Jerry Sandusky scandal costs top $44.4 million for Penn State

mdawson@centredaily.comMay 21, 2013 

— Penn State’s cost for the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal is more than $44.4 million, according to figures the university released online Tuesday.

Penn State had been billed a total of $44,452,243 for legal services, consulting and public relations work through Feb. 28. President Rodney Erickson has said some costs will be covered by various insurance policies, but others, such as work by the public relations firms, will be paid out of pocket.

The latest update means Penn State was billed for $1.5 million in work in February. That is the difference between the last report of $42.9 million billed for work through Jan. 31 and the current report.

For work in that month, Penn State is being billed for more than $800,000 from law firms retained by the university, such as Saul Ewing, Duane Morris, McQuaide Blasko and Feinberg Rozen. The latter is the firm the university hired to negotiate settlements with men claiming they were abused by Sandusky.

Also for February, the university was billed more than $350,000 for legal services and consulting for its board of trustees and $242,000 from the firm of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who the NCAA appointed to watch over Penn State’s progress in adhering to the provisions of the athletics integrity agreement.

Louis Freeh’s law firm, which produced the report that accused senior leaders of covering up for Sandusky, sent the university a bill for $9,424. That now brings the total cost of the Freeh report up to $8,159,083.

Of the $44.5 million price tag for the Sandusky scandal, the most expensive chunk is still the $12 million NCAA fine, which the university set aside in an escrow account in December.

The tab for the university’s legal services sits at $9.2 million.

The defense lawyers for former Penn State officials have billed Penn State more than $5.1 million. The legal defenses of former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley, retired administrator Gary Schultz and ex-general counsel Cynthia Baldwin are to be paid by the university, according to its bylaws.

The costs will balloon, as the university is set to make another $12 million payment to the NCAA later this year and the lawyers for the former Penn State officials have yet to even set foot in a courtroom for the obstruction of justice case against Spanier, Curley and Schultz.

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

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