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Sandusky loses fight to restore his pension

His lawyer said he would fight the ruling in a suit.

HARRISBURG - Jerry Sandusky has lost a legal battle to restore his $4,900-a-month pension, a benefit canceled two years ago after he was sentenced for sexually abusing boys.

Sandusky attorney Chuck Benjamin told the Associated Press on Friday that the State Employees' Retirement System issued a 122-page opinion with the decision.

Benjamin said that he had not had a chance to read it yet, but that he planned to challenge it in a lawsuit. A message left for an agency spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

The decision followed a recommendation in June by a hearing examiner, who said Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University, had retired by the time the Pension Forfeiture Act was expanded in 2004 to add sexual offenses to the crimes that trigger forfeiture.

Sandusky, 70, is serving a decades-long prison sentence. His wife, Dottie, would be in line to continue collecting 50 percent of his pension benefits upon his death.

"All I can say at this point is, we're looking forward to litigating the revocation of the pension in court," Benjamin said. "That's the next step of this process. We've exhausted our administrative remedies, and now we'll be filing papers within the next 30 days in court."

The hearing examiner, Michael Bangs, had said that the retirement system improperly applied the forfeiture law to Sandusky for crimes he committed as a retiree.

Sandusky testified for nearly three hours by video link this year at a hearing before Bangs regarding the forfeiture. He was the only witness called by his lawyers.

Sandusky spent decades as Penn State's defensive football coach before retiring in 1999. Penn State employees do not work for the state government but are eligible to participate in the state pension system.

Sandusky collected a $148,000 lump-sum payment when he retired, and a total of $900,000 in pension payments by September 2012.

He was convicted by a jury of sexual abuse of 10 boys and sentenced to 30 to 60 years.