Second Mile Board Member Louie Sheetz Recalls ‘bombshell’ of Sandusky’s Disclosure

Louie Sheetz's first meeting as a member of the board of directors for The Second Mile was in 2009 - the day founder Jerry Sandusky revealed to the board he was under investigation for alleged improprieties with a child.

Despite Sandusky's convincing protestations of innocence - "Listen, it's no big deal, it's completely unfounded," Sheetz recalled Sandusky saying - the board cut ties with its founder immediately.

"You give the guy [Sandusky] the benefit of the doubt," Sheetz said Monday after the organization announced the resignation of its 28-year CEO Jack Raykovitz in connection with the ongoing scandal in which Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of child abuse. "Let the investigation play out."

But you don't allow Sandusky to continue in the program, he said.

"I don't care if he's innocent or not or guilty or not, he's out," Sheetz said.

Sandusky's retirement from The Second Mile was made official in September 2010, according to a footnote in the recent grand jury report on Sandusky's abuse of children he met through The Second Mile.

The board's action in response to ambiguous evidence contrasts to half-measures taken - despite a damning eyewitness account - by Penn State officials after a report of Sandusky's alleged sexual assault of a boy in the football locker room in 2002, according to the grand jury report.

The half measures - which included an order not to bring Second Mile kids to Penn State but which didn't include notifying child welfare agencies or the police - have earned those PSU officials, including football coach Joe Paterno, Athletic Director Tim Curley, Vice President Gary Schultz and President Graham Spanier, widespread vitriol for not doing enough to protect.

Spanier and Paterno were fired Wednesday. Curley is on administrative leave, and Schultz retired.

Sheetz said he had no prior knowledge of the accusations at the time and didn't think other board members did, either.

"It was a bombshell," he said of the revelations that day.

He also said he didn't think board members believed the allegations were true at the time.

After all, people in public leadership roles are vulnerable to that sort of thing, he said.

Among staff members of The Second Mile, at least Raykovitz was aware of the accusations before that first meeting, based on the grand jury report.

He may be subject to criticism for inaction, much like the Penn State officials, given that the Penn State officials told him in 2002 of their incident, even as Sandusky continued to have access to Second Mile kids.

He met one in 2005 or 2006 and abused him in 2007, according to the grand jury report.

Raykovitz and The Second Mile provided little detail on the reasons for Raykovitz's resignation in a pair of news releases and didn't respond to requests for elaboration on Raykovitz' resignation Monday.

Raykovitz earned $132,900 in 2009, according to online tax records of The Second Mile. His wife, Katherine Genovese, also worked there in a leadership capacity. She earned $100,500 in 2009.

Sandusky, a member of the board of directors, earned $57,000 for consulting, as recently as 2007, according to tax records.

Sheetz said he "couldn't guess" whether the organization will survive, he said.

But its work should survive, at least, he said. It works with kids who "need additional support from positive human contact," according to the group's website.

It "plans, organizes and offers activities and programs for children - and adults who work with them - to promote self-confidence as well as physical, academic and personal success," the website states.

"I can't tell you how impressed I am with the quality of the programming," Sheetz said. "[But] the board did the right thing."

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