Last updated: February 05. 2014 4:10PM - 3225 Views
By - smocarsky@civitasmedia.com

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HARRISBURG — Problems with access to old emails have slowed the Office of Attorney General’s internal review of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse investigation, Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced today.

Kane ran on a pledge last year to be an independent voice and to investigate how the Attorney General’s Office handled the child sexual abuse investigation into former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in 2009 and 2010, when Gov. Tom Corbett was attorney general.

Kane today released a status update on her office’s internal review of the investigation.

Approximately one year ago, Kane said in a news release, she appointed H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr. to lead the Office of Attorney General’s internal review of the investigation.

“At that time, I stated that Mr. Moulton would ‘… assist (OAG) in providing a comprehensive and independent examination of the facts surrounding the handling of the Sandusky investigation’ and that ‘once the facts have been uncovered, (OAG) will make these findings available to the public,’” Kane said.

‎She said Moulton has been thorough and diligent in reviewing and analyzing “a substantial documentary record” and, despite not having the power to compel testimony through subpoena, interviewing a wide range of witnesses.

“However, certain factors have combined to slow the process, not all of which were anticipated. Chief among them have been significant and time-consuming challenges in obtaining important written records, particularly emails,” Kane said.

For reasons that Kane said will be described in more detail when the report is made public, until last fall, her office believed that OAG emails for the relevant time period had been permanently removed from OAG storage systems pursuant to a then-existing document-retention policy, and could not be recovered.

“Since then, we have developed a recovery process that is ongoing,” Kane said.

Two additional factors will affect the completion and subsequent release of the report, she said.

First, because the report will discuss matters occurring before the grand jury that have not previously been made public, Kane’s office will need judicial approval before releasing the report. She said her office has been working with the assigned grand jury judge on the issue.

Second, before the report is made public, “due process and fairness require that certain individuals discussed in the report be afforded the opportunity to review and comment on those aspects of the report that pertain to them. In consultation with the supervising grand jury judge, we hope to complete this process as expeditiously as possible,” she said.

“The release of the review findings will be determined only by the time necessary to complete a comprehensive review. I remain fully committed to that approach. Pennsylvanians deserve the full and true story, and I will not permit a rush to judgment to interfere with a thorough review,” Kane said.

‎”We are now one full year into the review and it is appropriate to provide Pennsylvanians with an update on its status,” Kane said. “I have no plans for additional comment between now and the release of the review findings.”

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