Jerry Sandusky's pension appeal denied but lawyer vows to keep fighting

Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:55pm EST
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By David DeKok

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach sentenced to decades in prison for sexually molesting boys, has lost his first appeal of a decision to strip him of his $4,900 monthly pension, but his lawyer says the fight is not over.

Charles J. Benjamin Jr. told Reuters on Friday he would appeal a decision by the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) to deny Sandusky’s motion to have his pension restored. In doing so, the governing board of SERS disregarded an official's earlier recommendation to restore the pension.

Sandusky has 30 days to appeal Thursday's SERS ruling to the state's Commonwealth Court.

In a case that rocked the world of big-time college sports, Sandusky was found guilty in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, using his position in the prestigious football program to gain access to youth. The former coach, now 70, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

In a second matter related to the Sandusky scandal, the Commonwealth Court on Thursday delayed until Feb. 17 the beginning of a trial on a lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions imposed by the sports governing body to punish Penn State for its response to the scandal.

The suit, which aims to roll back the National Collegiate Athletic Association consent decree that punishes the Penn State football program for the way it handled the allegations against Sandusky, was filed by State Senator Jake Corman and State Treasurer Rob McCord.

The trial had been scheduled to open Jan. 6, but Judge Anne Covey said she needed more time to resolve document discovery issues.

On the pension issue, the governing board of SERS ruled that Sandusky was a Pennsylvania State University employee after he retired as defensive coordinator in 1999.   Continued...

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives at Centre County Court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, June 11, 2012.  REUTERS/Gary Cameron