HARRISBURG — Republican Gov. Tom Corbett turned the political tables Friday on Pennsylvania's newly elected attorney general and questioned the sincerity of her pledge to look into how prosecutors handled the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse investigation and why it took so long.
Kathleen Kane, the first woman and first Democrat to be elected to the office, is coming off a campaign in which she beat up on Corbett and soundly beat her Republican opponent whom she had repeatedly called Corbett's hand-picked candidate. She touted herself as the only independent prosecutor in the contest and seized on the passion surrounding the former Penn State assistant coach's case to say she would investigate why it took 33 months to charge Sandusky after the attorney general's office began looking into the case.
Asked about it Friday, Corbett said he never played politics with the investigation, which began under him when he was attorney general. Political adversaries have repeatedly questioned whether Corbett dragged out the investigation to ensure it didn't become public while he was running for governor in 2010 and, in theory, anger Penn State fans or alumni into voting against him.
But he maintained that he never told anyone to slow down the investigation and then he took a shot at Kane.
This is the first investigation I've ever heard of to look into a successful prosecution, and I think the people ought to look at that and say, ‘Hmmm, is that investigation political in nature?' Corbett told reporters during a public appearance on a separate subject.
Corbett's comments came a day after he called Kane to congratulate her and brief her on some of the cooperation between his office and the attorney general's office on legal matters. The subject of the investigation didn't come up, Corbett said.