Corbett says ex-PSU officials under investigation

Gov. Corbett said he was disappointed by college officials' responses to a subpoena.
Gov. Corbett said he was disappointed by college officials' responses to a subpoena.
Posted: July 21, 2012

HARRISBURG - Former top officials at Pennsylvania State University did not fully cooperate with state investigators in the Jerry Sandusky case, Gov. Corbett said Thursday, and are likely now the focus of an investigation by the state Attorney General's Office.

The governor, who as attorney general launched the child sexual-abuse investigation into Sandusky in 2009, said investigators had subpoenaed e-mails of top university officials, but did not receive critical exchanges until after Sandusky was charged last fall.

Those e-mails came to light last week in a report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who was hired by Penn State to assess the university's handling of the matter.

The e-mails revealed that football coach Joe Paterno, former Penn State president Graham B. Spanier, and other top administrators were aware of allegations against Sandusky as long ago as 1998. According to Freeh, they show a conspiracy to cover up Sandusky's wrongdoing.

"I am very disappointed in the lack of forthcoming evidence to the subpoena that was given to them by the Attorney General's Office," Corbett said in response to reporters' questions at an unrelated news conference Thursday.

Asked whether he believed the university deliberately withheld the e-mails, Corbett said: "I think that is the subject of an investigation at the Attorney General's Office right now."

Attorney general's spokesman Nils Frederiksen declined to discuss Corbett's comments. He did say that Attorney General Linda Kelly had made it clear that the Penn State case remains "an active and ongoing investigation."

Nonetheless, Corbett's comments were notable in that they were the furthest the governor has gone in revealing details of his former office's dealings with Penn State.

Although he did not name names, the governor blamed the university's uncooperative stance on the prior administration, under Spanier.

Spanier resigned in November under pressure by the university's board of trustees in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. He has not been charged with a crime, but sources close to an ongoing grand jury investigation have said he has recently become a potential target.

David La Torre, a spokesman for Penn State, would not comment on Corbett's remarks.

Corbett said that the grand jury investigating Sandusky requested e-mails from Penn State, but that the information was not turned over until long after Sandusky was charged in the fall. Charged at the same time were athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz, accused of lying to the grand jury and failing to report evidence of child abuse.

According to the Freeh report, the grand jury, on March 24, 2011, subpoenaed e-mails of Paterno, Spanier, Schultz, and Curley dating to 1997. But according to court filings June 11, Penn State officials took nearly a year to comply.

In a motion filed in the cases against Schultz and Curley, Bruce R. Beemer, chief of staff to Kelly, described receiving "e-mails between Schultz, Curley, and others that contradict their testimony before the grand jury."

A spokeswoman for Schultz's and Curley's lawyers - Thomas Farrell and Caroline Roberto - declined to comment.


Contact Angela Couloumbis at 717-787-5934 or acouloumbis@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @AngelasInk.

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