Even after Judge Jonathan Grine officially stepped away from former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s defamation suit against Louis Freeh, the former FBI director’s attorneys are spelling out just why they want an outside judge.
In documents filed Tuesday, Freeh’s camp argued against the last documents filed by Spanier’s attorneys.
“Given that a new judge will be assigned to hear this case in any event, (p)laintiff cannot contend that another judge of the Centre County Court of Common Pleas is any better suited to hear this case than an out-of-county judge,” the document said.
Centre County judges have already stepped away from Jerry Sandusky’s criminal case, as well as The Second Mile charity’s dissolution, Mike McQueary’s whistleblower lawsuit, and former football coach Joe Paterno’s estate lawsuit against the NCAA and Penn State.
“The judges’ recusals are intended to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest due to real or perceived connections to (Sandusky), the Second Mile charity or the Pennsylvania State University,” Freeh’s attorneys quoted a 2011 Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts press release on the issue.
Spanier was one of four men singled out as culpable in a cover-up of Sandusky’s child sex abuse crimes, according to Freeh’s independent investigation of the matter, commissioned by the university. The validity of that report is the crux of the defamation case.