By Ray Blehar
Most of the documents that have been confirmed as missing from the Freeh Report involve correspondence and/or communications between Schultz and Harmon. First the only thing missing from the 2001 case is a communication about the 1998 case.
End Note 304: Schultz confidential file note (5-1-12). Schultz contacts Harmon to inquire about the 1998 file on 2/12/2001.
Tom Harmon and the 1998 Sandusky Case
There is much more to the story of Tom Harmon than the Freeh investigation and report revealed – especially when it’s viewed in the following context.
1. He lived on the same street as Jerry Sandusky back in the late 70s (Norle Street).
2. He attended the same church as Sandusky (St. Paul’s United Methodist Church).
3. He made the decision to file the 1998 police investigation as administrative information to avoid discovery of the investigation by the press.
4. On May 8, Harmon informed Schultz that DPW was bringing in a psychologist.
And this is the first clue about something off track about 1998.
The police file, below, shows the date that Schreffler requested the evaluation be delayed was changed from May 8 to May 5. However, it was not possible for Schreffler to make this call at 11:20AM on May 5, 1998 because Lauro didn’t become a party to the investigation until 1:55PM on May 5, 1998 (see page 8 of the police report). This is a definite alteration. Two other times regarding the interview are changed (note the canting of the numbers), making absolutely no sense from a chronological standpoint. Finally, the last date on the page is out of order. However, the latter aligns properly and was likely just an oversight by Schreffler in not adding it chronologically. Regardless, more investigation is needed to determine who made the alterations and why.
5. At Exhibit 2B, Harmon informed Schultz that a psychologist had interviewed the child. Note: Exhibit 2B also shows signs of alterations - the time date stamps are out of order.
6. Harmon, at the preliminary perjury hearing in December 2011, denied knowledge of any psychologists interviewing the children (page 127).
7. Within two hours of Schreffler’s June 1, 1998 interview with Sandusky, Harmon e-mailed Schultz to inform him there would be no charges (Freeh Report, Exhibit 2B).
8. Harmon, at the preliminary perjury hearing stated he never personally discussed the 1998 case with District Attorney, Ray Gricar or Assistant District Attorney J. Karen Arnold.
9. Harmon, at the preliminary perjury hearing, stated he was informed by Schreffler that DA Gricar closed the case (page 120).
Who Really Closed the 1998 Case?
The closure of this case is interesting for a number of reasons. First, the Freeh Report equivocates on when Harmon was informed of Gricar closing the case, stating it happened between May 27 and June 1, 1998. Freeh’s reference for the date is the Preliminary Perjury Hearing, at which Harmon made no reference to the May 27th date.
Why is that date included? Well, let’s keep peeling back the onion….
Clearly, Schreffler was still investigating the case on June 1st and the police file indicates he closed the case AFTER he interviewed Sandusky. Thus, if there is debate about when the case was closed, it should be about was it closed June 1 or was it closed later?
Exhibit 2D is proof (as much as we can trust Freeh’s evidence) that Harmon e-mailed Schultz on June 1st to say the case was closed – but did he really get that message from Schreffler, who was relaying it from Gricar?
I ask that question because DA Ray Gricar was notorious at reviewing all of the evidence before deciding to charge or not charge a case.
Based on the police report, Schreffler interviewed Sandusky at 11AM on June 1st. Allowing a half hour for the interview, that leaves 1.5 hours for Schreffler to immediately go to his desk, type out his report, get it approved by Wayne Weaver, fax it or drive it over to the DA’s office, have Gricar review it, and then call or tell Harmon that Gricar wasn’t going to press charges.
Uh, yeah. That didn’t happen. The police report was 94 pages long and had to be completed, then reviewed by two people.
Of course, Gricar also would have also wanted to review the DPW report as well, given his penchant for wanting to know the details of the cases (even summary offenses).
So, this timeline of events, involving the closure of the 1998 investigation – and particularly the timing of the phone call from Harmon to Schultz closing the 1998 case – doesn’t add up.
However, in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Schreffler stated the order to close the case came from the DA and that Gricar gave no explanation. But the story continues…
At the time, Mr. Gricar spoke to Mr. Schreffler’s police chief, Tom Harmon, and that was it.
Harmon testified under oath that Schreffler informed him that Gricar closed the case.
Schreffler told the Post-Gazette that Harmon talked to Gricar.
Harmon testified under oath that he never personally discussed the case with Gricar. And he also testified that he didn’t know of psychologists being consulted during the investigation.
Based on everything written above -as well as the altered police report – we need some straight answers from Tom Harmon.
And the answer I want to know the most is….
….did the call to close the 1998 case come from Bellefonte or did it come from Harrisburg?