Penn State is asking the court to put on hold the lawsuit former coach Mike McQueary filed against the university while the criminal trial of two former administrators is under way.
In a motion filed Monday, Penn State argues that the university “would be severely prejudiced” if the suit were allowed to move forward while the criminal proceedings against former athletic director Tim Curley and retired senior vice president Gary Schultz are still going on. Penn State’s motion notes that the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas has put several civil suits against Penn State on hold for that reason.
Curley and Schultz are facing charges of perjury for testimony they gave to the grand jury investigating Jerry Sandusky and failure to report child abuse. They are scheduled to stand trial in January in Dauphin County Court.
In 2001, McQueary walked in on Sandusky naked in a campus shower with a boy. He reported the incident to Joe Paterno and later discussed it with Schultz and Curley. They maintain their innocence, and their attorneys have raised questions about what exactly McQueary told them.
McQueary, whose contract with the university ended in June, filed a suit asking for $4 million in lost wages along with compensation for legal costs. He says mistreatment by the university has damaged his reputation and cost him that much in future earnings. McQueary’s suit singles out Schultz, Curley and former President Graham Spanier. The suit says Curley and Schultz left McQueary with the impression that they thought his report was “a serious matter” and “that appropriate action would be taken.”
Penn State spokesman David La Torre said the motion, if granted, will defer the case while the criminal trial against Curley and Schultz proceeds.
“The stay would help ensure that a fair trial can proceed in all matters. The university will assert a vigorous defense against the allegations and claims contained in the McQueary complaint,” La Torre said.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy.