The attorney for retired Penn State administrator Gary Schultz said Friday his client, former athletic director Tim Curley and ex-President Graham Spanier have done too much good in their careers to have purposely covered up abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky.
“If you’re going to charge these kinds of people who have done such good, you got to take a step back, first of all, and think, (could) people who dedicated their lives — people who could make a king’s fortune in private industry — do such a thing intentionally?” said Tom Farrell, after his client and Curley were arraigned in suburban Harrisburg on charges of child endangerment, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. “People of this character do not do, have not done, what they’re charged with.”
Schultz, Spanier and Curley were indicted on charges Thursday that they allegedly covered up information they had about shower incidents in 1998 and 2001 that involved Sandusky. Schultz and Curley were already indicted on perjury and failure to report charges and are awaiting trial scheduled for January in Harrisburg.
District Judge William Wenner released Curley and Schultz on $50,000 unsecured bail, meaning that they were not booked in the county jail and will not have to put down money toward their bail unless they do not show up for their court hearings. They were already free on $75,000 unsecured bail after being arraigned last year on the previous charges.
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Spanier is out of state and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning at the same district court office.
The preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 12, but Wenner did not sound optimistic that the date would hold.
The three former university leaders are accused of a cover-up that went from the athletic department all the way to the President’s Office in Old Main. Prosecutors from the state Attorney General’s Office say the men lied to a grand jury about what they knew about the shower incidents and later concealed evidence and tried to block the investigation by not turning over important documents such as emails and a file in Schultz’s office on Sandusky.
Caroline Roberto, the attorney for Curley, was adamant Friday that her client is innocent, speaking to reporters after the arraignment proceeding.
But she declined to speak specifically about the evidence that is the basis for the charges, such as emails from 1998 and 2001.
“When we have our opportunity to be in court, which we thought was going to be sometime early next year, you all (will) have the opportunity to hear about the emails and put them in the context they need to be put in in our case,” said Roberto, who is asking for a delay in the perjury case.
While Roberto and Farrell did not comment about the allegations their clients are facing, they criticized former Penn State counsel Cynthia Baldwin, who heard the two men testify to the grand jury and later testified herself, and accused her of violating attorney-client privilege.
According to the presentment, Baldwin told the grand jury that Curley, Schultz and Spanier assured her they had no information or documents about Sandusky that would apply to a subpoena issued by the grand jury to Penn State.
“When we read the presentment, we were stunned, we were flabbergasted, that (Baldwin) would have testified against our clients ... at the grand jury, after representing them before the grand jury,” Roberto said.
Farrell said Baldwin betrayed Schultz and lied to the grand jury when she testified.
In a statement issued Friday, Baldwin’s lawyer, Charles De Monaco, disputed the accusations from Roberto and Farrell.
“The suggestion by anyone that Ms. Baldwin betrayed her clients and her profession or testified falsely is untrue,” De Monaco said. “Cynthia Baldwin knows the importance of due process and how legal issues need to play out in courts of law and not in the media. As a result, it is not her intent to publicly address facts and legal issues that are properly before the courts.”
Roberto has asked the judge presiding over the perjury and failure to report case to throw out the charges and throw out Curley’s grand jury testimony. Roberto said grand jury secrecy was violated when Baldwin heard Curley testify, arguing she should not have been present because of a conflict of interest she had with representing Curley, Schultz and Penn State. Roberto said prosecutors should have recognized that conflict of interest and alerted the grand jury judge.
Roberto said the grand jury issues are complicated but will be aggressively litigated.