Penn State facing record fine for handling Jerry Sandusky investigation

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM/AP) – The U.S. Department of Education is hitting Penn State with a record $2.4 million fine for violating a law that requires colleges and universities to report campus crimes and warn people if their safety is threatened.

The fine announced Thursday was the result of a five-year federal investigation into how Penn State officials handled complaints about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky before he was charged in 2011 with child molestation.

The agency says Penn State largely ignored many of its duties under the Clery Act. It’s the largest fine issued under the law.

It says the school violated regulations when it didn’t warn students and employees of the forthcoming charges against Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

 

Following the release of the report, Penn State issued a statement that reads, in part, “While regrettably we cannot change the past, today the University has been recognized for significantly strengthening our programs since 2011. The safety and security of our University community is a top priority and we are dedicated to full compliance with the Clery Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act.”

In that statement, Penn State said school officials are in the process of conducting a thorough review of the study so they can better understand its finding.

 

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