Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

A Guide To The New Criminal Charges Against Penn State Officials Who Allegedly Covered Up For Jerry Sandusky

Illustration for article titled A Guide To The New Criminal Charges Against Penn State Officials Who Allegedly Covered Up For Jerry Sandusky

The first 20 or so pages of the grand jury presentment charging Graham Spanier and two other Penn State administrators with allegedly covering up for Jerry Sandusky is mostly a rehash of the emails, handwritten notes, and other documents contained in the Freeh report. But starting on Page 20—holy shit—here come the new details, from the description of materials allegedly withheld from investigators to a summary of the damaging testimony of former university counsel Cynthia Baldwin, who refutes much of what Spanier said to investigators and the grand jury. "The actual harm realized by this wanton failure is staggering," the presentment says.


Spanier, the Penn State president fired last November, just days after Sandusky was arrested, faces eight criminal charges, including obstruction of justice, endangerment, and perjury (all felonies). In addition, the two other PSU administrators already awaiting trial—on-leave athletic director Tim Curley and former senior vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz—have been hit with six additional charges, including conspiracy.

Here's a rundown of the grand jury presentment:

• In February 2001, approximately seven to 10 days after former PSU assistant football coach Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky abusing a boy in a PSU football building shower, McQueary met with Curley and Schultz to describe the incident to them. McQueary has testified repeatedly that he made it clear to both men that what he conveyed was "extremely sexual." But at that meeting, Curley and Schultz allegedly asked no questions. That incident, of course, was not reported to police or child welfare authorities.

• A subpoena of Penn State issued in December 2010 was not fulfilled until April 2012 even though it was due in January 2011. Baldwin, the PSU legal counsel at the time, told Spanier, Curley, and Schultz to comply, but all three told her they had no information relative to the subpoena. A "handful of documents" with no relevance to Sandusky's crimes was turned over by January 2011. Unknown to Baldwin, however, was that Schultz had kept a secret file on Sandusky's 1998 and 2001 cases.

• When Schultz was arrested last November, that secret file he allegedly kept on Sandusky was allegedly still in his office in a file drawer. He then allegedly directed his administrative assistant to retrieve it and bring it to his home. That assistant made a copy for herself, but she initially lied to "university representatives" when questioned about it.

• Schultz's former administrative assistant, who retired in 2005, "testified that she was instructed by Schultz to never ‘look in' the ‘Sandusky' file he kept in his bookcase file drawer. She said it was a very unusual request and was made in a ‘tone of voice' she had never heard him use before."

• The athletic department never conducted a search in order to comply with the subpoena, even though Sandusky had worked there for 30 years. A subsequent investigation finally done after Sandusky's arrest turned up more than 20 boxes of materials that were used during his criminal trial.


• Penn State's IT staff was never informed of the subpoena, even though the university has a procedure in place to do so. Emails that turned up in the Freeh report were discovered with the help of the IT staff after Sandusky's arrest.

• Baldwin, who was present for Curley's and Schultz's grand jury testimony in January 2011 at Spanier's direction, said Spanier "required specific updates and regularly checked with" her for details about the grand jury investigation.


• As Sara Ganim wrote back in February, what was Baldwin doing at Curley's and Schultz's grand jury appearances if she wasn't personally representing either man?

• Best to quote this directly: "Spanier also pressed Baldwin for information about [Joe] Paterno's contacts with investigators and the Grand Jury. When she informed Spanier that Paterno had acquired his own lawyer who was not affiliated with the University, Spanier seemed disturbed and questioned why Paterno would not use the University's legal counsel. He also questioned Baldwin, on a number of occasions, about what she knew or could discover regarding the information Paterno was providing to authorities."


• During today's press conference, Pennsylvania attorney general Linda Kelly declined to speculate whether Paterno would have been charged if were he still alive.

• Baldwin testified that she repeatedly told Spanier (at one point in writing) he could discuss the investigation and his testimony, but Spanier continued to tell the board of trustess he was bound by the grand jury's secrecy rules—even in April 2011, after the board became aware of the grand jury investigation because Ganim had written her initial story about it.


• Another item best directly quoted: "Legal counsel Baldwin testified that Spanier repeatedly informed her and others that he knew nothing about the 1998 activities of Sandusky or the University police investigation of Sandusky. However, as time went on, she observed that Spanier's discussions about the 1998 episode seemed increasingly detailed and knowledgable."

• At an executive session of the PSU board in May 2011, Baldwin provided an overview of grand jury procedures, after which she believed Spanier would provide an update on the various subpoenas regarding Sandusky the university received. But after Baldwin gave her overview, Spanier asked her to leave the room, which "stunned" her. With Baldwin no longer present, Spanier went on tell the board the investigation had nothing to do with Penn State. He did not discuss the matter with the board again until November 2011, after Sandusky, Curley, and Schultz were charged.


• Spanier's lawyers issued a statement calling the charges "a desperate act" of Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett, who they say is "vindictive and politically motivated." Corbett has been accused of slow-walking the investigation of Sandusky from the spring of 2009 until January 2011, when he was attorney general.

The entire grand jury presentment can be read below: