There is controversy in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives over the manner in which Governor Tom Corbett (R) handled the Jerry Sandusky investigation during his seven-year tenure as Pennsylvania Attorney General. On October 3rd, state Representative Tom Briggs (D-149th District) introduced a resolution that calls for a federal inquiry into Governor Corbett’s investigation. The resolution, first introduced in December of 2011, would compel U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to look into Corbett’s investigation. The Democrats take issue with the fact that there was a span of 33 months between the time that the investigation was started and charges were filed. They also want to know why there was only one investigator assigned to the case. However, the resolution was not voted on.
The proposed resolution has created friction between the Democrats and Republicans in the House, who have two opposite views of why there was no vote. According to the Democrats, state Representative Tim Briggs (D-149th District) attempted to call the issue for a vote, when House Speaker Sam Smith (R-66th District) conferred with his staff and blocked the vote by shutting down the session. There would be no vote and no more debate that day.
But according to the Republicans, the Democrats used this as a way to play politics and benefit themselves. According to them, the investigation was complete and successful, and disallowing a vote was warranted. A spokesperson for Smith said that he “had already said no more votes would be allowed,” and that “Members had already begun departing from the floor.” In response, the Democrats said that the session was ending soon, so “this seemed like the right time to do this.” Clearly, this resolution is a point of contention in the House, and time will tell whether or not it goes through.