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Gov. Corbett: McQueary didn’t ‘meet a moral obligation’

Mike McQueary AP

In all of the mess that has transpired in and around Penn State in the past week or so, there’s one thing Pennsylvania’s attorney general has made clear: Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary did, based on what’s known at this time, what they were legally obligated to do in the eyes of the law.

Whether they met a moral obligation with information they had — McQueary testified to a grand jury that he witnessed former assistant Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a 10-year-old boy and took that information to Paterno, who took it to his boss — has become an overriding subset of the controversy that’s erupted since Sandusky was indicted on 40 counts of sexually abusing eight children last weekend.

The scandal has cost Paterno his job, and left McQueary on administrative leave.  It’s also led to the university launching an investigation that will be undertaken “to determine what failures occurred, who is responsible and what measures are necessary to insure that this never happens at our University again and that those responsible are held fully accountable.”

Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday morning (see video below), Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett, who was the attorney general when his office began the investigation into the Sandusky allegations in 2009, said that calls from both sides of the political aisle are surfacing to change the existing laws as it pertains to the reporting of abuse, sexual or otherwise, at public institutions such as Penn State.

“We have to make sure the change in the law is one that is effective,” the governor said.

Corbett also spoke on McQueary specifically, saying that while the then-graduate assistant met “the minimum obligation… [he] did not in my opinion meet a moral obligation that all of us would have.”

And Corbett is absolutely correct.  While McQueary and even Paterno may have done what was legally obligated, bare minimum as it was, neither McQueary nor Paterno nor any other Penn State official connected to this whole sad, sordid saga even remotely approached doing what was morally right: intervene immediately and pursue justice for the child that was allegedly raped on their campus, and put a stop to an alleged predatory pedophile who went on to claim, the grand jury said, other children as victims after the alleged 2002 rape.

There’s a legal aspect to this situation as it pertains to the person directly involved in the alleged molestation of children — and those that may have been involved in a cover-up — and then there’s the moral aspect.  We’re guessing civil courts will take care of the latter.

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45 Responses to “Gov. Corbett: McQueary didn’t ‘meet a moral obligation’”
  1. iownyou2 says: Nov 13, 2011 1:55 PM

    Do you have any more completely obvious articles for us today?? This is the second one (1st being that Sandusky and Schultz are still receiving pensions) which, bc this is the US and people are innocent until proven guilty, is how things work.

  2. woebegong says: Nov 13, 2011 2:06 PM

    At this point, this is now a game of what if’s. The biggest one in my opinion, is : What if that assistant had physically intervened and prevented anymore damage when he was witnessing the crime and I am assuming, was physically a big enough man to have prevented it. It boils down to him, fearing he would somehow lose his job I believe, which means that the Penn. ST. administration has always taken the point of view, to hide serious crimes like that, no matter what the cost, and save the integrity of the school. Why else would all concerned not have reported this crime and let the legal system work properly. Look at the mess, they have put this great institute into now. I feel sorry for JoePa, but at the same time, I don’t know how his thought process got so skewed in this instance, as to believe that protecting the universities rep. was more important than doing what was morally right.

  3. malice420dotcom says: Nov 13, 2011 2:07 PM

    iown,
    BRO ! ur on MSNBC.
    Besides you’re trying to talk to a leader in sport news media that for 14 years never had a sniff of this guy even though the entire town knew; Sandusky couldn’t get a job with any other institution; and not a single journalist, TV host , analyist, coach or other wrote a paragraph about this guy. They were as silent as they were loud with Headlines of hate aimed at the Vietnam Veteran when we returned home. It’s shuttering thinking the sons and daughters of those cowards are running the media.
    With exception to new tech the media still seems like the 1970’s investigative reporting.
    This guy should have been Herman Cained ten years ago.
    The leaders in sport news media are as accountable as JoPa for allowing the child rape to continue for 14 years.
    Seriously now, 14 years and the guy gave you several chances to lock him up and you did nothing. Really ?

  4. chiefagc5675 says: Nov 13, 2011 2:22 PM

    Corbett can’t be letting himself off the hook here- he was in a position to end this 2 years ago and took the republican way out- now he’s accusing others? What a piece of crap he is- guess he was too busy collecting money from the companies now fracking for free in Pa.

  5. chiefagc5675 says: Nov 13, 2011 2:25 PM

    What makes me sick is reporters now acting as though their main concern is the victims- they’re the same reporters that ignored this situation since the late 90’s- now they’re like the Pharisees of 2000 years ago- let’s nail Paterno to a cross for our screwup.

  6. lbijake says: Nov 13, 2011 2:38 PM

    And what about the State Police , who had knowledge of Sandusky’s proclivities since 1996? The County DA from 1998 who has disappeared? The school administration which forced Sandusky’s retirement in 1999 but allowed him an office in the football building and full access to campus?

    As my friend Jack has so adroitly stated ” The truth, you can’t handle the truth!”.

  7. jimr10 says: Nov 13, 2011 2:40 PM

    All are trying to cover for Joe..They do not want to spoil his clean image reputation..blame it on someone else..

  8. pricecube says: Nov 13, 2011 2:48 PM

    So let me get this straight… MSNBC is now culpable? The Penn State stories really bring out the wing nuts.

  9. larrybrown43 says: Nov 13, 2011 2:51 PM

    I’m so sick of the media taking the gutless approach with this story.

    What employee is ever going to be able to stand on the grounds of “moral obligation?”

    So if I don’t think my employer is conducting an investigation to my liking I can then go over their heads andcall in the cops?

    What happens if the evidence doesn’t hold up or witnesses don’t want to go forward? When I’m fired for going over my supervisor’s head, I hope the bank will understand that I had a “moral obligation.”

    I want someone, anyone, from the media to grow a pair and take the gusty approach instead of looking at it with their job safety glasses on.

    Hindsight is a heck of a thing.

  10. whyalwaysthehate says: Nov 13, 2011 3:05 PM

    When the Paterno’s football authority ruled the moral system for PSU and State College, the herd followed.

  11. 187onsandusky says: Nov 13, 2011 3:06 PM

    a sniff of this guy even though the entire town knew;

    This is a bit of a false statement. I have no doubt that there were those that knew and talked about it, but it was most certainly in hushed circles.

    I lived in the town for over 2/3 my life, including HS with McQueary and this sickos son. This scandal it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

    I’m ashamed for what happened in my town, but am also angry for the speculation being tossed around as fact on these boards.

    Be patient and let all of the facts come out then I will join all of you in burning every single one of the bass turds that allowed this to happen.

  12. pricecube says: Nov 13, 2011 3:08 PM

    @larrybrown43

    “So if I don’t think my employer is conducting an investigation to my liking I can then go over their heads andcall in the cops?”

    ______________________________________

    Emphatically yes! If you witness an adult raping a ten year old you are supposed to call the cops… IMMEDIATELY!!!!! It is what any normal human being would do. How do you not see that?

  13. hushbrother says: Nov 13, 2011 3:08 PM

    Let’s do ourselves a favor and ignore the politicians when they weigh in on this subject.

    But for what it’s worth, if the Governor feels so strongly about who’s failed to be morally responsible here why doesn’t he also take a slap at Joe Paterno? Maybe it’s because many thousands of voters still support JoePa and he wouldn’t dare offend them.

    The Governor’s words would carry more weight if he had the guts to call out the big targets as well as the little ones.

  14. eltex says: Nov 13, 2011 3:11 PM

    As much as I would like to just blame the grad assistant, I will admit I have no idea about his past and his upbringing, which may have help shaped his response. If he had been abused, or knew of others abuse growing up, just the sight of this could have sent his system into shock.

    Also, we must remember that Sandusky and JoePa were treated almost like mythical figures around campus. To see Sandusky doing this could immediately make you question everything, but also make you fear to actually intervene.

    I still wish he had intervened at that point, but it was not the first time this should have been stopped, or the last time. It just happens to be the most convenient person to throw stones at.

  15. malice420dotcom says: Nov 13, 2011 3:13 PM

    Harshbro
    The gov is R- Paterno gave huge to Obama

  16. gershonpsu says: Nov 13, 2011 3:17 PM

    It’s easy to moralize and to say people should have violated the written rules of their employer. Of course, that would also have subjected them to legal action and possible termination — especially if the accusations turned out to be untrue or unprovable. When the governor says the law should be re-written, he is saying the existing law was followed. Are we now saying that it’s not only ok to violate the rules, but it’s mandatory if — in retrospect — it would have been better. This is especially true when your information is second-hand. Let’s try to remember that, in Salem, they burned old women on hearsay testimony, in order to protect the children.

  17. gershonpsu says: Nov 13, 2011 3:29 PM

    @malice — Jay Paterno supported President Obama. Joe is a lifelong Republican whom the GOP tried to recruit as a candidate for governor in the 80’s. Facts are sometimes inconvenient when your mind is already made up.

  18. clownsfan says: Nov 13, 2011 3:32 PM

    Bottom line: McCreary is/was a COWARD. Now the whole country knows he’s a COWARD. And someday he’s gonna have to explain to this to his kids. Imagine that conversation.

  19. amctjc says: Nov 13, 2011 3:39 PM

    Corbett is a politician being a politician… no leadership just pile on the pile (pun intended). This is part of what is wrong with the USA

  20. corvusrex96 says: Nov 13, 2011 3:54 PM

    The laws are written so that if you suspect* child abuse you were to report it to a supervisor who then was to report it to the police.

    *Suspect as in ; Gee Jerry seems too friendly with this kid or why does this kid have a bruise on his arm? why does he pull away when Jerry is near?

    Witnessing a RAPE is not suspected child abuse IT IS child abuse.

    No question he should have at least called the police.
    And to all of McQuery’s apologists there is no PSU or state law preventing him from doing that PERIOD

  21. gojoep says: Nov 13, 2011 4:14 PM

    Tough questions that were not asked of our Governor Tom Corbett – so no good answers. Where was Corbett (attorney general) when his office began the investigation into the Sandusky allegations in 2009? Why didn’t anything happen then? If Corbett (and SO many others) is going to be the cornerstone of truth, justice, and the American Way – why isn’t he, Rendell, and the complete Board of Trustees ALSO under investigation? Why were they also not fired? Surely they all knew something all these years – as much as Paterno. Why is Joe the scapegoat for Corbett and all the haters? Why is Paterno the ONLY one fired? Furthermore, why are people like McQueary and Curley STILL on the payroll and NOT fired like Paterno and being protected? Still PURE hypocrisy of power and position with favors continuing including Governor Corbett.

  22. onceuponatimeinsports says: Nov 13, 2011 4:42 PM

    Every town and city in the country has tip lines that allow you to report child abuse and crimes in general anonymously.

    McQueary or his father who he described the crime to could easily have called this incident in and none would be the wiser. Paterno too for that matter.

    The bottom line is that after 2002 both McQueary and Paterno knew this man was a molester yet McQueary appeared at functions with Sandusky and JP continued to grant him access to the campus and the football team.

    Both Paterno and McQueary had to have realized their superiors at the university were not going to do anything to bring Sandusky to justice yet they turned a blind eye to the situation and continued to allow him to hang around children at this foundation without taking it further.

    None are so blind as those who will not see…..

  23. malice420dotcom says: Nov 13, 2011 5:03 PM

    gershonpsu-
    I know Paterno is a republican-rino.
    His status is why they’ve been trying to get rid of him gently for years and not just hammer him to a tree. Do you really think they loved this guy on campus & having such an influence ? Not on your life.
    He still gave to Obama huge this past election.
    He should have known he was still going to get thrown under the bus like the 700 gop auto dealers at the first opportunity.
    He still deserves to live the rest of his life in jail.

    Hey 187, you must have been the only one not to know. I’d bet the sports production tech at Ohio State knew when to be in the shower at Penn State.
    Shut the football program down and get back to cow tipping..

  24. gershonpsu says: Nov 13, 2011 5:05 PM

    I’m sure many of you sincerely believe that you would have acted bravely and with unerring foresight. Perhaps. For now you might want to heed this biblical warning: Judge not lest you be judged.

  25. clownsfan says: Nov 13, 2011 5:40 PM

    I thought his name was McCleary. It’s McQueary. I’m a might be a jackass. But he’s still definitely a COWARD.

  26. Deb says: Nov 13, 2011 5:53 PM

    larrybrown43 says:

    I’m so sick of the media taking the gutless approach with this story.

    What employee is ever going to be able to stand on the grounds of “moral obligation?”

    So if I don’t think my employer is conducting an investigation to my liking I can then go over their heads andcall in the cops?
    ————————————————–
    You actually believe the first thing entering the minds of most people who witness a child being raped is “What would my bosses do?” Most people who witness a violent crime in progress just call the cops. How sad that you wouldn’t.

    But even in cases where the company was committing a so-called “victimiless” crime, yes, employees have risked their jobs to stand on the grounds of moral obligation. Enron was brought down by an employee standing on moral obligation. And that’s just one example. Some people do have backbone and character.

  27. gershonpsu says: Nov 13, 2011 6:07 PM

    Hey malice –maybe you know what the hell you’re raving about, but I sure can’t figure it out.

  28. lbijake says: Nov 13, 2011 6:23 PM

    McQuery and Curley are on the payroll due to legal entanglements. Innocent until proven guilt and McQuery will be a potential witness. McQuery may also be covbered by whistleblowers law. Their salary will mean little in consideration of possible incarceration, loss of employment, loss of future employment and, most important, looking in the mirror everyday.

  29. dirtyharry1971 says: Nov 13, 2011 6:25 PM

    This should close the university but since that wont happen they should at least drop the football program and not just for what happened in this case but because of all the problems they had with the football players breaking the law going back to 1999

  30. 187onsandusky says: Nov 13, 2011 6:39 PM

    Corbett is a politician being a politician… no leadership just pile on the pile (pun intended). This is part of what is wrong with the USA

    ——————————————-

    I have no love for politicians whatsoever, but to his credit Corbett is the man who got this whole investigation going. I would argue it was his leadership that got us to this point today.

    But go ahead and bash him for wanting to get this mess sorted out.

  31. nocryinginbaseball07 says: Nov 13, 2011 7:39 PM

    “They should just close the university”? That is without a doubt one of the most asinine posts ever.

  32. gamecockinfl says: Nov 13, 2011 7:53 PM

    I smell a HUGE lawsuit .

  33. corvusrex96 says: Nov 13, 2011 7:56 PM

    Shouldn’t the caption of that McQuery photo be

    “You know I used to be a coach at PSU but I effed up thiiiiis much !! “

  34. bigjdve says: Nov 14, 2011 10:16 AM

    I am seriously conflicted with this.

    I keep hearing that he did what was legal. From as early as I can remember, I was told that the laws of the land were supposed to act as a moral compass for us in order to help us know right from wrong.

    We are also taught that going beyond the law is not allowed.

    The governor and the chief of state police are saying that both Paterno and McQuery did what was permissible under law.

    I get that, I know that in McQuery’s shoes I would’ve done more as I actually saw the act happening. I would like to think that I would’ve stopped the act right then, but I can’t say for certain because I haven’t ever been in that situation, however I am quite sure I would’ve called the police.

    Now with regards to JoePa, I have talked to many of my friends that are either cops or retired cops and they say that you hearsay is not viewed as credible in situations like this. They might check but there isn’t really much that can be done, as they don’t have a witness to a crime. Which makes sense because in court if you say that you heard that someone did something, you aren’t used as a witness. If that is the case, what is supposed to be done?

    I don’t know, like I said I am conflicted with this case.

  35. Deb says: Nov 14, 2011 10:29 AM

    @bigjdve …

    McQueary was an eyewitness to the crime. He went to Paterno and related what he saw. If McQueary had called the police, he’d have been reporting the crime as an eyewitness. If Paterno had called the police to come to his home while McQueary was there–or accompanied him to the station–he would have been providing them with an eyewitness.

    Some of you are overthinking this. I’ve been in a lot of sudden, dangerous situations, some involving children. Your adrenaline is pumping and your instincts kick in: fight or flight. You really aren’t standing there thinking, “Hmm, do I have enough evidence to proceed. The law says I can go this far but no further.” You fight … or you flee.

    Afterward, your reasoning kicks in and you have another opportunity to do the right thing. You call a child-abuse hotline–anonymously–and ask for guidance, you call a rape crisis center, you call the cops, you consult an attorney, you go off the record with an investigative reporter–the Philadelphia Inquirer is one of the best papers in the country. These well-educated men in positions of leadership had a decade to do something to come between Sandusky and his victims. They chose to look the other way.

  36. ice90 says: Nov 14, 2011 12:29 PM

    Everybody is talking about “moral obligation.” Joe Paterno had 100 times more “moral obligation” to do the right thing than McQueary. Joe Pa IS Penn State and he did nothing more than what his graduate assistant did. Where’s the outrage over that?

    The vitriol towards McQueary and the sympathy towards Paterno is nauseating. Are you kidding me? Wake up, people!! Paterno protected Sandusky for over a decade! You can’t be that blind, can you?

  37. longsacktheclown says: Nov 14, 2011 1:39 PM

    @ice90, couldn’t agree more. If you people want some real info just read the grand jury report. I think it will answer some questions and give you a real wake up to some of the facts. When you read it I think you will find it sickening and disgusting at how many people just blew this off or did nothing to stop it. This one goes a long way up the tree, and there is probably still more heads to roll. I don’t feel sorry for any of them, they all did just the minimum that one could possibily do. And all for a child molester. Go figure.

  38. ras527 says: Nov 14, 2011 2:42 PM

    What I find interesting in all of these responses is this: Yes, in hindsight, both McQuery and Paterno had a “moral” responsibility to notify police. What people are forgetting here is that both Paterno and McQuery DID notify police when they reported it to the AD Curley and Shultz, who had responsibility for the oversight of the Campus Police Department. Now if you read the presentment correctly, you will see that neither followed up and notified the State Police has required, and then they LIED to the university president of what they were told by both Paterno and by McQuery. I mean how do graphic details as told to Paterno by McQuery, and then Paterno relaying “something of a sexual nature occurred” (which in my mind would alert me to child abuse) to Curley and Shultz, and then Shultz and Curley relaying to Spanier “it was just horseing around.” These two top administrators are 100% responsible for THIS incident being covered up.

  39. longsacktheclown says: Nov 14, 2011 3:06 PM

    @ras527, So what you’re saying is that as much pull and power that Jo Pa had on that campus, he didn’t ask why Sandusky was still on the campus after he turned this info over to his BOSS, given the victims age at the time. Give me a break, as a head coach and the king of that university, the first words out of his mouth should have been “what exactly did you see because this is a very serious accusation”. He may say he wasn’t told the graphic details, but there is no way he went to the AD with minimal info for something like that. They are all 100% responsible for the cover up. This wasn’t some coach banging a cheerleader or another consenting adult, this was a kid! If you haven’t read the GJ report I encourage you to take a look at it. They ALL knew more than they told authorities. And nobody seemed to question why he was still there. Pathetic to say the least.

  40. truuepa says: Nov 14, 2011 6:24 PM

    Come on guys. Let s(he) who is without sin cast the first stone. None of us have gone without seeing a potential crime or moral failing and then failed to report it. Given all the hype about those who saw and didn’t come in with guns drawn, we would need to include the former attorney general (now Governor) who knew for over two years and didn’t do anything to stop this guy. How about the press, police, and others who were “just doing their job” and keeping their nose out of it. Now it’s out in the open. Presumably no more harm will be done by the perp. Let the legal system run its course and let the rest get on with their lives.

  41. shaker47 says: Nov 14, 2011 8:18 PM

    Before going to court Joe, Mike McQueary and the other enablers that let this slide should remove their testicles as they are not men or members of the human race. How can they sleep or be around other people. They, like the cathloic church, allowed these pedophile monsters to ruin childrens lives. These are low life cowards and must be prosecuted and severly punished. And pedophiles should be executed as they have no value on planet earth. Send them back to that god a lot of people say created us.

  42. Deb says: Nov 14, 2011 9:13 PM

    @shaker47 …

    I believe God created us, but he gave us the free will to choose our own paths. Sandusky chose his … and he won’t be returning to God when he leaves this world.

  43. Deb says: Nov 14, 2011 9:19 PM

    truuepa says:
    Nov 14, 2011 6:24 PM
    Come on guys. Let s(he) who is without sin cast the first stone. None of us have gone without seeing a potential crime or moral failing and then failed to report it. Given all the hype about those who saw and didn’t come in with guns drawn, we would need to include the former attorney general (now Governor) who knew for over two years and didn’t do anything to stop this guy. How about the press, police, and others who were “just doing their job” and keeping their nose out of it. Now it’s out in the open. Presumably no more harm will be done by the perp. Let the legal system run its course and let the rest get on with their lives.

    ===================================

    In one breath you misuse Christ’s quote about stone-casting–which was not intended to excuse criminal behavior. And in the next, you start judging the governor, press, police, etc.

    The governor is the one who–when made aware of this situation–launched the investigation that resulted in Sandusky’s arrest. No evidence suggests the press covered up this information. That’s not exactly what they do. If they’d known, they’d have run with it.

    Yes, it’s just swell that he’s not abusing anyone right now … as far as we know … while he’s out on bail … thanks to a judge who volunteers for his organization. I’m sure that will be a great comfort to the children he raped for a decade after Penn State officials swept the matter under the rug.

    And speaking of judging people … you have no idea what any of us has seen or reported in our lives.

  44. ghengy says: Nov 14, 2011 10:46 PM

    What utter nonsense!

  45. harleyspoon says: Jan 23, 2012 11:36 AM

    The following is an arrogant, idiotic, smug, self-righteous and sanctimonious statement by a person who obviously refuses to take a look at the context and sequence of events regarding
    Sandusky which began as far back as 1998, not 2002:

    “While McQueary and even Paterno may have done what was legally obligated, bare minimum as it was, neither McQueary nor Paterno nor any other Penn State official connected to this whole sad, sordid saga even remotely approached doing what was morally right: intervene immediately and pursue justice for the child that was allegedly raped on their campus, and put a stop to an alleged predatory pedophile who went on to claim, the grand jury said, other children as victims after the alleged 2002 rape.”

    How would Paterno have intervened immediately? He did not know about the matter immediately…and when he did find out about it, he reported it to (1) the AD and (2) the man who had oversight over the Campus Police–the largest police entity in Centre County?

    What was Paterno to report–more than he did and to whom he reported? Did he know who the child was? No! Did he know the child’s name and address? No! Could he have told the police authority of jurisdiction, the Campus Police, that he witnessed a rape of a child and he knew who the victim was? No!

    Joe Paterno could only report what he knew and he knew nothing. He did not witness the incident! He only knew what law enforcement could only typify as “hear-say”!!! MacQuery was not explicit in his explanation of what he says he saw to Paterno.

    Had Paterno done any more than he did, he could have endangered any case that might have been brought against Sandusky and then all these “know it all lynch mobbers” would have condemned him to hell for that. Paterno was in a “damned if he did and damned if he didn’t” situation so he did exactly what he should have done….That was not the “bare minimum”…It was the proper maximum.

    I guess he could have reacted by frenetically going to the streets and inciting a bunch of lunatics into a frenzied and crazed lynch mob. I suppose he could have led them to Sandusky’s house and dragged him to the nearest tree and lynched him. Some of you hateful lunatics have been watching too many movies to even have a grasp of reality. Apparently, however, that is all that would ever satisfy the sociopaths and psychopaths who continue to rip Paterno’s soul asunder even in his death. You rotten to the core people kicked the old man to ground and stomped him to death to satisfy your misguided blood-lust. You have hoped for and wished for really awful things to happen to this great and decent man; your vileness and meanness will play out–but for you, not Joe. God will give to you what you have wished for and demanded for Paterno. Paterno will be rewarded with a wonderful eternity for a life well lived. You haters will reap what you want for Paterno; an eternity in hell…Your souls are too filthy to even contemplate heaven, much less get there!

    The Sandusky matter dragged on in the legal underground for a decade. Grand Jury hearings are not always public events. Had the Sandusky investigations and Grand Jury hearings been public fodder, maybe this whole mess would have never occurred…..The DA and investigators who muffed the first case in the late ’90’s (which Paterno knew nothing about), are the ones culpable for all subsequent events; not Joe Paterno!!

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