Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Spanier, Curley raise attorney-client privilege argument in McQueary case

Mike McQueary
Mike McQueary

It’s been months since any real movement was seen in the whistleblower lawsuit former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary brought against the university.

Now two former officials are asking to bring one action to a halt.

On Tuesday, former Penn State president Graham Spanier filed a petition to intervene in the case. He was joined Wednesday by former athletic director Tim Curley, who entered a similar request.

The two men are objecting to the deposition of former Penn State trustee and general counsel Cynthia Baldwin.

McQueary’s case arose from the 2011 indictment and subsequent 2012 conviction of retired Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on charges of child sexual abuse. McQueary was one of the most prominent witnesses. He filed his lawsuit in 2012, alleging the university ruined his reputation and fired him for his part in the investigation.

But Spanier and Curley, along with former vice president Gary Schultz, are still awaiting trial in Dauphin County on charges of perjury and conspiracy related to the Sandusky case.

That is where the new petition comes in.

“Intervention in this case is warranted because the deposition of Cynthia Baldwin will very likely include testimony about matters protected by the attorney-client privilege,” Spanier’s filing stated.

All three former officials claim that they thought at the time that Baldwin represented them. That has become a central sticking point in their criminal case, and one in which the Pennsylvania Superior Court will hear arguments next month before allowing the Dauphin case to move on.

But in Centre County court, the issue has also been heard. Specially presiding Chester County Senior Judge Thomas Gavin ruled in May that communications involving Baldwin could not be withheld on the same attorney-client privilege grounds.

McQueary is seeking lost wages, legal costs and punitive damages.