Louis Freeh demanding Graham Spanier detail defamation claims

mdawson@centredaily.comNovember 12, 2013 

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier exits the first day of his preliminary hearing in Harrisburg on Monday, July 29, 2013. Centre Daily Times/Christopher Weddle

CHRISTOPHER WEDDLE — CDT photo Buy Photo

Former FBI director Louis Freeh is demanding that ousted Penn State president Graham Spanier spell out the defamation claims against the man who accused him of covering up for Jerry Sandusky in a scathing report last summer.

Spanier has yet to file a formal complaint outlining the allegations, and he recently asked that the pending case be put on hold because of his pending criminal trial and those of two ex-university administrators in Dauphin County.

On Tuesday, Freeh rang in, opposing the motion for a stay. Freeh’s lawyer said Spanier cannot ask for a stay unless he files a formal complaint.

“Spanier has succeeded in garnering headlines for suing Judge Freeh without having to provide any substantiation,” Freeh’s lawyer said.

“If Spanier does not file a complaint, they will remain stuck in the untenable position of having Spanier’s broad accusation clouding their reputations without being able to defend themselves.”

The lawyer said Spanier could not be prejudiced until the latter phases of a lawsuit, such as discovery or trial.

Penn State hired Freeh to investigate how Sandusky was able to abuse young boys on campus. Freeh’s report accused Spanier, ex-athletic director Tim Curley, retired administrator Gary Schultz and former football coach Joe Paterno of covering up abuse allegations.

Spanier’s lawyers publicly blasted the Freeh report during a news conference and media interviews last summer. The Paterno family criticized the Freeh report in a counter-report earlier this year.

Spanier, Curley and Schultz are awaiting trial on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, child endangerment and failure to report abuse. The lawyers for the three men have vowed to fight the charges at trial.

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