A judge from Chester County will preside over former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary’s whistle-blower and defamation lawsuit against the university.
The state Supreme Court appointed Senior Judge Thomas G. Gavin, a court administrator spokesman said today. Gavin was on the bench in Chester County from 1985 to 2000, with the last five years serving as the county court’s president judge.
A judge from outside Centre County was appointed because all of the county’s judges have recused themselves from this case and others that stemmed from the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky criminal case to avoid any appearance of impropriety. The judges have ties to Penn State or The Second Mile, the charity Sandusky founded.
McQueary, who testified he saw Sandusky in a shower with a young boy in February 2001, is seeking millions of dollars in damages from Penn State. He filed the suit earlier this month on the grounds of the whistle-blower statute, defamation and misrepresentation.
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The former quarterback turned assistant coach is alleging the university defamed him and ruined his reputation, and he said in the suit he was branded as part of a cover-up and made the scapegoat. He pointed the finger at former administrators Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.
McQueary was placed on administrative leave in November, and since then, McQueary said in the suit, he’s suffered “much distress, anxiety and embarrassment.”
The university did not renew his contract after it expired June 30.
Penn State has not yet filed court papers to respond to McQueary’s allegations.