Second Mile chief resigns; charity hires Lynne Abraham

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In this Nov. 11, 2011 photo shown is the home of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

The president of The Second Mile, the charity at the center of the sexual abuse case against former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, has resigned, the organization said Monday.

In a letter submitted to board members Sunday, President and CEO Jack Raykovitz said that by leaving his post he hoped to help restore the community's faith in the organization.

"Providing any statement beyond that . . . takes the focus from where it should be - on the children, young adults and families who have been impacted," Raykovitz said. "Their pain and their healing is the greatest priority."

In a separate statement, the organization's Board of Directors announced that it had launched its own internal investigation and hoped to make recommendations regarding the organization's future operations by the end of December.

The charity has hired former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham to represent it, the statement said.

Raykovitz and The Second Mile have come under increasing scrutiny in the wake of the unfolding case against Sandusky.

State prosecutors allege the former defensive coordinator molested at least eight boys between 1994 and 2008, all of whom he is alleged to have met through the charity.

Raykovitz is one of two Second Mile executives who allegedly had prior knowledge of previous complaints made against Sandusky, according to the grand jury presentment in the case. But he said in a statement last week that he was not informed of the full extent of the allegations.

Second Mile requires all staff members and volunteers to submit to criminal background checks and sign documents affirming that they have never been accused of child abuse, according to the organization's records. It remains unclear whether Sandusky ever signed such a form.

Sandusky founded The Second Mile in 1977, first as a group foster home for wayward boys. It has since grown into one of Central Pennsylvania's largest charitable organizations with assets of nearly $9 million.

 


Contact staff writer Jeremy Roebuck at 267-564-5218, jroebuck@phillynews.com, or @inqmontco on Twitter. Read his blog, "MontCo Memo," at www.philly.com/montcomemo