A former board member of the Second Mile, the charitable organization designed to help disadvantaged youth that was founded by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who faces child sex abuse charges, has filed a lawsuit against the organization, seeking the return of donations that were to be used to build a recreation center that will no longer come to fruition.
Lance Shaner, a Centre County, Pa. businessman, and his wife, Ellen, filed suit Jan. 24 at the Centre County Court of Common Pleas, alleging that the plaintiffs have yet to see the return of their money.
In June 2005, the lawsuit states, the Shaners pledged the sum of $250,000 to the Second Mile pursuant to an investment commitment in the organization’s Campaign for Excellence.
The pledge was paid in full between Nov. 4, 2005 and Aug. 11, 2010, according to the complaint.
The two sides agreed that the funds donated would be used toward the construction of an instructional and recreation center on the campus of the organization.
Recently, however, the plaintiffs were informed that the Second Mile was not going to be moving ahead on the planned project, the suit states.
The Shaners demanded the return of their money, the suit claims, something that Second Mile officials told them would occur, but only after receiving the “necessary approvals” from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
As of the date of the complaint’s filing, the Shaners claim, they have not been made aware of any further action on the part of the Second Mile to obtain the necessary approvals from the prosecutor’s office or any court that would pave the way for the return of the donations.
“The failure of the Defendant Second Mile to promptly refund the Plaintiffs’ gift or promptly seek approval to refund the gift given the decision to forego construction of the Project, constitutes a breach of the Investment Commitment,” the lawsuit states.
The complaint, which was filed by attorneys Ronald P. Carnevali, Jr. and Michael J. Parrish, seeks the return of the $250,000, plus interest and court costs.
In addition to the Second Mile, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is also named as a defendant in the suit.
The Second Mile was founded in the 1970s by former Pennsylvania State University football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Sandusky is awaiting trial on charges that he molested young boys dating back decades. Many of the boys whom he allegedly sexually abused came from the Second Mile.