The judge presiding over former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s latest appeal on Thursday ordered Attorney General Kathleen Kane to present, under seal, any evidence she has regarding leaks from the Sandusky grand jury.
Senior Judge John Cleland of McKean County, assigned to the case in Centre County, reacted to a statement Kane’s office released a day earlier.
In it, she accused state Judge Barry Feudale, who supervised the Sandusky grand jury, of leaking sealed matters to two Philadelphia Inquirer reporters who were investigating his removal as a grand jury judge.
The Supreme Court removed Feudale at Kane’s request after she took office in 2013. The leaks Kane referred to did not pertain directly to the Sandusky child sex abuse investigation.
But Kane has alleged in the past that Feudale may have been too cozy with some of her predecessor’s prosecutors, including Frank Fina, who led the Sandusky investigation.
In an internal review of the Sandusky prosecution, conducted by a specially appointed deputy, Kane was able to draw no conclusions about leaks from the Sandusky grand jury.
Sandusky’s appellate attorney, Al Lindsay, has maintained that investigative information from the case was leaked to reporters to aid that investigation months before anything was formally unsealed.
In an apparent attempt to address that issue, Cleland issued a rare bench order forcing Kane to present to him within a week any information she has that Feudale or Sandusky’s prosecutors “orchestrated, facilitated, cooperated in or arranged for disclosure of otherwise secret grand jury material.
“… She shall detail who was involved, what was disclosed, when and how it was disclosed” by Wednesday, Cleland wrote.
Attorney General spokesman Jeff Johnson said Kane and her staff will comply with Cleland’s ruling but had no further comment.
Lindsay said he was surprised by Cleland’s order and hailed it as a sign that the judge is taking his arguments “very seriously. … I’m thrilled.”
The order was one highlight from a 30-minute legal argument on whether Lindsey should have subpoena power to aid his efforts to build a case against the 2012 conviction of Sandusky, the longtime defensive assistant to Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno.
Sandusky is serving a 30-year minimum prison term for abusing 10 boys to whom he was introduced through his Second Mile youth charity.