PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell was on Penn State’s board of trustees, but Penn State officials never once told the board, says Rendell, about Jerry Sandusky’s alleged abuse of children in the locker rooms.
Rendell sat down for an exclusive interview this afternoon with KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano.
Delano: “Did this issue come up during your tenure [2003 to 2010]?”
Rendell: “No. It was never reported to us by anybody at Penn State. Nor did any of the police forces, nor did the attorney general tell me about it.”
Rendell says, while the governor is not in the loop on criminal investigations, Penn State’s trustees should have been told what other Penn State employees knew about Sandusky.
“I think it’s an issue that should have been discussed with the board and had it been discussed with the board, I think not only myself but a number of the board members would have said, ‘Hey guys, you can’t let this guy stick around campus, and you got to make sure that this reached the police.’”
Rendell, who was once Philadelphia’s district attorney, says Penn State should have reported this right away to law enforcement.
“It’s not good enough for us to know about it at Penn State and for us to keep him off of Penn State property,” says Rendell. “If these allegations are true, pedophiles are highly recidivistic. We could be hurting other kids by not reporting this.”
“And I think the board would have been able to give them that type of feedback and it would have saved an awful lot of problems for Penn State and, more importantly, for the kids that were abused down the road.”
While Penn State clearly erred, Rendell is more cautious about whether Attorney General Tom Corbett should have acted sooner against Sandusky.
“Should Governor Corbett [as attorney general] have moved faster? I think Governor Corbett’s explanation was he was trying to build a solid case by getting a number of cases to make it ironclad. And I think they do have an ironclad case. I think [Attorney] General [Linda] Kelly has an ironclad case.”
“But again,” adds Rendell, “do you worry about that pedophile being on the loose and causing other incidents? You probably should, but it’s a balancing test.”