Top 10 Pennsylvania Careers Destroyed or Damaged by the Jerry Sandusky Scandal

The fallout continues.


Now that Seamus McCaffery has retired from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, it’s worth asking: How many significant Pennsylvanians have had their careers destroyed or derailed because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State?

The line between Sandusky and McCaffery isn’t a straight one, of course, but: The “racy emails” that ultimately led to his suspension then retirement were discovered by Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office as it investigated whether her predecessor, Tom Corbett, had done a sufficient job of investigating the Sandusky case in the first place. No Sandusky, no Kane investigation, and maybe McCaffery is spending this week on the bench instead of vacating it.

Here are the Top 10 careers that have been destroyed or damaged, either directly or indirectly, by the Sandusky scandal, ranked by a combination of their relative importance to the entire state and the damage done to their careers. As you can see, the fallout has spread beyond Penn State and fairly widely across several branches of Pennsylvania state government.

Joe Paterno. ‘Nuff said.

Tom Corbett. This one’s provisional, but one can make an argument that his long-standing unpopularity in the state is due largely to the dissatisfaction of Penn State alumni with his handling of the matter. If he loses the governorship next Tuesday — the first incumbent in the modern history of the state to do so — that’ll be a big reason why.

Graham Spanier. The former president of Penn State is still waiting trial on criminal charges of perjury, child endangerment, and more, in the Sandusky affair.

• Tim Curley. Penn State’s former athletic director is also waiting trial on similar charges.

Gary Schultz. Penn State’s former vice president for business and finance faces similar charges as his colleagues.

Seamus McCaffery. See above.

Christopher Abruzzo. Was Corbett’s Environmental Protection Secretary, until he resigned because of the emails discovered during Kane’s investigation.

Kathleen Kane. She uncovered the emails, but tried a little too hard to fault Tom Corbett for the Sandusky scandal. Now she’s haunted by accusations she selectively released the emails for political advantage. She had other problems, but Kane’s credibility has taken several hits in her handling of this affair.

Randy Feathers. A member of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, also undone because of the emails.

Jay Paterno. Has filed a lawsuit saying he can’t get another football job since Penn State unceremoniously let him go when his father was terminated.

Is that it? Or is there a third wave to the scandal yet to reveal itself?

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