Former FBI director Louis Freeh doesn’t want a Centre County judge to hear the lawsuit former Penn State president Graham Spanier has brought against him.
He wants an out-of-county judge. Actually, he wants a specific out-of-county judge.
In documents filed in Centre County court Friday, lawyers for Freeh and his law firm asked the court to bring in another judge, and suggested that Dauphin County President Judge Todd Hoover preside.
Hoover is the judge hearing Spanier’s criminal proceedings in Dauphin County.
“Those proceedings are substantially related to the allegations that plaintiff proposes to assert herein,” wrote Freeh’s attorneys.
Spanier officially filed suit in March, claiming defamation in the conclusions that Freeh announced in his commissioned report on the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Freeh specifically named Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley, former vice president Gary Schultz and late longtime football coach Joe Paterno as having culpability in hiding Sandusky’s crimes.
Spanier, Curley and Schultz are charged with perjury and conspiracy stemming from grand jury testimony. They are still awaiting trial almost three years after Sandusky’s 2012 conviction.
“In this action, Spanier contends that Louis Freeh and (Freeh, Sporkin and Sullivan) ‘defamed’ him by accusing Spanier of failing to report suspected child abuse and endangering Sandusky’s child victims,” wrote the attorneys. “The cases are therefore directly related and judicial efficiency and economy would be well-served by having President Judge Hoover preside over these proceedings.”
The defense cites the appointment of Senior Judge William Morgan, of Warren and Forest counties, who has been overseeing the dissolution of assets from The Second Mile, the children’s charity which Sandusky started and where he found his victims.
Out-of-county judges also preside over the Paterno estate’s lawsuit against Penn State and the NCAA and former assistant coach Mike McQueary’s whistleblower suit.