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Penn State Scandal

November 27, 2011 by staff 

Penn State Scandal, In 2006, the charity at the center of the Pennsylvania State University sex-abuse scandal chose a firm run by its board chairman to construct its new $11.5 million home – on a site bought from the college on the cheap.

At the time, Robert Poole – a 17-year veteran of the organization and president of Poole Anderson Construction – described the Second Mile Center for Excellence as a monument to its namesake charity and to the man whose vision made it possible: former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Few thought much about the land deal or Poole’s selection as contractor then. But now – three weeks after Sandusky’s arrest on child-molestation charges – those relationships have drawn new scrutiny.

As criminal and independent investigators seek to explain how Sandusky could elude detection for so long, they have zeroed in on the business ties between the Second Mile, its own board members, and the university exemplified at the Center for Excellence deal.

At their best, those strong social and financial links helped the board turn the charity Sandusky founded in 1977 into the most dominant nonprofit for at-risk youth in central Pennsylvania.

At worst,anlysts fear, they may have blurred the lines of personal responsibility, putting top leaders in positions where their strong ties to the university and the Sandusky brand prevented them from acting as independent governors.

And now, those same ties may force the Second Mile to close its doors.

Since Sandusky’s arrest, donors and board members have fled from the organization; its president, Jack Raykovitz, has resigned amid questions about what he knew and when; and plaintiffs’ attorneys are seeking court orders barring the charity from disbursing its assets before the plaintiffs get a chance to sue.

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