Former Penn State president Spanier given 20 days to file suit against ex-FBI director Louis Freeh

mdawson@centredaily.comOctober 1, 2013 

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was given 20 days to file his lawsuit against Louis Freeh, the ex-FBI director whom the university president has indicated he would sue for defamation.

To date, Spanier has on file a writ of summons for a civil suit he would pursue in Centre County. Freeh’s lawyers filed on Monday a request to force Spanier’s lawyers to file the actual complaint or have it thrown out.

Centre County Prothonotary Debra Immel accepted the Freeh lawyers’ request and imposed the time limit.

Freeh’s controversial report last summer concluded that Spanier was one of several former Penn State administrators who covered up abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago. Spanier has denied the accusations in the report.

Spanier is awaiting trial on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury, child endangerment, conspiracy and failure to report abuse that are outlined in a grand jury presentment. Spanier has denied the accusations, too, and his lawyers have vowed to fight the charges at trial.

Spanier’s co-defendants, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, face the same charges and are awaiting trial, too.

The possible civil lawsuit brought by Spanier is one of several cases have developed out of the Sandusky scandal.

For instance, former assistant coach Mike McQueary sued the university, claiming he was defamed and let go from his job because he cooperated with authorities investigating Sandusky. McQueary has testified he saw Sandusky in a position with a young boy that led him to believe he was molesting him.

And the family of Joe Paterno and a number of supporters have filed suit in Centre County against the NCAA to overturn the organization’s sanctions on Penn State.

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

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