What Did Spanier Know and When?


Penn State’s leadership kept the university’s public information director out of the loop about Jerry Sandusky between a media inquiry in 2010 until “all hell broke loose” in November 2011 with the release of the grand jury presentment, the employee testified Tuesday.

“Our office had no idea,” said Lisa Powers, the university’s top spokeswoman whose duty is to promote its positive image.

“We did not anticipate the presentment, we did not anticipate the fallout, and we were inundated with media from everywhere,” Powers said. “I didn’t answer my phone, and I couldn’t answer my email. There were just too many of them.”

Powers testified that she was one of several people who got an email in September 2010 from a Harrisburg Patriot-News reporter asking if anyone knew of any investigation into Sandusky. The email was sent by blind carbon copy, or bcc, to Spanier, Powers and another spokesman, Bill Mahon.

Spanier responded about an hour after receiving the email: “I haven’t heard this. Can you tell me more?” The reporter never responded, Powers said.

Powers testified she spoke with another employee who had found something about Sandusky touching boys that was posted on an online message board on a bodybuilder’s website. Powers said she and the employee noted the title of Sandusky’s autobiography, “Touched,” but when Powers went to find the message board, the comment had been removed.

Powers said she learned of another potential Sandusky-related issue when she was told that the reporter had camped outside the home of former Penn State police chief Thomas Harmon, who retired in 2005.

Powers said she was told by Al Horvath –— then the university’s senior vice president for finance and business — there was an investigation into Sandusky, but it had been closed.

The prosecution presented an email by Spanier to Horvath that Powers was only given enough information so she could field media inquiries without “exacerbating the situation.”

Powers testified she received another media inquiry in March 2011 about Sandusky, to which Powers responded the university didn’t know about any investigation and that Sandusky was a former Penn State employee who retired 10 years earlier.

Then, in late March 2011, when a grand jury investigation into Sandusky was revealed in a news report, Powers learned that senior leadership had gone to testify to the grand jury.

Caught off-guard, Powers sought information about the grand jury process from Cynthia Baldwin, who was then the university’s general counsel.

According to Powers’ testimony, Baldwin made the news report out to be a non-issue. Powers said Baldwin told her the grand jury investigation was a “fishing expedition” and had convened three times before and found nothing.

Powers said she was concerned that senior administrators had testified, but Baldwin never mentioned her role in accompanying Curley, Schultz or Spanier to the grand jury.

Seven months later, on Oct. 28, 2011, Powers was called into a meeting with Spanier, Baldwin, Mahon and the trustees chairman at the time, Steve Garban.

She testified she was told that a presentment was coming, and that Curley and Schultz may be indicted on perjury charges.

Tom Harmon: Person of Interest


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?

Curley and Schultz Ask For Dismissal


In new briefs filed in Dauphin County court Friday, attorneys for two former Penn State administrators pressed for a hearing on their claims that Athletic Director-on-leave Tim Curley and retired senior vice president Gary Schultz were effectively denied legal counsel when they testified in 2011 before a grand jury investigating the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

The defendants’ have maintained they thought then-University Counsel Cynthia Baldwin was representing them.

Baldwin, however, has argued she represented the administrators only as agents of the university, and has become a likely star witness for the prosecution in its case that Curley and Schultz lied to the grand jury about what they knew of allegations against Sandusky and how they responded to them.

Curley and Schultz’s attorneys have asked for a full hearing before Judge Todd Hoover at which they can present expert testimony about the conflict.

If Hoover finds there was a conflict, the defense has argued, he should at minimum bar prosecutors from using Curley and Schultz’s grand jury testimony at trial, thereby effectively gutting the case against them.

Today’s brief addresses only the original perjury charges filed against Curley and Schultz.

Similar challenges are being waged against perjury counts filed against former Penn State president Graham Spanier, which have not reached the preliminary hearing stage yet.

Penn State President to be Charged in Sandusky Case


HARRISBURG — Former Penn State president Graham Spanier is expected to be charged today in connection with the investigation into child molestation allegations against Jerry Sandusky, making the once-respected leader the fourth person to be indicted in the scandal.

Former university administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are already awaiting trial on perjury and failure to report abuse charges from the indictment last year that rocked the community.

The Spanier development comes five days before Election Day, which features a hotly contested race between two newcomers for attorney general. Current attorney general Linda Kelly is not running.

It is not immediately clear how the new charges would affect Curley’s and Schultz’s trial, which is set for jury selection in Harrisburg on Jan. 7. Attorneys for both men have filed a slew of motions, asking the judge to try their clients separately as we’ll as delaying trial. Curley and Schultz have maintained their innocence.

The expected charges bring about another twist in the nearly yearlong fallout of the Sandusky scandal, which has Penn State working to rebuild its tarnished reputation in the wake of the criminal cases against Curley and Schultz, unprecedented sanctions by the NCAA on the football team, and the firing of head coach Joe Paterno and Spanier

Two Critical Errors in the Freeh Report


The Patriot News reported at least two instances recorded in the original Freeh report involving former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley were corrected.

In the initial report, released July 12, Freeh said Curley met with Jerry Sandusky in 1998 after a police report was filed regarding his inappropriate conduct with a boy in the Lasch Football Building showers. Sandusky, was still employed at the time and that incident was investigated by campus police.

Curley had no interaction with Sandusky after that incident, but did instead in 2001, post-Sandusky retirement and after former wide receivers coach Mike McQueary told his superiors he had witnesses another incident of abuse by Sandusky in the showers.

An email exchange between Curley and university counsel Wendell Courtney also was amended, according to the Patriot News and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

This was the Freeh report’s initial account of the email exchange: “Courtney emails Schultz a newspaper story about the Sandusky charges. Schultz replies: “I was never aware that ‘Penn State police investigated inappropriate touching in a shower’ in 1998.”

The corrected exchange: “Courtney emails Schultz a newspaper story about the Sandusky charges and states: “I was never aware that ‘Penn State police investigated inappropriate touching in a shower’ in 1998.”

Courtney said those words, not Schultz, as Freeh initially alleged.

The case against Joe Paterno: Weak to non-existent on the current record


Posted on July 26, 2012 by Paul Mirengoff in Sports

After more than 430 interviews and a review of more than 3.5 million documents and other information, the Freeh Report concludes that three emails from other people – former Penn State President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Timothy Curley, and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz – prove that Mr. Paterno was a co-conspirator in a cover-up. I do not read the evidence in the Freeh Report that way, and I do not believe the conclusions about Mr. Paterno are either warranted or fair.

The claim seems to be that Mr. Paterno knew about a 1998 allegation and did nothing, and that in 2001, when he learned about Mike McQueary’s information, he waited a day before he reported the information to the athletic director (Curley) and the vice president in charge of the University Police (Schultz) and then did nothing else.

First, with respect to the 1998 incident, the Freeh Report says that several authorities promptly investigated and reviewed the matter, including the Department of Public Welfare, the University Police Department, the State College police, and the local district attorney’s office. Freeh Report at 42-47. A “counselor” named John Seasock issued a report that found “no indication of child abuse.” Freeh Report at 42-46. Mr. Seasock interviewed the alleged victim and determined that “there seems to be no incident which could be termed as sexual abuse, nor did there appear to be any sequential pattern of logic and behavior which is usually consistent with adults who have difficulty with sexual abuse of children.” Freeh Report at 44 (quoting Mr. Seasock’s 1998 evaluation of the alleged victim). The Freeh Report adds that Mr. Seasock “couldn’t find any indication of child abuse.” Freeh Report at 45.

The police investigated and “did not question Sandusky at this time,” and the Freeh Report says that “the local District Attorney declined to prosecute Sandusky for his actions.” Freeh Report at 45-46. A “senior administrator” explained that “the case against Sandusky was ‘severely hampered’ by Seasock’s report.” Freeh Report at 46. The University Police also investigatedthe matter and unlike the local police, they interviewed Sandusky. Sandusky claimed “nothing happened” (Freeh Report at 46) and the University Police concluded that “no sexual assault occurred.” Freeh Report at 47.

The only evidence of Mr. Paterno’s involvement is a passing reference in an email from Curley to Spanier and Schultz that says that Curley “touched base with the coach. Keep us posted.” Freeh Report at 20, 48. A second email from Curley to Schultz that says “Coach is anxious to know where it stands.” Freeh Report at 20, 48. There is no other information about Mr. Paterno’s involvement in the incident. In fact, the Freeh Report does not even establish that the references to “Coach” refer to Joe Paterno. The most it can and does say is that “[t]he reference to Coach is believed to be Paterno.” Freeh Report at 49. The Freeh Report cites no evidence to support this assertion, but even if “Coach” refers to Coach Paterno, what do these emails prove? The answer is: nothing. At most, these emails suggest that Mr. Paterno was concerned and wanted to know whether Sandusky was guilty of any wrongdoing.

The Freeh Report concludes that the “record” is “not clear as to how the conclusion of the Sandusky investigation was conveyed to Paterno.” Freeh Report at 51. The Report includes many statements that assert things like “nothing in
the record indicates that Joe Paterno spoke with Sandusky.” See, e.g., Freeh Report at 51. The absence of evidence or information proves only that Mr. Freeh did not find evidence. It does not affirmatively prove anything about Mr. Paterno.

Mr. Paterno explained his actions before he died by saying that “I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the University procedure was. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have
a little more expertise than I did.” Freeh Report at 77-78. This statement makes perfect sense, and the notion of a football coach supervising a criminal investigation is ridiculous. It is very possible that Curley or Schultz or both
told Mr. Paterno to stay out of the matter; in fact, Schultz should have told him as much. But we don’t know because Schultz and Curley are under indictment and not talking, Paterno is dead, and the Freeh Report did not find any information about this issue.

Much of the case against Mr. Paterno seems to rely on (1) the theory that the Athletic Director, Curley, was JoePa’s “errand boy”; and (2) an email dated February 27, 2001 from Curley to Schultz and Spanier which says that Curley gave the matter “more thought” after “talking it over with Joe” and was “uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps.” Freeh Report at 74-75. But the “errand boy” evidence amounts to a reference by an unidentified “senior Penn State official” (page 75), and what does it prove anyway? That one person viewed Curley as Paterno’s “errand boy”?

There is no evidence that Curley-as-errand-boy covered up because Joe Paterno told him to do so. And the February 27 email at most suggests that Mr. Paterno spoke with Curley. It does not say what Curley and Paterno discussed, and without any explanation from either Curley or Paterno, it is absurd to read into this that Mr. Paterno was the puppet master behind a coverup orchestrated by Curley, Spanier, and Schultz.

Mr. Paterno was a football coach, not an expert in criminal law or investigations, and this notion of him as some kind of omnipotent and omniscient God who callously turned his back on a serial child molester is unsupported by any evidence.

Possible Cover Up by PSU Senior Administration? (Not Joe Paterno)


By Michael Rubinkam — The Associated Press The Jerry Sandusky case, the way authorities have framed it, is one littered with missed chances to stop a rapist who preyed on children for years. Prosecutors have hinted that top university officials knew far more about Sandusky’s alleged proclivities than they have let on, submitting a document Monday that says Penn State’s former vice president —  himself facing charges related to the scandal — maintained a file on Sandusky a decade ago.

A Penn State trustee told The Associated Press he now suspects a cover-up.  Keith Masser, a Penn State trustee, said in an interview that he initially thought the scandal was about a failure of administrative oversight of the football program. Now he suspects it goes deeper.When the board of trustees ousted Spanier on Nov. 9, four days after Sandusky’s arrest, it was “because we didn’t have confidence in his ability to lead us through this crisis,” Masser said. “We had no idea (at the time) he would be involved in a cover-up.”Masser stressed he was speaking for himself and not the board at large, and said he wants to be careful not to draw premature conclusions. But he said it now appears like “top administration officials and top athletic officials were involved in making the decision to not inform the proper authorities.”With prosecutors focused on the sex abuse allegations against Sandusky, the trial isn’t intended to yield evidence of a possible cover-up. That’s the job of Louis Freeh, the former FBI director hired by the board of trustees to investigate the scandal. His report could be released in late summer.Spanier, who has not been charged with any crime, did not respond to email and phone messages. His attorney did not return a phone call.

The law firm defending Curley and Schultz against charges they lied in their grand jury testimony and failed to report suspect abuse said in a statement last week they “conscientiously considered” McQueary’s account and “deliberated about how to responsibly deal with the conduct and handle the situation properly.” Penn State spokesman David La Torre had no comment Saturday.

Masser said the Freeh investigation is helping Penn State get to the bottom of the scandal.“I hope the truth comes out, and from a board standpoint it was Judge Freeh’s investigation that found these emails that relate Spanier, Curley and Schultz to the suspected cover-up,” he said. “I want the alumni to understand and the stakeholders to understand that this independent investigation is uncovering this information.”

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2012/06/17/3231942/penn-state-trustee-suspects-cover.html#storylink=cpy