Scott Paterno, the outspoken son of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and the family’s spokesman, said Penn State trustee Ken Frazier missed the mark Thursday in his criticism of the Paterno family report, meant to counter the Freeh report.
Hours after Penn State trustee Ken Frazier bashed critics of the Freeh report and chided a board candidate for “attempting to rewrite history,” Scott Paterno issued a statement on the website paterno.com upbraiding Frazier for his approach as well as for shirking his responsibility as a board member “in finding the full truth.”
Frazier, during a board of trustees meeting in Hershey, berated trustees candidate Bill Cluck for questioning the board’s handling of the Freeh report, which uncovered emails suggesting university leaders, including Joe Paterno, withheld information regarding Jerry Sandusky’s shower incidents in 1998 and 2001.
Frazier, the CEO of Merck, said the Freeh report was valid, but called the Paterno family report, which was crafted by former Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh and sex abuse expert Jim Clemente, “just that — a report.”
Paterno’s retort claimed his family’s report had just as much clout as Freeh’s.
“Speaking on behalf of my family, we find it unfortunate that Ken Frazier chose to make comments in a forum where his impressions of disputable facts were not open to challenge,” Paterno wrote.
“Mr. Frazier is certainly welcome to his personal opinion, but in his capacity as a member of the (b)oard of (t)rustees, he should be more concerned with finding the full truth than with defending a clearly flawed report.
“It has been and remains our hope that the (b)oard of (t)rustees, led by Mr. Frazier’s committee, would examine both reports as well as others. As we have said from the beginning, our team stands ready to answer any questions — an opportunity that we have been denied by the (b)oard of (t)rustees since November of 2011.
“We also do want to take exception with Mr. Frazier’s characterization of both the Freeh report as ‘independent’ and with our report as being merely a bought-and-paid-for result. Mr. Freeh was hired by the (b)oard of (t)rustees, which was and is an interested party in this matter. He is no more independent than our team.
“We are proud of the team we assembled and the work they produced. Our team has the very best credentials and sterling reputations for independence — reputations they staked on their reports. To question their independence is to question their integrity. If Ken Frazier wants to question the integrity of Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, FBI profiler and abuse survivor Jim Clemente and world renowned pedophilia expert Dr. (Fred) Berlin, he should at least allow them an opportunity to address the (b)oard directly on this matter.”
Follow Christopher Passante on Twitter @ChrisPassante.