Q and A on the News

Q: Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed recently was a panelist on “Meet the Press,” where he was clearly serving as representative of the Democratic Party. It made me wonder: Who pays for Reed’s airfare, hotel and meals to travel and participate on shows like this? He wasn’t representing the city’s interests. He wasn’t promoting Atlanta tourism. He was representing his political party’s cause.

—Kevin Mathews, Atlanta

A: “Meet The Press” covers all of Reed’s expenses when he appears on the show, Sonji Jacobs, the mayor’s director of communications, told Q&A on the News in an email. “I disagree that Mayor Reed isn’t representing the City of Atlanta when he appears on national talk shows such as ‘Meet the Press’,” she said. “It’s actually great visibility for the city.”

Q: What are Jerry Sandusky’s retirement and benefits?

—Dean Long, Lawrenceville

A: Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach who was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse of children in June, received a payout of $148,271 when he retired in 1999. He also began receiving a $58,898 a year state pension, which he has continued to receive in monthly payments of $4,908 through his trial and imprisonment, according to published reports. “Pennsylvania’s pension-forfeiture laws are aimed more at the state’s long legacy of public corruption than crimes of violence,” according to the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News. Dottie, Sandusky’s wife, would receive about half of his pension upon his death, the paper reported.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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