When Penn State’s trustees hired Louis Freeh to investigate the Jerry Sandusky scandal, they promised the Penn State community a confidential and independent inquiry.
The trustees were to see Freeh’s report only when he released it to the public and they were to have no input into the report’s findings or recommendations.
During the past couple of months, alumnus Ryan Bagwell’s Freedom of Information requests proved that email correspondence took place between trustees, former state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis and Freeh while the investigation was in progress.
The e-mail trustee Kenneth Frazier sent July 6, 2012, to Freeh and Tomalis deserves particular attention. It consists solely of a link to an ESPN article, but the article’s content shows that the Freeh Group leaked its expected findings to CNN and NBC.
It added that the report would come down very hard on Penn State’s “football culture” and coach Joe Paterno. (The NCAA’s new policy on sexual violence and harassment shows that Paterno did exactly what he should have done, and might well have broken the NCAA’s rules by “doing more.”)
When the board meets to vote on whether to evaluate the Freeh report this month, it has a basic fiduciary duty to ask Frazier why he sent Freeh the link to this ESPN article.
It also needs to ask why Freeh’s “confidential” investigation was leaked to NBC and CNN like a proverbial sieve.
William A. Levinson