting public servants that have violated their duty and I have never and will never shy away from holding a criminal accountable because of their position, name, political or financial position. I am a prosecutor. I hold those that break the law accountable. Conversely, I advocate fairness and swift prosecution. If there have been incidents of abuse of prosecutorial power, I will thoroughly investigate and ensure that justice is done.

The Charitable Trust and Organizations Section of the Office of Attorney General has one of its primary purposes to “ensure that charitable donations are lawfully raised and expended” by the organizations they are entrusted to. I and the knowledgeable staff within my office will conduct an unbiased and thorough investigation not only into the Second Mile and The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees but any charitable organization within my jurisdiction that is mishandling the funds entrusted to it by the citizens of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is significantly harmed if its citizens do not trust the charitable organizations that serve them and if the charitable organizations are not performing the duties they are sworn to provide. I will do everything within my power as Attorney General to hold the offenders accountable.

The abuse of children. One of the issues that Pennsylvanians face that is most important to me are the incidents of violence and exploitation of children. Upon taking office of District Attorney, 18 years ago, my first actions were to create specialized prosecution units to hold the offenders of child abuse and domestic violence accountable. As the chief law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania, I will work with police departments and DA’s offices to take some of these ideas state wide and help the law enforcement community to improve their resources and response to child abuse and domestic violence. I will ask for increased prosecution for Child Protection Law mandated reporters that fail to report incidents of child abuse that they are directed by law to report. I will enhance prevention education and efforts by bolstering the existing training programs created by the Attorney Generals Child Predator Unit that help to educate the public about child predators and the tactics they use. The children of Pennsylvania are our future and I will do everything within the power of the office to protect them.

My record in Allegheny County will speak for itself toward many of these issues. I have spent the last 18 years creating powerful and effective methods of protecting the most vulnerable in our society and bringing the most corrupt to justice. I will continue this objective as Attorney General.

Join us at Beaver Stadium!

It’s that time of year again! Please join TEAM PS4RS as we participate in the 7th Annual Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run to benefit Special Olympics PA. This year’s event is on Sunday April 17th. If you are planning to attend the Blue and White game on Saturday, consider joining us the next day for this great event. If you can’t be there, please consider sponsoring a team member.

2016 Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run: TEAM PS4RS

ps4rs endorsement 2016

PS4RS is proud to endorse Brown, Doran, and Oldsey in 2016

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship is proud to endorse Ted Brown, Barbara Doran and Bill Oldsey in the 2016 alumni trustee election. We extend our sincere gratitude to Ted, Barb, Bill, Robert Bowsher and Larry Schultz for participating in our process with great passion and integrity. It has definitely been a spirited few weeks, and we look forward to continuing this momentum and alumni engagement into the general election which opens April 10. Thanks to all who participated in the PS4RS endorsement vote!