‘Morally, it’s just ridiculous’ – Strong Reaction to Sandusky Pension Ruling

For video – http://wnep.com/2015/11/13/morally-its-just-ridiculous-strong-reaction-to-sandusky-pension-ruling/

LACKAWANNA COUNTY — In the minds of some Penn State fans, the reinstatement of Jerry Sandusky’s $4,900 a month pension overshadows talk about Saturday’s big football game against Michigan.

When people in Scranton learned that disgraced ex-coach Jerry Sandusky was getting his pension back, they had one common reaction: disgust.

“Morally, it’s just ridiculous that you could make an action like that,” said James McGurl of Dunmore. “I think it’s just a testament to how ridiculous the legal system is in our country.”

“You were convicted, you went to jail,” said Erin Conley of Scranton. “That’s not cool that you get your pension back, at all. I don’t think it’s fair for what he did.”

“Those kinds of acts are a huge no no,” said Matt Stokesbury of Scranton. “So I could see why a lot of people would be up in arms about it.”

“Many times, the right decision under the law will not be popular with the public,” said attorney Bruce Zero.

As a Penn State alumnus, Bruce Zero hates the court’s ruling. As a lawyer practicing in Scranton, he understands and even agrees with the ruling by Commonwealth Court, because under state law Sandusky earned his pension when he was a state employee as the defensive coordinator for the Penn State Nittany Lions.

In 2012, a jury convicted Sandusky for child sex abuse crimes, some that he committed after retiring from Penn State.

“He wasn’t an employee at the time he committed these acts, so the court really didn’t have any other alternative but to restore his pension benefits,” Zero explained.

Newswatch 16 caught up with Penn State trustee Keith Eckel at Keystone College, where his family dedicated a pavilion to the school.

After Sandusky’s arrest, Eckel was outspoken about the damage the ex-coach’s actions did to Penn State, but Eckel is not criticizing the ruling that restores Sandusky’s pension.

“I’m sure that the Commonwealth Court has made a legal decision. That’s the proper place for it to be made. Any personal reaction that I would have I just withhold. i respect the law here in the commonwealth,” said Eckel.

Critics say Pennsylvania’s pension rules can seem unfair.

Jerry Sandusky will collect a pension, while serving a 60-year sentence for sexually assaulting 10 boys.

Former State Senator Bob Mellow will not collect a pension after serving one year in prison for using his staff on a political campaign, and filing a false tax form.

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