Yesterday morning I heard on the news that The Second Mile, the organization Jerry Sandusky created, would close and send the boys it helps to other local groups. I had mixed feelings about this because one person’s bad acts should not taint an entire group. The Second Mile has probably helped hundreds of boys who would otherwise have fallen through the cracks. It seems unfair to punish kids who need help because one man used the organization to prey on children.
However, those mixed feelings changed when I read this:
Meanwhile, investigators served numerous subpoenas on the Second Mile, according to people with knowledge of the inquiry. Not only did they want the names of children who had been through the program, they also demanded all of Sandusky’s travel and expense records.
Much of the older paperwork was stored at an off-site records facility. The travel and expense records, for instance, had been sent over several years earlier. But select members of the charity’s board of directors were alarmed to learn recently that when the records facility went to retrieve them, some of those records — from about 2000 to 2003 — were missing.
The files from 2002 were eventually found, but the remaining three years of files are still missing. As one law enforcement official said, “It could be that they are just lost, but under the circumstances it is suspicious.”
In light of this, there does not seem to be any way The Second Mile can stay open. It looks like someone at the organization covered for Sandusky. No matter how good the group’s intentions, they have lost the public’s trust, and that is a major factor for privately funded support groups. They already lost $3 million dollars in state funding, and who knows if any private donors will withdraw their support as well.
This is a shame because it is possible that only a handful of people were involved in any potential cover-up. This is a good example of how trying to avoid something ends up causing it. If the people who may have known about Sandusky had just reported him to begin with, The Second Mile likely could have survived. With things as they are now, the group has little choice but to close down.