The judge hearing the perjury case of former Penn State administrator Gary Schultz granted the defense’s request for a subpoena of materials from Louis Freeh’s investigation into the university.
Todd Hoover, president judge of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas, signed the order Thursday, which urges the Superior Court of Washington, D.C. — where Freeh Sporkin and Sullivan is located — to issue a summons directing the law firm to produce the materials by Sept. 1.
The detailed list of requested documents includes interview notes, emails and other material related to interviews the Freeh team conducted and material it came across in its study of the university response to the Jerry Sandusky case. Interview notes with former President Graham Spanier, former director of police Stephen Shelow, former Penn State counsel Cynthia Baldwin and former Second Mile counsel are among the 25 items on the list.
The requested documents include notes from Baldwin’s conversations with Joe Paterno on Jan. 3, 2011, and notes from her meeting Feb. 15, 2011, with assistant football coaches.
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When attorneys for Schultz filed the petition at the end of July, they wrote that the Freeh report “has maintained grievous and potentially inaccurate information related to Mr. Schultz, reviewing in great detail his purported actions, and alleging a conspiracy among the top administrators of the university to cover up reports of sexual abuse within its football programs.”
Schultz, retired senior vice president, and Tim Curley, on leave as director of athletics, are facing perjury charges in Dauphin County Court for testimony they gave to the grand jury investigating Sandusky. They’re also facing failure to report abuse charges. A pretrial hearing on the case is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday.
Sandusky, found guilty in June on more than 40 counts related to the sexual abuse of boys, is in prison awaiting sentencing.
Hoover’s order includes a certificate to the Superior Court of Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Hugg, a partner at Thorp Reed & Armstrong in Philadelphia, said because a Pennsylvania court only has jurisdiction in the state and the requested information is located in another jurisdiction, the defense filed the petition asking the judge to issue the subpoena and letter to the D.C. court.
He said courts are expected to give full faith and credit to each other’s orders. So, a court would typically honor the request, unless it was blatantly unconstitutional.
“I have little doubt it will be enforced,” said Hugg, who isn’t affiliated with the case.
Still, he said, the university or the Freeh firm may try to fight it.
“The university is under tremendous pressure to cooperate with the Attorney General’s Office,” Hugg said. “If the attorney general sends a tacit message that we don’t want this stuff out there,” the university may try to contest the order.
He said in cases when the information being sought comes from an internal investigation, the question comes up of whether that report is public.
“Once it’s public, the idea that it’s subject to attorney-client work privilege is gone,” Hugg said.
While the Freeh report includes some background information and a few emails that support the report itself, it doesn’t include interview transcripts or all of the 3.5 million emails and documents the investigative team reviewed.
Penn State declined to comment.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy