Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Penn State attorney researched child abuse reporting

Mike McQueary is objecting to Penn State’s request to stay his whistleblower suit.
Mike McQueary is objecting to Penn State’s request to stay his whistleblower suit. Centre Daily Times, file

Mike McQueary is using a former attorney’s words as a reason to shoot down the Penn State request to stay his whistleblower suit.

McQueary’s own lawyers filed the response to Penn State’s second request to stay the Centre County court proceedings Thursday.

Backing up his argument was a deposition attached to the response.

In a May interview, former university counsel Wendell Courtney said that in 2001, he researched Pennsylvania reporting law to see what should be done about McQueary’s report of seeing retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky engaging in “horseplay” with a young boy in the Lasch football building showers.

“... I did some research to ascertain the lay of the land in terms of the statute and formulated my thoughts. And then I called Gary back,” he said.

Gary Schultz is the former Penn State vice president charged with failure to report and endangering the welfare of children in Dauphin County stemming from testimony before the grand jury that recommended charges against Sandusky. Former president Graham Spanier and former athletic director Tim Curley are also charged.

“I do remember that the advice I gave was to report to (the Department of Public Welfare),” Courtney said in the deposition.

McQueary’s filing shows a Feb. 11, 2001, consultation between Courtney and Schultz. But in the deposition, Courtney said he was never asked about it.

“The fact that (Penn State) ... never approached Attorney Courtney to find out details about the entry and the nature of his conversations with Schultz belies the allegation that it ‘has diligently pursued discovery,’ ” wrote attorneys Elliot Strokoff and W. Timothy Fleming.

“Penn State engaged the Freeh firm to investigate the matter and, as set forth in Freeh’s report, Courtney declined to be interviewed by Freeh upon advice of counsel,” Penn State spokesman Lawrence Lokman told The Associated Press. “So any implication that Penn State did not want the benefit of Courtney’s input is simply not correct.”

McQueary’s attorneys said the university’s request for an indefinite stay “contradicts the notion of a ‘prompt’ hearing.”

Penn State requested the stay June 1, citing problems obtaining discovery related to Curley, Schultz and Spanier, whose criminal cases have dragged on for years and have still not gone to trial.

The university said its case is “severely prejudiced” by the inability to depose the trio, who claim Fifth Amendment protections on advice of counsel.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce