Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover said the case involving former Penn State administrators Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley will soon be moving forward.
“We’re going to try to get on track for later this summer,” Hoover said in an interview with The Associated Press.
We expect that means the judge is preparing to rule soon on the role of former Penn State legal counsel Cynthia Baldwin.
The three defendants — facing perjury and other charges in an alleged cover-up of Jerry Sandusky’s crimes — say Baldwin misrepresented herself during their appearances before a grand jury.
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Baldwin was with the men when they met with the grand jury in 2011 to discuss allegations that Sandusky had abused numerous young boys over many years, with the acts sometimes occurring on the Penn State campus.
Baldwin also testified before the grand jury herself.
Cumberland County prosecutor Dave Freed, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for attorney general in 2012, called the Baldwin controversy “an unprecedented situation.”
In addition to serving as the university’s legal counsel, Baldwin was a trustee and is a former state Supreme Court justice. Freed said the complexity of the Sandusky situation plus Baldwin’s involvement has meant “a lot of motions and lot of pretrial litigation,” which has slowed the pace of the case.
Sandusky was tried, convicted and sentenced within a year of his November 2011 grand-jury charges. Sandusky, serving 30 to 60 years in a state prison, has even had time to appeal his verdict and have the appeal denied.
Duquesne University School of Law professor Wes Oliver told the AP he is surprised the Baldwin debate has dragged on, keeping the overall case from gaining traction.
“In a fairly high-profile case, you’d think (the question) would go to the top of the docket,” Oliver said.
Schultz, the former vice president for finance, and Curley, the ex-director of athletics, were charged in late 2011. Spanier was fired as president when the scandal broke in November 2011, but charged a year later.
The scandal that rocked Penn State and our community can get no closure until the case against the three former university leaders plays out.
For that reason, and for the sake of justice, we’re eager to see Judge Hoover stick to his guns and get this case moving again.