BELLEFONTE — Penn State is asking the court to throw out a lawsuit Graham Spanier filed in an effort to get the university to turn over emails he says he needs to cooperate with an ongoing internal investigation.
In its response filed in Centre County court Thursday, the university said its former president should direct his complaint to the state attorney general. That’s because it is that office that directed the university not to share the information because it could compromise investigations, according to court documents.
The response said Spanier should pursue a Right to Know request.
Spanier, it said, “seeks to place the university in the untenable position of defending the attorney general’s decisions concerning investigative secrecy.”
Penn State’s response also said the emails “allegedly located” on university servers belong to the university, not Spanier.
The university hired Louis Freeh to investigate Penn State’s handling of allegations against Jerry Sandusky. As part of that, the Freeh team is interviewing current and former university employees.
Spanier’s suit said he needed the emails to refresh his memories and help him answer questions.
“Unless Penn State turns over the email record, Dr. Spanier will be deprived of the ability to give the Freeh firm his most accurate recollections,” Spanier’s suit said.
But, the university’s response countered that Spanier can’t “contend that the (u)niversity has a legal obligation to refuse to cooperate with the attorney general’s request not to disclose information potentially related to an ongoing investigation.”
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy