The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

April 9, 2013

Cases against 3 former PSU officials move forward

HARRISBURG — Three former Penn State administrators accused of covering up complaints about Jerry Sandusky lost a set of rulings Tuesday, allowing their criminal cases to move forward.

Judge Barry Feudale denied an attempt to throw out the grand jury report backing up the accusations and ruled against two other defense requests. As the judge who oversaw the grand jury, Feudale said he no longer has jurisdiction.

Feudale said he would not have granted the defendants’ request that the charges be thrown out and emphasized that the case was out of his hands once the grand jury issued its report. But the judge did provide an analysis of the defense arguments that, he said, let him to conclude their motions lacked merit.

Defendants Gary Schultz, Tim Curley and Graham Spanier are charged with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy.

The three had sought to exclude the testimony of Penn State’s former general counsel, Cynthia Baldwin, based on her actions as she accompanied the men to grand jury appearances in Harrisburg in early 2011. The defendants argued that Baldwin’s actions violated their right to legal counsel, but Feudale said it “strains credulity to infer that they were somehow deluded or misrepresented by attorney Baldwin.”

“In hindsight, perhaps I erred in not asking follow up questions about the role of corporate counsel Baldwin,” Feudale wrote. “I regret and perhaps committed error in not asking any follow-up questions, but while I am unaware what the response would have been, I fail to discern how such would persuade me at this stage why presentments should be dismissed.”

The attorney general’s office and a spokeswoman for Curley’s legal team offered no immediate comment. Lawyers for Spanier and Schultz did not immediately return phone messages.

Sandusky, 69, a retired Penn State assistant football coach, was convicted in June of 45 sexual abuse counts. He is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence but maintains his innocence and is pursuing appeals.

Curley is on paid leave to finish out the final year of his contract as the school’s athletic director.

Schultz has retired as the university’s vice president for business and finance.

Spanier was forced out as university president the week after the other two and Sandusky were charged, but he remains a tenured faculty member.

 

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