Does any of this sound familiar?? At least the Board of Trustees knew who to hire to cover THEIR Butts–even if it meant throwing Penn State and Joe Paterno and State College under the bus. The Board of Trustees was interested in ONE Thing–keeping themselves protected at the expense of everyone else. Failure of their fiduciary duties and so much more!!
Universal Entertainment Corporation announced that Judge Michael Chertoff, the former U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, has issued an assessment castigating last year’s report by Former FBI Director Louis J. Freehconcerning the affairs of Japanese gaming entrepreneur Kazuo Okada and his
affiliated companies. According to Judge Chertoff, the Freeh report was”structurally deficient, one-sided, and seemingly advocacy-driven.” Moreover, its conclusions, “simply are not credible.” Instead, Judge Chertoff found
Freeh’s report to be “deeply flawed” and “lack[ing] basic indicia of a credible
Freeh’s report was prepared on February 18, 2012 at the behest of Wynn Resorts, Limited. At the direction of Steve Wynn, Wynn Resorts turned around and used the report that same day to rationalize the forcible redemption of 24,549,222 shares of Wynn Resorts held by Aruze USA, Inc., a company whose ultimate majority owner is Mr. Okada. At the time, Aruze USA was the largest single shareholder in Wynn Resorts, owning close to 20% of Wynn Resorts’ outstanding stock.
Although Aruze USA’s shareholdings had a market value of at least 2.7 billion U.S. dollars at the time, Wynn Resorts provided Aruze USA with just a non-transferrable, fully subordinated, $1.9 billion, ten-year note in exchange. Wynn Resorts’ stock price rose $6.71, or 5.9%, per share the next day, providing tremendous financial gains to Steve Wynn and the other Wynn Resorts Directors who had just stripped Aruze USA of its shareholdings based on the Freeh report.
Statement from Kazuo Okada
In response to the independent analysis provided by Judge Chertoff, Universal Entertainment founder and Chairman Kazuo Okada said, “This confirms what I have maintained since the day the Freeh report was issued and the Wynn Board moved to strip us of our stake in a company we helped found — that the Freeh report was prepared carelessly and improperly, and contains a number of clear errors. It’s obvious that this biased report was part of Steve Wynn’s campaign to eliminate me as a rival to his power within Wynn Resorts.’”
According to the summary, the Freeh report’s most significant shortcomings include:
-- Timing that implies that Wynn Resorts commissioned the report for a clear purpose: to justify ousting Mr. Okada from the Board and redeeming Aruze USA's 20 percent stake in the company at a substantial discount; -- Consistently pairing grave and far-reaching conclusions with scant and unreliable supporting evidence and incomplete investigation and analysis, including broadly alleging a "practice and pattern" of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations without sufficient detail to meaningfully evaluate these incidents; -- Reaching legal conclusions through deficient legal analysis, including asserting a bad faith, possibly criminal violation of Philippine law while ignoring key aspects of the legal analysis Wynn Resorts commissioned from a local law firm; and, -- Failing to provide any meaningful explanation of its process and citing documents that are of dubious provenance or otherwise unreliable, as well as relying on potentially biased interviewees. Excerpted from the Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2013
The judge who presided over the grand jury investigation of Jerry Sandusky and senior Penn State officials denied Tuesday motions to throw out pieces of evidence against the men before a preliminary hearing, saying their lawyers are using stall tactics to delay the case.
In a 16-page ruling, Feudale singled out one issue in making his decision: whether he has the jurisdiction to entertain such motions.
The judge also denied a motion to throw out the grand jury testimonies of Spanier and former university general counsel Cynthia Baldwin as well as to bar Baldwin from taking the stand during a yet-unscheduled preliminary hearing.
“In the view of this court, the motions extant are in effect legal chimera’s (sic),” Feudale wrote, calling them “concepts perceived by this (j)udge as legally creative, imaginative but implausible and serve only to delay the administration of justice in this simple case involving whether Spanier, Curley and Schultz did or did not commit the crimes alleged.”
The judge’s ruling would appear to give the Curley, Schultz and Spanier cases the green light to proceed to a preliminary hearing in a case that has been on hold since the men were arraigned in suburban Harrisburg in November. The men were indicted using Baldwin’s testimony as well as evidence that was turned up in the Freeh report.
The defense lawyers had argued in court papers that Baldwin violated attorney-client privilege when she testified to the grand jury against the men. The lawyers also have said their clients thought Baldwin was representing them at the grand jury, but Baldwin has said she was representing the interests of Penn State.
Feudale’s decision came after the prosecuting attorneys and the defense lawyers gave oral arguments Jan. 24. The judge also said his decision was based on an “extensive and careful review” of records related to the case.
Feudale firmly believed he does not have the jurisdiction to handle the requests. Instead, his role as the supervising judge of the grand jury is to keep its proceedings secret, and his duties ended when he accepted the grand jury presentment that a majority of the grand jurors approved by a vote.
Feudale said even if he had jurisdiction, he does not think the defense lawyers’ motions have legal merit.
“Even if attorney Baldwin exercised poor judgment and/or improper ethical conduct in her handling of the Sandusky investigation; such does not (in this court’s view) provide a defense to any crimes,” Feudale wrote.
Feudale said he does not believe Baldwin violated attorney-client privilege, and the appropriate course for that would be to take the matter to the attorney disciplinary board or a civil court — not a grand jury.
Voting begins today in the contentious election for three alumni seats on Penn State’s Board of Trustees. The trustees race once generated little interest in the general public, let alone the 560,000 Penn State alumni across the country. But that changed last year following scrutiny on the actions of university leaders in the aftermath of retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s arrest in November 2011 on child sex abuse charges. Any of the university’s 560,000 alumni can vote, though they must first contact the Board of Trustees office. Voters can cast ballots online or through the mail. Voting ends May 2, with results to be announced the following day at the trustees meeting
If you did not get your ballot, be sure to contact the alumni office!!!!!
I recommend you Vote for Scott Kimler!!!!!!!
Scott is one of the 6-person Executive Committee on PSU-ReBOT.org – which formed as a direct result of the Sandusky scandal. Our group mission has been to reform the Penn State Board of Trustees. We embarked on several initiatives to improve Penn State, which include:
-Supporting the Faculty Senate “BOT Vote of No Confidence” by making presenting at the January 2012 meeting and collecting more than 4,500 petition signatures
-Embarking on an ambitious research project to collect & evaluate governance metrics from 60+ land-grant and BigTen universities for peer review comparison with Penn State
-Advocate for Alumni BOT election reform, which resulted in:
-first-ever Meet and Greet during Blue/White weekend;
-first-ever 86-candidate straw poll (Scott) http://goo.gl/dG478 and
-a single, interactive web-page with candidate information for all 86 candidates “Super Table” (Scott) – http://goo.gl/NjPnc
-Work with existing Board members to advocate reform (spring 2012)
-Work with former Auditor General Jack Wagner and his staff on governance reform (summer 2012) http://goo.gl/bqfRS
-A letter-writing campaign to BOT members urging Wagner reform recommendations (Jan 2013) – http://goo.gl/76DLz
In addition to strategic planning and leadership duties on the Executive Committee, I am also responsible for PSU-ReBOT.org web properties. I designed, created and maintain the http://www.psu-rebot.org website, the Facebook page and the @psu_rebot Twitter presence. PSU Board Relevance – Demonstrated daily commitment to improving Penn State, for over a year. I didn’t wait for a seat on the Board to make a positive impact, I got involved and have applied myself to the task of improving Penn State with both purposeand resolve. Through my involvement, I am aware of the history of decisions the Board has made post-Sandusky, have made many contacts with members of the Penn State community including members of the current Board, various members and leaders of alumni groups, Penn State faculty and many students. As a Board member, I can hit the ground running and am eager to continue reform efforts in person and working with other reform-minded Trustees. My web development and social media abilities will be an asset to the ‘tip-of-the-spear’ efforts for transparency, openness and trust desperately needed within the Penn State Board of Trustees.
Middle States is The Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Hmmmmmm Wichita State. Louisville. Michigan. Syracuse.
These will be the four schools squaring off today to decide which teams will make up the national title game Monday night.
Mark Emmert‘s Final Four news conference even had little to do with the upcoming national semifinals. It was mostly him defending his past after a troubling report about his career as a university president was released earlier this week. The NCAA president even got into it with CBS Sports reporter Dennis Dodd, who has said in recent months that Emmert should step down. Wichita State, Huh–Emmert and Triponey!! Syracuse, hey Bernie!!–
Guess who was the President of the Middle States in 2012 that threatened Penn State? Barbara Gildenstein, president of the College of New Jersey under whom Vicky Triponey serves as Vice President of Student Affairs. Middle States accuses Penn Sate of potentially violating four different areas of their accreditation requirements, relating to the following:
■Compliance with all applicable government policies, regulations, and requirements. (Affiliation 5)
■Institution’s governing body responsibility for the quality and integrity of the institution, for ensuring that the institution’s mission is being carried out, and for making freely available to the Commission accurate, fair, and complete information on all aspects of the institution and its operations. (Affiliation 9)
■Leadership and Governance (Standard 4)
■Integrity (Standard 6)
Triponey was a lightning rod for controversy due to her policy implementations at both Penn State and before that the University of Connecticut. Spanier hired Triponey in 2003 knowing her controversial background at UConn (hired by Mark Emmert); he supported her actions vis-a-vis Paterno for a time; and the biggest clashes came after the 2004 season when Spanier had tried to strong-arm Paterno’s resignation, or at least get Paterno to plan a retirement timeline. The team started winning again in the 2005 season, and after that Spanier appears to have stopped supporting Triponey, i.e. he gave up trying to get Paterno to retire, for the time being at least. By 2007 Triponey was out at PSU.
In one email to Spanier in Sept. 2005 she wrote, “I do not support the way this man is running our football program.” Um, whose football program?
Did Paterno cause Triponey’s demise at Penn State? Almost certainly.
Did Paterno have a reputation for using his power to fire people, or get them fired? No, he didn’t.
Could Paterno wield his clout forcefully? Yes.
Nittany Nation blogger Frank Bodani is reporting that, to give the report and its assertions a better evaluation, Costas is going to host a TV program on NBC, “a further examination of this issue in a month or two.”
Said Costas, “I said, ‘As the Freeh Report makes clear, Paterno was, in some sense, complicit’” to Sandusky’s abuse of young boys.
“I didn’t say he was part of a cover-up. I wish I would have said, ‘As the Freeh Report asserts,’ rather than, ‘As the Freeh Report makes clear.’”
Costas first reversed direction on the Freeh report a few weeks ago in an interview with radio host Kevin Slaten of KQQZ in St. Louis, but now is the first evidence we’re seeing of a potential TV program to address the issue. When he first commented on the report last July, Costas had only read summaries of the document, and not the entire 267-page report itself. Previously, he had advocated for the so-called “death penalty” for Penn State football for at least a year. He now thinks that the NCAA sanctions in place are undeservedly steep.
In a way similar to the Paterno report’s questioning of Freeh’s investigation, Costas will take aim at Freeh’s conclusions that, according to him, still raise questions of their validity. Costas acknowledged that the report by Thornburgh, Clemente, and Berlin raised legitimate questions about holes in the Freeh Report.
Though Costas says that, nationally, the public may not care enough to reverse its opinion on the issue, having moved on and forgotten, he adds, “I feel I have some responsibility to follow the story.” No other details about the program have yet been released such as an air date, besides that it will air on NBC “in a month or two.”
This is funny, but you must read the WHOLE Thing!! Onward State‘s April Fool’s Joke!! (it made many of us very angry today when we misunderstood a shortened version).
Earlier today, NCAA President Mark Emmert made an addition to the sanctions levied against Penn State this past July. In an uncharacteristic abuse of power, Emmert bypassed his publicist and decided to write the press release himself. Read the full document obtained by Onward State below:
Mark Emmert National Collegiate Athletic Association Indianapolis, IN April 1, 2013
I have personally crafted this press release to discuss the July 23, 2012 sanctions against The Pennsylvania State University. Up to this point, as far as we can tell, every penalty we implemented has been upheld by Penn State. (Note: When I use ‘we’, this pronoun represents both myself and the NCAA as a whole. Definitely not just me.)
However, we feel as though Penn State still has work to do. After closely watching the University’s leaders over the past eight months, it is clear the sanctions (including a $60 million fine, a four-year football postseason ban, vacating all wins dating back to 1998, and scholarship reductions) are collectively not enough.
Following a careful examination of the facts (while avoiding all biased and largely-opinionated media sources), we have determined the next step necessary to the successful re-shaping of Penn State’s culture.
State College, Pa. will no longer reap the benefits of a four-season ecological cycle. Summer, autumn, and spring are hereby eliminated, thus creating an eternal winter in Happy Valley. Previously unbeknownst to State College residents, this measure has already been in place since October.
The Penn State Board of Trustees and President Rodney Erickson have complied 100% with our requests, and I am happy to report that in March 2013, Happy Valley saw snow, rain, sleet, and hail, with an average temperature of 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Despite our climate and atmospheric alterations, we have a problem. There has been little to no change in Penn State’s culture. The community didn’t crumble. Students are still having fun. PSU athletes continue to rank towards the top in terms of collegiate academia. If these problematic trends continue, other actions – such as discontinuing THON, which definitely shows exactly what’s wrong with Penn State – will be taken.
Many people will question why we altered State College’s climate. Many will wonder how we achieved this. Some might even ask what winter has to do with Penn State’s imminent culture problem.
To those people, I say this: Louisiana State University was lucky enough to have me as their Chancellor, and I can promise you that football has nothing do with LSU’s culture and success as an academic institution. It was all me. That school was terrible before I arrived. And besides, I’m President of the NCAA. I don’t have to answer to you. I can do whatever I want without solid reason. I can even overstep my legal boundaries and contradict myself if I want to, although of course, I would never do either of these things.
Rest assured, the NCAA will continue to assess The Pennsylvania State University’s horrible problems. Together with Penn State’s Board of Trustees, we will weigh each decision heavily and avoid making any rash judgments, just as both parties have done throughout this entire ordeal.
Thank you, Mark Emmert
SUCCESS WITH HONOR
March 28, 2013
Dear Fellow Lettermen,
We write to you about a matter of great importance to our University. As fellow Lettermen and alumni of the Pennsylvania State University we, like the rest of the Nation, were horrified by the actions of Jerry Sandusky. No words that we or anyone else can say will ever heal Sandusky’s victims, their families or the damage that he caused other than to say our thoughts and prayers remain with them. Also horrifying has been the ensuing damage inflicted to the standing of our University due in large part to the failure of the Board of Trustees. It is for this reason that we are compelled to step forward and oppose Paul Suhey’s re-election to the Board. We take this action with the full understanding of the division this may cause amongst us. It is not a role we relish but, it is one we believe is necessary to prevent any further damage to our University.
At nearly every turn over the past sixteen months, the Board of Trustees has failed miserably to exercise the necessary leadership and responsibility to guide our University. No greater illustration is the Board’s handling of Joe and the Freeh Report. While admittedly not knowing all of the facts, the Board unanimously rushed to judgment and fired Joe after 62 years of service to the University without ever once talking with him. Similarly, the Board to this very day has failed to discuss the substance of the Freeh report let alone question its evidentiary basis or lack thereof. The consequences of these actions have severely tarnished the reputation and legacy of Coach Paterno and have brought great harm upon the University, our beloved program and the innocent players and coaches who now occupy our locker room.
In the coming days, you will no doubt hear how Paul Suhey disagreed with these actions but cannot tell “his side” for legal reasons or how knew Joe as “Uncle Joe”. To this we say nonsense! Actions speak louder than words and if Suhey disagreed with the actions the Board was taking he had both an obligation and a duty to speak up and cast his vote accordingly. The fact that he failed to do so only underscores the point that he is not fit to serve on the board a day longer. The choice is for everyone to make but, for us it could not be any clearer – retire Paul Suhey, like he claimed to retire Joe, by not re-electing him.
Robert Capretto ’67
Tom Donchez ’74
Franco Harris ’72
Justin Ingram ’00
Christian Marrone ’97
Brian Masella ’74 Lydell Mitchell ’72
Michael Robinson ‘04
Steve Smear ’69
Brandon Short ’99