Jerry Sandusky Scandal

'Most powerful men': Freeh report implicates Paterno, Spanier, Curley, Schultz

The damning report issued by former FBI director Louis Freeh this morning says that not only did Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier and other senior administrators fail to protect children from Jerry Sandusky, they actively worked to cover it up from the community "in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity."

The report further said the administrators showed "callous and shocking disregard for child victims."

It also targets the board for having "overconfidence in Spanier's abilities to deal with the crisis" and having a "complacent attitude" once it became aware of the investigations into Sandusky.

The report is 267 pages long including attachments. Penn State trustees plan to hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. in Scranton where they're meeting. They had a brief meeting this morning and went to their rooms in the Radisson hotel. One trustee said they couldn't comment because they hadn't yet received copies of the report at that time.

Freeh said the "most saddening and sobering finding" in his investigation was the disregard for the children around Sandusky by senior Penn State administrators.

The report says those administrators include the late Paterno, former president Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president for finance Gary Schultz.

The findings also say there was: a "striking lack of empathy for child abuse victims," "a failure by the Board to exercise its oversight functions," a failure by the board to make "reasonable inquiry in 2011," "a President who discouraged discussion and dissent" and a lack of of awareness about child abuse policies.

Freeh said along with Spanier, Schultz and Curley, Paterno "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade."

It goes on to say that not only did these men fail to protect they "concealed Sandusky's activities" from the board, the university community and the police.

According to the report, they exhibited a lack of empathy for Sandusky's victims by failing to inquire about their safety and well-being, especially when not attempting to determine the identify of the child who Sandusky assaulted in the Lasch Building in 2001.

The report says that the "only known" factor between the decision on Feb. 25, 2001, by Spanier, Curley and Schultz to report the shower incident to the state Department of Public Welfare and then changing their minds was a conversation between Curley and Schultz.

Freeh's summary says that report "marks the beginning of a process for Penn State."

"It is critical that Old Main, the Board and the Penn State community never forget these failures and commit themselves to strengthening an open, compliant and victim sensitive environment – where everyone has the duty to “blow the whistle” on anyone who breaks this trust, no matter how powerful or prominent they may appear to be." 

In his 10 a.m. news conference in Philadelphia, Louis Freeh said that Penn State officials risked harm to Victim 2 by alerting Sandusky of the report of abuse instead of reporting to authorities. 

The report reads: "Nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity."

Although the report found no evidence that the Penn State board of trustees was aware of the allegations against Sandusky in 1998 and 2001, it criticized trustees' for failing "to create and environment which held the university's most senior leaders accountable to it."

Along with 119 recommendations, the report includes emails exchanged between senior administrators and Penn State police.

Curley and Schultz are charged with perjury and failure to report abuse and are awaiting trial.

Sandusky was convicted last month on 45 counts of child abuse charges.

Freeh said the "most powerful men" at Penn State failed to take steps to protect those children.

Freeh and his law firm, Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, LLP, were retained in November 2011 to conduct the independent investigation.

  Comments