Penn State board of trustees weighs payout power

Subcommittee may be authorized to OK deals; foes to rally again

adanahy@centredaily.comOctober 24, 2012 

Penn State trustees will meet Friday to vote on giving a subcommittee the authority to approve settlements the university reaches with Jerry Sandusky victims.

The following day, a group of alumni who are unhappy with how the board and university administration have responded to the scandal, will have their own meeting to discuss steps they can take.

The trustees meeting will start at 5 p.m. at The Penn Stater following an executive session at 4 p.m., with trustees able to attend by phone or in person. Spokesman David La Torre has said the board is having the special meeting rather than waiting three weeks until the next regularly scheduled one because “it’s important to be prepared in the event settlements are reached prior to the November meeting.”

The negotiations are with about 20 men, according to the university.

The university hired the law firm of Ken Feinberg, who oversaw the Sept. 11 victims fund, to help facilitate settlements with Sandusky victims. Much of Sandusky’s abuse took place on campus, according to testimony given at his trial. He was convicted and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

The Saturday rally will take place at 2 p.m. on the east lawn of the Intramural Building, on the corner of Curtin Road and University Drive. Trustee Anthony Lubrano, along with organizers of the “Rally for Resignations” held in September, will speak.

Lubrano said he thinks people will have questions following Friday’s board meeting. He is questioning why the board is moving ahead with settlements when the trial of former administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz won’t take place until January at the earliest. The two are facing charges of perjury for testimony they gave to the grand jury investigating Sandusky and failure to report child abuse.

“It’s significant because I’m still wondering what the rush is for us to be going down this path at this time,” Lubrano said.

David Mullaly said the gathering is meant to show that many alums and fans are both supporters of football Coach Bill O’Brien and “unable to stomach the series of disastrous decisions made by the board of trustees and President (Rodney) Erickson during the past year — and earlier.”

“They have caused serious damage to the university they were supposed to protect, and need to find something else to do with their spare time,” Mullaly said.

Mullaly said organizers will make recommendations about steps alumni can take, including urging Pennsylvania residents to contact legislators to press them to support changes to the makeup of the board.

Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy.

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