Jerry Sandusky Fights to Receive State PensionBy: Erika Watts - May 2, 2014
After being found guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse pertaining to the Penn State scandal and being sentenced to at least 30 years in prison, former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is fighting to have his state pension reinstated. Pennsylvania’s State Employees Retirement System (SERS) says that Sandusky forfeited his pension of $59,000 per year because of the nature of his crimes.
Sandusky’s pension was revoked by SERS in October 2012 after he was found guilty in the child sex abuse case. Sandusky’s lawyers argue that he is still eligible to receive his pension because when Sandusky retired in 1999, sex crimes wasn’t an offense that could cause one’s pension to be forfeited–sex crimes weren’t added until 2004.
While it is true that Sandusky retired as Penn State’s assistant football coach in 1999, Sandusky did maintain an office at Penn State until 2011 through his work with The Second Mile. The Second Mile is the nonprofit organization founded by Jerry Sandusky for underprivileged kids that gave him access to the children he was accused of abusing.
Even though Sandusky never received a paycheck from Penn State after officially retiring, which is a requirement for him to be considered a school employee, SERS says that Sandusky’s continued professional relationship with Penn State makes his case an exception.
Sandusky had an agreement with former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley for the university to work with The Second Mile, plus SERS says that the office and other perks the university provided Sandusky, such as football tickets, were forms of compensation. This agreement was documented in letters written back and forth between Sandusky and Curley.
“The letter agreement puts lie to Sandusky’s contention that he ‘retired’ in 1999,” SERS attorneys wrote. “If anything, in June 1999, Sandusky retired from his position as football coach, but then continued as PSU employee in a new ‘outreach’ position…To be sure, the agreement was not an ordinary contract or employment arrangement. But, from the Penn State perspective, Sandusky was not an ordinary man.”
If Jerry Sandusky isn’t successful in getting his pension reinstated, his wife Dottie Sandusky will also “lose the ability to collect a 50 percent survivor’s benefit for the remainder of her life” should her husband pass before she does. Dottie (pictured below) still maintains that her husband never abused any young boys. “He’s not guilty of these horrific crimes,” Dottie said during an interview in March. Of the showers, Dottie said, “That’s the generation that Jerry grew up in…They’d have soap battles or whatever.”
Image via YouTube