Sandusky: Pension should be returned


HARRISBURG, Pa. — Convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky testified Tuesday during a hearing over whether he can win back his $4,900 monthly state pension that was revoked last year.

Sandusky, testifying via video link-up from the state prison in Greene County, outlined his connection to Penn State as a football coach for 30 years and then as a consultant after his retirement in 1999.

The State Employee Retirement System took away Sandusky’s pension when he was sentenced Oct. 9, 2012, and the agency cited a state law that says certain crimes committed by public employees will result in their pensions being forfeited. The state said Sandusky’s convictions of indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse against two boys, Aaron Fisher and Victim 9 from his trial, triggered the forfeiture.

Sandusky testified that he was not a Penn State employee after he retired in 1999.

His testimony veered into options he contemplated as he faced whether to take advantage of a state retirement incentive and retire with 30 years of service. He said he unsuccessfully proposed a youth program to the dean of the College of Health and Human Development and turned down an offer to stay on as associate athletic director.

Sandusky also said he tried to start a football program at the Altoona campus, one of the university’s largest branch campuses, but his plan was turned down too.

Sandusky testified he had several retirement perks, such as football tickets for life and an office in the athletic department, and he had an agreement between his organization, The Second Mile, and the university to work together to enhance each other.

Sandusky called himself a paid consultant and not an employee.

And that’s where Sandusky and the state pension system are at odds. The lawyer for the pension system has said Sandusky was a “de facto” employee because of his relationship with Penn State after 1999.

The pension lawyer, Steven Bizar, questioned Sandusky at length about the perks, and his questions indicated he was trying to establish that Sandusky, through his coaching position, was a prominent figure on campus and in State College.

“It’s our contention that Mr. Sandusky was The Second Mile,” Bizar said.

Bizar said Sandusky was able to game the pension system by signing his retirement agreement in late June 1999 and then being rehired in an emergency capacity for the 1999 season.

Bizar said Sandusky was able to collect his pension and perks, including a $168,000 payout in July that year, too.

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©2014 Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)

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