Legal bills, PR for Jerry Sandusky scandal cost Penn State $26 million

mdawson@centredaily.comJanuary 9, 2013 

  • A breakdown of Penn State’s legal and PR bills in responding to the Sandusky scandal: •  Board of trustees investigation and PR: $12,713,964 •  University legal services and defense: $7,005,036 •  Externally initiated investigations: $956,449 •  Legal bills for former university officials: $3,678,600 •  Other institutional expenses: $1,572,402

— The cost for Penn State’s response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal fallout is now almost $26 million, according to figures the university updated this week.

The $25,926,451 is from invoices the university has received as of Oct. 31. The money is for legal fees and public relations consultants.

That means the scandal has Penn State on the hook for more than $88.4 million, including the $60 million NCAA fine and $2.5 million in severance pay to former Penn State president Graham Spanier that was triggered after his dismissal in November 2011.

About half of the price tag for legal and PR bills is the university’s board of trustees’ internal investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh and public relations work. That total is $12.7 million — up almost $500,000 from the last update last month.

The university has been billed $7 million for its own legal needs or defense and almost $1 million for work done for outside investigations, such as the U.S. Department of Education and the work of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who is the NCAA’s assigned athletics integrity monitor.

Penn State has been billed almost $3.7 million by lawyers representing former Penn State officials like Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley, retired administrator Gary Schultz and former university counsel Cynthia Baldwin.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson has said the university has insurance policies that will cover the legal bills for the former university officials. The PR work, though, will be paid out of pocket.

The athletic department will pay the $60 million fine, university officials have said. The university loaned the athletic department the money to make the first payment of $12 million, which was put into an escrow account last month.

Gov. Tom Corbett sued the NCAA last week and hopes to have a federal judge reverse the $60 million fine as well as the other sanctions imposed on Penn State. The university has said it will continue to pay the fine and abide by the agreement it signed with the NCAA.

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