Former Penn State officials want court records unsealed for defense in obstruction case

mdawson@centredaily.comApril 23, 2013 

The lawyers for two former Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are asking a judge to unseal secret court documents they say are necessary to defend their clients against accusations they covered up child abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky.

The written requests were filed in Harrisburg by lawyers for the former university officials who stand accused of obstruction of justice, conspiracy and other charges.

The lawyers indicated that the records, which include the transcript of a closed-door hearing in January and other motions and orders, will be used in appealing Judge Barry Feudale’s ruling from April 9 that the case against them and former Penn State president Graham Spanier can move forward.

The appeals, made Friday, are in the hands of the state’s Supreme Court.

“The materials are necessary and material for the defense to pursue this matter on appeal and are reasonably requested,” wrote the lawyer for Curley, Caroline Roberto, who along with Schultz’s lawyer, Thomas Farrell, unsuccessfully sought to have the grand jury presentment barred from being used as evidence in the case.

The lawyers said unsealing the records will not compromise the grand jury secrecy or reveal non-public information, such as the grand jury testimony from ex-university general counsel Cynthia Baldwin. The lawyers have said in court papers that the prosecution’s case against their clients is based on Baldwin’s testimony, and the lawyers have said Baldwin violated attorney-client privilege when she testified against the men.

Curley’s and Schultz’s lawyers cited case law that says there is no need to keep information from a targeted individual after a grand jury investigation is complete.

In addition to the Supreme Court, an appeal of Feudale’s ruling was made to the Superior Court.

The high-profile case has yet to go as far as a preliminary hearing, and it appears to have grounded to halt by a litany of court motions, some of which Feudale already struck down.

The lawyers for the Curley and Schultz have maintained that their clients are innocent. Curley and Schultz are also facing trial in a related perjury and failure to report abuse case.

Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT.

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