A judge has ordered former FBI director Louis Freeh to show why a civil lawsuit filed against him by ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier should be heard in federal court.
U.S. Middle District Court Judge Malachy Mannion ruled Friday that the notice Freeh gave to move the case from Centre County Court was insufficient.
Freeh filed last month to have the case moved to federal court, arguing that’s the proper venue because he is not a Pennsylvania resident.
Mannion ruled the allegation is “insufficient,” and that Freeh must show that he and members of his law firm are not residents of Pennsylvania.
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Spanier, meanwhile, is asking that the case be remanded back to Centre County.
His lawyers have yet to file a formal complaint outlining the allegations of defamation against Freeh, whose report in summer 2012 labeled Spanier part of a conspiracy to hide abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach and convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky.
Freeh’s firm, Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, which was hired by Penn State to conduct the internal review, is also named a defendant in the lawsuit.
Spanier and former Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are charged with perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, child endangerment and failure to report abuse stemming from the Sandusky scandal. Their lawyers have maintained that their clients are innocent and have asked the judge presiding over the case to dismiss all the charges.
Spanier has won a stay in the civil suit while the criminal charges against him play out in Dauphin County Court.
Freeh has lost appeals to have the case kick-started. His attorneys argued in those appeals that Spanier should have to make public his allegations before asking for a stay.