Board of Trustees

Penn State trustee Lord calls on board to ‘finish’ Freeh’s Sandusky investigation

A Penn State trustee said Friday it’s time to “finish” the investigation into the Sandusky scandal that he says Louis Freeh started, but didn’t complete.

Al Lord introduced a resolution calling on the board to reopen the case in the waning moments of Friday’s meeting, his first as an official member.

“I want the board to agree that we aren’t done — that we’re not finished,” said Lord, who was selected to represent alumni on the board in this year’s election.

“There are a lot of people who complain there is misinformation in the report,” he said after the meeting. “I don’t know. I do know that it’s not finished.”

Freeh, hired by the university to conduct an internal investigation, implicated top officials, including late head football coach Joe Paterno, with covering up child sexual abuse allegations made against Jerry Sandusky.

The findings led the NCAA to levy historic sanctions against the university, but have since come under scrutiny, including from the Paterno estate and large groups of alumni, like those who elected Lord.

Lord was critical of Freeh’s work Friday, saying the former FBI director failed to interview a handful of key players in the case and released an unfinished product.

“I personally think the report overreached,” he said. “It drew conclusions that were unsupported by the evidence. But one thing I know sure sure — it’s not finished.”

He wants the board to reopen the case, perhaps even hiring a third party to finish the work, and expects the trustees do hold a roll call vote at the September meeting.

Penn State attorneys asked the matter be discussed in executive session. That didn’t happen Friday, and it’s not clear when it will occur.

While the board never formally voted to accept the report, Lord said he views the “absence of a rejection” as acceptance.

“This all comes down to did (ex-Penn State President) Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno know about Sandusky,” he said. “We’ve got a state court three years in the making trying to answer that question. But in a few short months Freeh answered, and he answered very plainly on what I would call totally insufficient evidence.”

Lord said he isn’t confident that the criminal case against Spanier and former top administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz will make it to trial.

He said he fears the case will be dismissed and that people will say Penn State “got off on a technicality.”

“I want the truth,” Lord said. “I’m hopeful where it leads. I have very strong beliefs about where it leads. But if any of those guys are guilty, they belong in jail.”

Lord wants an investigator to conduct additional interviews, but beyond that, he couldn’t list specific issues he’d like explored without refreshing his memory.

He said there is a 100-page complaint in the lawsuit Spanier is bringing against Freeh “chock filled with very, very, very specific stuff.”

Spanier has yet to file the complaint, only his notice of intent to sue. Freeh has been fighting, unsuccessfully, to force Spanier to file the complaint.