Saturday, March 22

Kane vs. Fina: Will the excuses for foot-dragging the Sandusky investigation go up in smoke?

The Philadelphia Inquirer's "anonymously sourced" article about AG Kane's shut down of a bribery investigation appeared to be a desperate attempt at a preemptive strike by Frank Fina

Ray Blehar

Last Sunday's Inky article about AG Kane shutting down a bribery (sting) investigation totally backfired on the not so "anonymous" sources who leaked the information.  Within hours of the story being posted, close followers of  the Sandusky Scandal were calling out former OAG Prosecutor, Frank Fina for leaking the information to the paper,  Those in the know understood that this was an attempt to smear Kane before she dropped the hammer on Fina for his role in the botched three-year investigation of Sandusky. called it "A PREEMPTIVE STRIKE"

Conversations on twitter echoed that sentiment and also pointed to a Legal Intelligencer article from March 2013 in which "anonymous sources" threatened to "go public" if Kane's investigation of the Sandusky investigation were 'overly critical' of their work on the case.  The LI noted that one of its sources formerly held a leadership post in the OAG.

The initial Inky article stated that Kane had seized Fina's hard drive the week she took office, while previous press reporting mentioned that Kane's investigation had been delayed due to the time consuming process of recovering deleted e-mails.  

One of these e-mails, found in a batch of 20 million deletions, was released this week.  The e-mail was sent by Fina to former AG Linda Kelly and two other OAG staffers, and outlined options for the bribery investigation.  The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported:

Adrian King, Kane's first deputy, said Fina's memo “appears to have been improperly taken from the office, and we only obtained a copy by searching a database of more than 20 million deleted emails that were recently recovered. The memo was not in the official case file. The options discussed in the memo were never acted upon in 2012, which further supports our conclusion the case had been abandoned.”

While Fina's e-mail was rather benign in content, it is exactly the type of information that is being sought in the probe of the Sandusky investigation.  Specifically, were there communications between OAG officials and Governor Corbett regarding charging Sandusky and what caused the delays?  Aaron Fisher's book, Silent No More, revealed that Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Eshbach was pressing Corbett to charge the case and was rebuffed on several occasions.  Was Fina in the loop on those decisions?  Time will tell.

Why Should Fina Be Worried About the Sandusky Case?

As the lapdog media reported, Frank Fina was a highly successful prosecutor and they credit him for his work on the BonusGate, ComputerGate, and Sandusky prosecutions.  With regard to the Sandusky case, the media (and Tom Corbett) always make it a point to mention that Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 counts and that they don't understand why anyone would investigate a successful prosecution.

The short answer is that a child was molested while the investigation was dragging along.  According to the trial testimony of Victim 9, he was abused through his sixteenth birthday, which was July 29, 2009.  The investigation had been on Tom Corbett's desk since March 2009.

The Pennsylvania State Police began investigating the case in December 2008.  In March 2009, the case was transferred to the OAG and trooper Scott Rossman was assigned the case in June 2009, replacing trooper Lear.  He would later be joined by OAG narcotics agent Anthony Sassano.  According to information on the public record, Aaron Fisher (Victim 1) was the lone victim identified during the first two years of the investigation -- if you believe the public record.

I don't and you shouldn't either.

It was Sandusky's practice to surround himself with children.  While the grand jury presentment reported that Sandusky engaged in unwanted non-sexual touching with another boy (initials F.A.) at Central Mountain High School, NBC reported that Sandusky had a long relationship with another Lock Haven youth (from 1997 to 2003) before he became attached to Aaron Fisher.  A New York Times article also reported that Sandusky went on a day trip, that was to include swimming, with Fisher and two other boys. When one of the boys reported he did not bring a swimsuit, Sandusky informed him that he kept extra swimming suits in the trunk of his car.    In summary, Sandusky was accessing children in the Lock Haven area from 1997 to 2008 - eleven years - and it strains credulity to believe that the police and investigators did not uncover any other victims from that location.

Another issue with this investigation is that the numbering of the victims is not in chronological order.  As I noted on my Report 3 timeline (page 10), Victim 3 was contacted by investigators in July 2011, long after Victim 6 was contacted in January 2011.  Victim 7 was contacted in February 2011.  Victim 4 was first contacted in April 2011.  The numbers are obviously not chronological by order of contact nor are they in chronological order of the dates of the crimes.

Given the above, the numbering of Victims 11-17 does not mean they were found after Victims 1 to 10.  I suspect that some of these victims were found at CMHS early in the investigation, but not presented as witnesses at trial because they did not fit the narrative of Penn State enabling Sandusky's abuse -- the theme of the Conspiracy of Silence case.   

One other issue that bolsters the theory that the State Police found other victims at CMHS early in the investigation is that Sandusky dropped his appeal to the abuse finding by the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) in February 2009.  Based on press reports and his own book, Aaron Fisher was not a solid witness and had difficulty testifying in front of the grand jury.  As a result, one would think that Sandusky would win an appeal against one less than reliable witness. Given that Sandusky still proclaims his innocence today and that his life's work required access to children, why would he drop his appeal?  The most logical reason is he was informed that other victims had been identified and that it was his word,  not against one, but against many.

As I pointed out in Report 3, had the OAG acted on the information they had about the 1998 incident (in June 2009), Sandusky could have been charged by late summer of that year.  However, if it is revealed that other victims were found early in the investigation (at CMHS), then Corbett, Fina, and others excuses for not charging this case for three years goes up in smoke.  

But Fina has more to worry about than foot-dragging on this case.

To be continued.....


  1. According to court Motions filed by Joshua Lock, attorney for Brett Feese, Fina defied a pre-trial Order from Judge Lewis to disclose all "Computergate" witness and proffer notes to the 10 defense attorneys. Fina informed the group that OAG destroyed dozens of notes without recording the content or times of the sessions. Feese was found guilty at trial. The state Superior Court denied Feese's appeal by ignoring the OAG Policy statement and US Supreme Court decisions prohibiting this action. Fina and fellow prosecutors failed to comply with the OAG Policy of documenting witness and proffer notes in the investigation report, ROI.
    Feese is in jail thanks to the actions of Fina and the Corbett/Ryan/Kelly OAG. The state Supreme Court now has the case. For the good of all citizens of PA, let's hope the court corrects this precedent setting ruling that allows prosecutors to destroy exculpatory evidence.
    Fina's failures are wide-spread, beyond the Sandusky debacle.

  2. At least 4 counts of suborning perjury in JS case. And that does not include fabricating the janitor hoax. Fina is a crooked cop. And what kind of confidence do the citizens of Pennsylvania have in the criminal justice system if the Attorney General is allowed to make bald face lies in presentments? The press in PA seems to think that this is business as usual. In any other state, the press would be howling like wolves!

  3. OAG with Fina and company also destroyed witness and proffer notes in the Steve Stetler case. Judge Hoover ignored the issue, Stetler went to jail and OAG gained additional headlines. On April 1, yes it is true, the PA Superior Court will get another opportunity to apply the law to this travesty of justice. This is another example of rule under Corbett.

  4. It looks like Corbett's lieutenants in the Philly DA's office have started the war! This might be the most brutal bloodbath that Pennsylvania has ever seen. Knock'em down, drag 'em out! Looks like Corbett and Fina are going to fight to the death along with their lackeys who are now looking into the abyss.