Wednesday, October 21

Wensilver Responds To Heim Coin Toss Flap

The recent “coin toss” controversy this month regarding the Co-Founder and long-time Board Member of Sandusky’s Second Mile children’s charitable non-profit, Mr. Bruce Heim, opened the door slightly for the media and the public to re-focus their questions on the role of the Second Mile leadership in their failures to protect children.  

Penn State President Barron rescinded the honorary Army/PSU game opening coin toss invitation to Mr. Heim after a flood of complaints from well-informed alumni.  Alumni that have been questioning the leadership decisions at Second Mile since the scandal broke in late 2011.  More specifically, alumni have questioned the actions of charity CEO and licensed child psychologist, Dr. Jack Raykovitz, on addressing Sandusky's conduct, which was reported to him in 2001, and PSU's subsequent banning of Second Mile clients from the campus. 

We've heard nothing on the Second Mile until this coin toss controversy and Mr. Heim's compulsion to reply to complaints via an Op-Ed on October 7th in a local State College publication 
 In it, Mr. Heim voices his displeasure on the revoking of this coin toss honorarium, complains of being dishonored, and laments that with benefit of hindsight, he wished he had done more. Yet he also admits to both his and charity Executive Director, Dr. Jack Raykovitz’s roles in concealing PSU’s 2001 complaint from the Second Mile Board at large, the Second Mile staffers and charity volunteers. 

Mr. Heim admits to the agreed upon concealment of facts from others in charity leadership positions. Facts, that had they been escalated by a concerned parent about their charity figurehead's conduct with minors, would very likely have led to bad publicity for the Second Mile.  That is an issue any full Board of a children's charity needs to know about.

Mr. Heim’s statement that the Second Mile didn’t have “some culpability” in the scandal and that contrary opinions are based on “conjecture” is a demonstration of his own ignorance of the charity’s legal requirements and the facts in evidence. 

One has to ask that as an involved, decades-long board member and Co-Founder with Sandusky of a Pennsylvania children’s charitable non-profit, why Mr. Heim was not educated on the standards of safe conduct for adults working with children, and more specifically, reporting requirements in Pennsylvania?  

Mr. Heim states this “It never occurred as a possibility until the release of the 2011 Grand Jury presentment that shocked a nation, destroyed a great charity, devastated a town, impugned a university, and by implication its wide alumni base, and maligned a personal friend, partner, and icon who did everything he was supposed to do with the information he had: Joe Paterno.” 

However, Mr. Heim confesses in his Op-Ed that the break in the reporting chain was among the leadership at Second Mile.  Therefore there was never a “cover up” among the administrators at Penn State, least of all with Mr. Paterno. The Second Mile was legally mandated to follow up on institutional complaints on its employee’s conduct with minors, investigate it, possibly report it to outside agencies and implement a written safety plan as per state mandate.

That never happened.

It strains credulity that Louis Freeh so freely maligned Joe Paterno, Messrs. Curley, Schultz and Spanier, without subpoena power to compel truthful testimony -- but used the lack of subpoena power as an excuse not to review the actions of The Second Mile.

It is stunning that Curley, Schultz, and Spanier were tried and convicted in the Court of Public Opinion on yet unproven allegations made by our PA Office of Attorney General -- by a prosecutor that is currently embroiled in his own pornography and ethics scandal.  

Yet that same prosecutor and Office of Attorney General -- responsible for oversight of charities -- never considered charging those in leadership positions at Second Mile that were privy to the same information as close to a dozen people and failed to abide by their state mandated reporting responsibilities.

It is my hope that Mr. Heim sees fit to publish his October 7th Op-Ed in our national newspapers for broader public consumption and conversation. 

One hopes that Mr. Heim:
-- continues to discuss The Second Mile's leadership failures;
-- nationally exposes the Freeh report for the farce that it is;
-- insists the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General drop the baseless charges against Messrs. Curley, Schultz and Spanier; and.
-- demands that the Penn State Administration offer a formal apology to the Paterno Family, the football lettermen, the three former administrators that have yet to set foot in a courtroom, and to the larger PSU community.  

It will be a greater honorary effort for Mr. Heim to help write the last chapter in this saga.

Far greater than a 50 yard line coin toss on a Saturday afternoon in the fall. 

Wendy Silverwood,
West Chester, Pennsylvania


  1. Wendy has a true gift with words to get a point across.

  2. Well written but misses the main point: Coin toss was part of Military Appreciation Day and Mr Heim was selected to represent Vietnam vets during this tribute. As a member of Nam generation his participation had nothing to do with Sandusky and I always appreciate an opportunity to honor and thank Vietnam vets. Mr. Heim has not been convicted of any crime and deserves better than this public persecution and humiliation. You should appologize

    1. Alum63,
      You are entitled to your opinion, however, you are not entitled to your own facts.

      Ms. Silverwood is correct that Mr. Heim violated the law in 2001 by not reporting the incident to the proper authorities.

      The lack of an arrest is meaningless given that the 2001 violation would have been outside the statute of limitations. Heim knows that and is using it to deceive people about his culpability.

      Ms. Silverwood wasn't fooled -- but you apparently were.

      Mr. Heim's service to his country is not the issue. The issue is that a man who tacitly admitted he broke the law and enabled Sandusky's abuse was about to be honored by a school that was severely tarnished by the Sandusky scandal.

      Meanwhile, Penn State publicly humiliated several individuals who fulfilled their legal mandates to report Sandusky and refused to HONOR Joe Paterno -- even after the state's prosecutor said he had no role in the scandal.

      Heim hasn't even come close to getting what he deserved for enabling Sandusky's abuse.

      Those are the facts.

      No apologies are necessary. Live and learn.

    2. Ok your facts do not convince me he should not have been honored for his military service. Mr Curley and Mr Shultz were indicted (not guilty in my opinion) so a reasonable person could conclude if in fact Mr Heim did anything prosecutable he would have been, too. It is way past time to stop the PC madness. He said he spent hours testifying before a Grand Jury. Your trying to tell me you know more than they did!

    3. Again, I have no problem with Mr. Heim being honored for his military service, however Penn State should not be honoring a man so inextricably tied to the scandal - that is still a festering wound for the University.

      If you believe PA's criminal justice system is honest, then I have a bridge to sell you. A fair reading of the laws shows that PSU officials were wrongly charged with failure to report child abuse, but Heim, who was mandated to report was not.

      The ongoing mess in PA involving corrupt judges and prosecutors exchanging porn should shake any thinking person's confidence in the system. Apparently, you're not in that group.

      The Second Mile was not thoroughly investigated,, contrary to Heim's claim.

      In May 2014, the Moulton Report of the Sandusky investigation revealed that investigators did not begin investigating the charity until January 2011 -- two years into the investigation. When they finally got around to investigating, they found that files had gone missing or were destroyed.

      Finally, one Federal official familiar with the grand jury testimony of The Second Mile's staff called them "a bunch of liars."

      It's rather obvious that I know more about the law than Mr. Heim. His own statements confirm that.

      Live and learn.

  3. Alum63 - The prosecutors were very selective in who was charged. If Curley and Schultz failed to report in 2001 then so did Dr. Dranov, John McQueary and those at Second Mile, especially Raykovitz.

    The reason for the selectivity was obvious. Curley and Schultz were charged to remove them as defense witnesses for Sandusky. Even the Sandusky judge talked about that in the court record. Had Curley, Schultz and Dr. Dranov all contradicted Mike McQueary, Mike would not have been credible.

    The prosecution couldn't charge Dr. Dranov and John McQueary, because then Mike might walk back his testimony to save a close family friend and his father.

    1. Tim and Alum 63,
      Here is the twisted logic behind the charge/not charge decisions in the case.

      1. The OAG didn't charge Dranov and John McQueary with failure to report because Mike LIED to them and soft-pedaled what happened.

      2. The next morning Mike told the TRUTH to Paterno. Paterno wasn't charged because he was not legally mandated to report the incident.

      3. Paterno discussed the incident with Curley and Schultz. Who knows what Paterno told them, his grand jury testimony and police interview were all over the place.

      4. Curley and Schultz told Spanier about the incident on that Monday. Apparently they lied to Spanier because he wasn't charged in 2011.

      5. About a week later, Mike again told the TRUTH to Curley and Schultz - who were charged in 2011 for failing to report what Mike told them to the authorities. Curley and Schultz were NOT required by law to report Sandusky to the authorities.

      6. Curley met with The Second Mile and apparently told Raykovitz that Sandusky was banned from using the workout facilities with kids -- for APPROPRIATE conduct that made people uncomfortable? Raykovitz not charged even though he was required to report suspected abuse to the authorities.

      7. Raykovitz told Heim that Sandusky showered with a kid and Heim said it was no big deal. Heim not charged, even though he was required to report suspected child abuse to authorities.

  4. Ray - Like Judge Judy says "If it doesn't make sense, it can't be true."

  5. Tim & Ray, I agree with Tim'a analysis and Ray you demonstrated McCreary is a liar even under oath. You do not address the point that Mr Heim's reputation has been slandered. If I were Mr Heim, I would be looking for a good attorney the same as Dr Spanier did and the Paterno's did when the were persecuted

    1. Alum 63,

      He can't sue for slander because nothing false that harmed his reputation was said about him.

      He can't sue for libel because nothing false that damaged his reputation was written about him.

      He has no case -- under the law.

      Persecuted? Hardly. His invitation to FLIP A FREAKING COIN was rescinded.

      His livelihood wasn't taken away and his life wasn't put on hold - like Spanier.

      What damages would he sue for if he had a case. The emotional pain and suffering of having to tell his grand-kids he was booted from the coin flip because he failed to report a potential child molester in 2001?

      Maybe he could have used that as a teaching opportunity for keeping his grand kids that he's learned about pedophile behavior.

      Live and learn.

  6. I doubt that Heim wants to drag his involvement in Second Mile's failure to protect boys from Sandusky into the spotlight with a lawsuit. I think he would do himself more harm than good.

    I'm surprised that Heim was so oblivious that he accepted the Penn State invitation. It was so obvious that it would be controversial given Heim's major role in Second Mile and the widespread anger by Penn State alumni over how Paterno, Spanier and others were treated.

    Spanier and the Paterno estate had big targets to sue - Freeh for Spanier and the NCAA for the Paterno estate. Who is Heim going to sue for defamation?

    1. See above.

      McCombie was stupid to nominate him and Heim was stupid to accept.

      They both should have known better.