The former Penn State employee who removed a confidential file on Jerry Sandusky from Old Main and delivered it to administrator Gary Schultz after his arrest was given immunity for her testimony Monday against her old boss.
But Kimberly Belcher’s testimony during a preliminary hearing may not completely doom Schultz, as she testified her former boss never asked her to retrieve the file and that it was a former prosecutor who wanted her to implicate Schultz.
Instead, Belcher testified she made the decision to take the Sandusky file and give it to Schultz, who was her boss from 2007 until his retirement in 2009 and then for a month in 2011 when he worked in an interim role.
The files contain handwritten notes Schultz took when he was informed of a 1998 shower incident involving Sandusky as well as one page of notes he took after the Sandusky incident in 2001 was reported to him. The notes made their public debut in the Freeh report, which said the notes were discovered by the Freeh team.
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Belcher testified that she had given a copy to the Attorney General’s Office and Schultz’s lawyer handed over the original.
Belcher said she had gone into Old Main to collect some information for a meeting the Saturday in November 2011 when the Sandusky charges had been made public. Belcher testified that if there were a file on Sandusky, it would be located in a special drawer that contained confidential papers.
“I learned it was there after I opened it and looked for it,” Belcher said.
Belcher said she glanced through the file but didn’t read it word for word. There were two documents — a contract and a bunch of other papers.
She made a copy of the file’s contents with the intent to give it to Schultz, because, as she said, it had been her job to prepare files for meetings. She thought he’d need it.
But, Belcher said, she made a copy and left Old Main without putting the files back.
She delivered the files to Schultz’s house and ended up giving him the original file. She had the copy and never returned it to the office.
“Once I realized I had the copy, I kept them,” Belcher said. “I was concerned at that point about … that the originals were gone, that I had removed documents from Penn State.”
Belcher said she “panicked a little bit” about what she’d done and acknowledged in her testimony that she didn’t make the “right choices.”
Belcher said she was subpoenaed by the Attorney General’s Office and turned over her copy. Belcher testified she wasn’t sure if Schultz knew that she had a copy of the file.
Prior to turning over the documents, Belcher said she learned that Schultz’s lawyer hadn’t determined if he was going to turn over the original Sandusky file to the prosecution. Belcher said Schultz ended up turning over the file.
Belcher offered some testimony about the character of Schultz while he was her boss. She said he was “demanding” and, during a phone call after the charges came down and she had delivered the file to Schultz, he told her to own up to it.
“He told me that if I was asked about it, I should tell the truth,” Belcher said.
Belcher’s predecessor, Joan Coble, testified Monday afternoon that she knew of the confidential Sandusky file but did not know what was inside.
She said she only became aware of it after Schultz interrupted her one day. Schultz told her he was going to put a manila file folder entitled “Sandusky, Jerry” in the special confidential drawer where those kinds of files were located, and she was not to look in it.
Coble said she never did.