Sandusky Appears In Court Over Pension Battle
HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Jerry Sandusky testified for hours Tuesday over an ongoing battle about his pension being forfeited in the wake of a conviction for molesting young boys in 2012.
Sandusky appeared on a closed circuit feed from prison.
Hearing officer Michael Bangs announced that Sandusky asked for a continuance in a letter to him dated Jan. 5. He has since rejected that request.
Sandusky’s attorney, Charles Benjamin, told Bangs that he objects to the state using the Freeh Report, which reviewed Penn State’s actions during the Sandusky scandal, as evidence.
Former Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz were subpoenaed to testify at this hearing, but they asserted their Fifth Amendment rights to not testify, according to the state attorney.
Benjamin elicited testimony from Sandusky that Joe Paterno once considered leaving Penn State to coach the New England Patriots and invited Sandusky to join him should he decide to take the job.
However, Paterno eventually decided to remain at Penn State.
“He talked to me the evening before; well, the evening he was faced with that decision, and invited me to go with him if he should go,” said Sandusky. “By the next morning, he had decided not to go.”
Sandusky testified he spoke with Curley about becoming an assistant athletic director, but rejected that idea. He says it was his dream to become a head football coach and considered coaching a Penn State Altoona team, but top administrators rejected that.
At that point, it was decided he would pursue retirement. He said there was a window whereby if he retired in 1999 he would be credited with five additional years of service for pension purposes.
Others have speculated that his retirement was related to early allegations of child sex abuse.
Sandusky got a $168,000 lump sum payment upon retirement, “in recognition of his contributions to the university,” according to Sandusky and his lawyer’s interpretation of the retirement agreement.
Sandusky testified he didn’t want to retire before the 1999 season. He said he signed a retirement agreement on June 30, 1999, but Curley wanted to rehire him.
Eventually, he agreed to a “collaborative” agreement with the university in concert with his work with the Second Mile Foundation.
Once the 1999 season ended, he became a paid consultant with the Second Mile and he never discussed specifics of the collaborative agreement with Curley beyond that.
Sandusky will argue that he was not a Penn State employee after he retired.
The issue is Sandusky’s monthly pension that added up to $4,600 per month and he received it starting in 1999 when he retired from Penn State.
Then, he got a cost of living adjustment in 2004 to $4,900 per month.
In the end, Sandusky negotiated the $168,000 payment from the university before he retired, and what that means legally is the subject of a dispute that may not resolve for month.
Penn State: 26 People Get $59.7 Million Over Sandusky (10/28/13)
Sandusky Conviction Getting Appeals Court Review (9/17/13)
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