“We are learning more every day about this case and the many people and institutions who failed these victims and about how Jerry Sandusky operated above the law in Centre County for decades.” -- Justine Andronici
According to the “Friday news dump” is the practice of releasing bad news or documents on a Friday afternoon in an attempt to avoid media scrutiny. You have to take your hat off to the Patriot News – they used every trick in the book to keep the stink of the Sandusky scandal off the government agencies who failed to put away Sandusky in 1998.
The Centre County CYS Friday News Dump coincided with the date of the Curley and Schultz preliminary hearing – December 16, 2011. So, not only did the P-N release the ONLY negative story it ran about Centre County CYS on a Friday afternoon, but timed it so that it would be overshadowed by the obviously bigger story that had taken place earlier in the day.
Even with all that going against anyone reading the column, the P-N added a misleading headline to the story:
“Alleged Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse victims warn Sandusky, Penn State against destroying evidence.”
While it was true that the lawyers had sent preservation notices to Penn State and Jerry Sandusky, the P-N headline omitted that notices were also sent to The Second Mile, DPW, and CYS. A more accurate headline would have read, “Lawyers of Sandusky victims warn all parties against destroying evidence.”
If the P-N really wanted a sensational headline the last quote of the article was exactly what they were looking for. Lawyer Justine Andronici stated (my emphasis added):
“We are learning more every day about this case and the many people and institutions who failed these victims and about how Jerry Sandusky operated above the law in Centre County for decades. We are committed to helping the victims obtain justice.
The reality was that the P-N had no intention of reporting the real failures in the Sandusky case.
Centre County CYS has the lone distinction of being the only agency involved in the Sandusky case to have no individual from its organization named in any of the P-N’s coverage. This was quite an amazing achievement considering that Centre County CYS’s John Miller was clearly named as the investigator for the 1998 initial investigation of Sandusky in the 1998 police report and that CYS’s supervisor, Carol Smith, was named by Sassano during his grand jury testimony.
Smith’s name appeared in two Pittsburgh Post-Gazette articles in November 2011 and both times she characterized the relationship between TSM and CYS as being minimal.
Miller’s name never appeared in what would be considered a major newspaper or media outlet, but was routinely cited in the blogosphere. Miller was identified as one of the 1998 investigators in the Freeh Report, and, as previously mentioned, was also identified in the 1998 University Park police report. Yet neither person's name has ever been mentioned by the P-N.
CYS, or the “county agency” as it is called in the Public Welfare Code is the sole civil agency responsible for conducting child abuse investigations and providing other related services. In the Sandusky case, it was relieved of investigating the case due to Sandusky’s status as an “agent” of the county, however, it still had responsibility for making notifications and ensuring that TSM had established a protection plan to keep children safe while Sandusky was under investigation.
The evidence (i.e., police report) revealed that protection plans were not put in place and Sandusky was accessing the alleged victim and his friend while being investigated. The Sandusky trial verdicts also revealed he was accessing and abusing Victim 4 during this time frame as well. None of the information about CYS’s procedural failings was ever reported by the P-N. From the release of the Sandusky grand jury presentment to today, CYS’s role in the investigation has been minimized.
The P-N (along with the OAG) deliberately covered up those failures in order to maintain the narrative of a Penn State child sex abuse scandal.