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Reuters, Published January 07 2014

Convicted former Penn State coach Sandusky testifies in pension hearing

PHILADELPHIA - Ex-Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky testified by remote video at a hearing on Tuesday on whether his pension should be restored despite his 45 child sex abuse convictions.

A state pension agency revoked his $4,900-a-month pension after Sandusky, 69, was sentenced in October 2012 to 30 to 60 years in prison. The decision also ended benefits for his wife, Dottie.

The former assistant football coach at the heart of a scandal that cost his boss, legendary coach Joe Paterno, his job, was not a state employee. However, he had chosen to participate in the state pension plan at Penn State, which is a "state-related" university that obtains less than 10 percent of its budget from the state.

At the center of the dispute is whether Sandusky, after he began collecting payments following his 1999 retirement, was a "de facto" Penn State employee and should therefore be blocked by the Pennsylvania Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act because of his convictions for sexually abusing young boys.

During the hearing on Tuesday at the headquarters of the State Employees' Retirement System in Harrisburg, Sandusky was called to testify via a video link from a prison in southwestern Pennsylvania. He was the first witness to testify in the proceeding.