The Paterno family is challenging former FBI director Louis Freeh’s conclusion that Joe Paterno conspired to conceal allegations against Jerry Sandusky in 2001 out of fear of bad publicity.
The Paterno report, issued Sunday, said Freeh erroneously assumed the Feb. 27, 2001, email among then-university leaders Tim Curley, Gary Schultz and Graham Spanier meant that Paterno participated in the decision-making to respond to a report that Sandusky had been seen in a shower with a boy. That incident was seen by then-grad assistant Mike McQueary, who reported it to Paterno and who testified at Sandusky’s June 2012 trial.
The email from Curley reads, “After giving it some thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday — I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps.”
“Ultimately, the Freeh report’s interpretation of this single 2001 email does more to undermine the credibility of the report’s conclusions than it does to advance the truth, as the alleged conversation between Mr. Curley and Joe Paterno could have transpired in countless ways that exonerate Joe Paterno,” the Paterno report said.
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The Paterno report said Paterno did not hide what McQueary told him, but instead reported it to his boss, Curley.
The Paterno report said when Freeh was asked about the purported discussion between Paterno and Curley at a press conference in July, Freeh said he could not elaborate and did not know the content of the conversation.
The Paterno team said they had discussions with the attorneys for Spanier, Curley and Schultz and conclude that Paterno never told or asked anyone to hide the information reported by McQueary, limit investigating McQueary’s report or to not report it as appropriate.
The report said Paterno would have taken questions at a press conference in November 2011 about his recollection of the events, but the university canceled it minutes before it was to start.
The Paterno report also said that Paterno was not scared of bad publicity in dealing with quarterback Rashard Casey, who in 2000 was accused of assaulting an off-duty police officer in Hoboken, N.J.
Despite being criticized, Paterno supported Casey, who ended up not being indicted by an investigating grand jury. Casey then sued the Hoboken police and was awarded a cash settlement.