The man who investigated the Jerry Sandusky scandal is calling for the current Penn State president to resign.
“Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Timothy Curley were the most powerful men who ran the Pennsylvania State University. Today, they are convicted criminals. And Joe Paterno’s once iconic legacy is forever marred by his own decision to do nothing when he had the chance to make a real difference.”
That “Statement of Louis J. Freeh” came from an email of the former FBI director and federal judge’s firm at 6:15 p.m., just hours after Spanier’s conviction on misdemeanor child endangerment charges.
Freeh was contracted by Penn State to conduct an investigation into the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal in November 2011. In July 2012, he issued his results, the Freeh report, a document that said Penn State had responsibility for the abuse and singled out Spanier, Schultz, Curley and Paterno for culpability. Spanier is suing Freeh in Centre County court over the Freeh report.
The two-page document Freeh sent out following Spanier’s verdict ended with criticism for the current administration and board.
“Barron and a coterie of ‘Paterno denier’ board members, alumni, cult-like groups such as Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, a former professional football player, and certain elected state political hacks, have been nothing but apologists for Paterno, Spanier, Schultz and Curley, more concerned about bringing back a bronze statue than worrying about the multiple child victims who have forever been so grievously harmed on the PSU campus,” he wrote. “Barron can do one, last good act of service to PSU by resigning, and taking along with him board members like Anthony P. Lubrano and Albert L. Lord, who have no vision for PSU except a ‘rear-view’ one.”
Freeh’s statements were verified by his attorney, Robert Heim.
“They are authentic,” he said. “They reflect Judge Freeh’s considered opinion.”
Ira Lubert, Penn State board of trustees chairman, said in a statement that he fully supports Barron’s leadership.
“I take exception with Freeh’s statement and categorically reject his criticism of President Barron.,” Lubert said. “The board leadership and President Barron have been consistent in our communications about the Freeh report. We embraced the roadmap for reforms that Freeh presented, and have disagreed firmly with Freeh’s characterization of Penn State culture. President Barron has led the creation of a model ethics and compliance program to protect and support the university community. He has my full support and appreciation for his leadership and accomplishments.”
Penn State’s own statement acknowledged Curley’s and Schultz’s pleas and Friday’s verdict as indicative of leadership failure, but also focused on progress.
“...While we cannot undo the past, we have re-dedicated ourselves and our University to act always with the highest integrity, in affirming the shared values of our community,” the university wrote. “Over the past five years, Penn State has taken aggressive steps to strengthen accountability and focus on the fight against child maltreatment. We have endorsed a standard of strict compliance, and we will continue our vigorous efforts to create a model culture of reporting, safety and accountability. This has led to the development of many best-in-class initiatives.”
Lubrano was pleased with the two not guilty verdicts for Spanier and confident the guilty verdict would be overturned on appeal.
His response to Freeh was succinct.
“Louis Freeh is a fraud. Period. End of story. I hope he still has the $8.3 million Penn State paid him because I want it back,” he said.