Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Judge orders Penn State to ask victims for discovery

Jerry Sandusky enters the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte for a hearing Monday, May 2, 2016. Sandusky has filed a petition under Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act, seeking a new trial.
Jerry Sandusky enters the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte for a hearing Monday, May 2, 2016. Sandusky has filed a petition under Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act, seeking a new trial. Centre Daily Times, file

The parties that received settlements from Penn State will be asked to cooperate in another lawsuit.

In an order Monday, Potter County Senior Judge John Leete, specially presiding in Centre County, directed the university to make the request.

“Counsel for Penn State University will, as appropriate, approach victims in the Sandusky matter to ascertain their willingness to take part in voluntary discovery in the above-captioned matter,” Leete wrote.

The order came after a conference between the parties in the civil suit between the estate of longtime Nittany Lions football coach Joe Paterno and former assistant coaches Jay Paterno and Bill Kenney against the NCAA, its president, Mark Emmert, and former executive committee chairman Ed Ray.

According to court documents, law firm Pepper Hamilton was directed to “promptly furnish to the court a plan for narrowing and at least in part resolving outstanding discovery issues.”

Pepper Hamilton has been fighting discovery in the case for years. The firm had merged with that of Louis Freeh, the former FBI director contracted by the university to investigate the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The two split up again this year, but Pepper Hamilton is still deeply involved in the Sandusky matter.

The investigation became more of a factor after revelations earlier this month from another court.

Philadelphia Judge Gary Glazer released an order in the case between Penn State and its insurer, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Co., that pointed to settlements for allegations that go back to the 1970s, reigniting curiosity and controversy about who knew what when.

In light of the new information, Leete made some adjustments to his case.

“Further, discovery will be re-opened for a period of 45 days from this date to complete discovery, said discovery being limited to outstanding discovery requests and depositions, as well as any discovery relating to recent allegations” from the Glazer order, Leete said.

“Our concern was to give victims’ counsel the opportunity to be heard and to ensure that victims’ wishes with respect to privacy were taken into account,” Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said.

Sandusky is appealing his 2012 conviction, related to 10 boys from his now-defunct charity, The Second Mile. He maintains his innocence. He will be appearing in Bellefonte for another argument on his Post-Conviction Relief Act petition on Friday.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

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