Thursday, October 16

Feather's Resignation Breaks Media Blackout of Porn Perps' Roles in Sandusky Case

Up until today's resignation of Feathers, the media avoided mentioning any of the porn perpetrator's roles in the Sandusky case.

By Ray Blehar


Feathers: Looking at porn while
children were being abused?
Former OAG Supervisory Agent, Randy Feathers, who supervised the Sandusky investigation, resigned his position on the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and parole.  Feathers' resignation letter clearly identified his role in the Sandusky investigation, which up until this point had rarely, if ever, been mentioned by the media.

Until yesterday.

Both PennLive and the Pittsburgh Tribune reported Feathers role in the Sandusky case, however philly.com, the Inquirer, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette continued their media black outs.

Apparently, the media does not want the public to know that OAG officials involved in the Sandusky case were spending time ogling porn, while children were being abused.

Richard Sheetz, who the media referred to as a former OAG official and member of the Lancaster County DA's office, was in the approval chain of the Sandusky grand jury presentment. The press has also neglected to mention his role in the delay in the arrest of Sandusky.


Glenn Parno, referred to in the press as the Deputy Chief Counsel with the Department of Environmental Protection, was also in the approval chain of the Sandusky presentment.


One truly has to wonder why the media would be so unwilling to reveal that those who were exchanging porn emails at work also had a role in the  "inexcusable" delays in bringing Sandusky to justice.

Feathers' Factually Challenged Retirement Letter

None of the aforementioned media outlets bothered to post or link Feathers' retirement letter to their articles,  nor have any challenged Feathers' accusations of Kane (which has been par for the course so far).  Feathers'  factually challenged resignation letter follows (my emphasis added):


HARRISBURG (Oct. 15) –This morning I have submitted my retirement letter to Governor Corbett as a Board Member of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) effective October 30, 2014.

It is essential to note that my retirement should not be taken as an acknowledgment of the degree of wrong-doing of which I have been accused by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane.  In fact, I have been denied basic due process by not being allowed to observe or be provided details as to the content of the emails upon which General Kane has attributed to me.

To give a complete understanding of my difficult relationship with General Kane, one must understand that I met, at her request, with General Kane’s representatives during her probe into the Sandusky investigation.  I was the supervisor of the Sandusky investigation during my tenure with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. I gave General Kane my utmost cooperation, which yielded, to her disappointment, no findings that the Sandusky investigation was conducted in any manner other than totally professional and in accordance with the highest law enforcement protocol.  My interaction during General Kane’s investigation created substantial conflict between myself and her office, as I would not agree with her erroneous presumptions regarding this investigation.  I became certain that General Kane's priority was not an objective overview of our years of hard work, but rather a politically motivated effort to smear reputations during an election year.

General Kane's accusations, particularly the timing in relation to Governor Tom Corbett's re-election, and subsequent to my hostile interaction during her Sandusky probe are further proof the current accusations are politically motivated.

I never initiated any of the referenced pornography nor did I ever view any pornographic videos.  These accusations date back more than five (5) years and my efforts to hire an independent forensic expert to exonerate myself have not been answered. 

My decision to retire is primarily motivated by my knowledge that I can no longer be effective in my current position with the PBPP.   I hold the PBPP and its employees in the highest regard, and I will not allow their important essential service of protecting the citizens of Pennsylvania to be further compromised.

I have spent my entire career in law enforcement, initially as a police officer in the District of Columbia, then in my hometown of Altoona and then as an Agent, promoted to Supervisor with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.  I have received numerous accolades and honors throughout my career.

If this current matter is the personal cost I must pay for putting Jerry Sandusky, a convicted pedophile who operated undetected for over twenty years, in prison for the remainder of his life, then I say the protection of the public is worth this personal ordeal.

I thank the citizens of Pennsylvania for the honor I have been provided to serve them.
###   


Separating Fact from Fiction

Feathers (fiction):   I gave General Kane my utmost cooperation, which yielded, to her disappointment, no findings that the Sandusky investigation was conducted in any manner other than totally professional and in accordance with the highest law enforcement protocol.

Fact:  The Moulton investigation (and my Report 3) found that the Sandusky investigation had numerous failings with regard to protocols for child abuse investigations and any other routine criminal investigation. First and foremost, the investigation did not use a multi-disciplinary investigative team, as required by statute (23 Pa.C.S. § 6365. (c) Investigative team).  In addition, the Sandusky investigators did not obtain timely search warrants and failed to follow up on investigative leads.


Feathers (fiction): If this current matter is the personal cost I must pay for putting JerrySandusky, a convicted pedophile who operated undetected for over twenty years, in prison for the remainder of his life, then I say the protection of the public is worth this personal ordeal.


Fact:  Victims 9 testified that he was abused through his sixteenth birthday, which occurred in July 2009 during the Sandusky investigation.  In addition, another victim (D.F.) has come forward alleging that he too was abused during the time frame of the Sandusky investigation.  Agent Feathers' supervision of the case and the investigative failures, especially the failure to form a multi-disciplinary team, contributed to the delay in arresting Sandusky.  


From the statute:


"The investigative team shall consist of those individuals and agencies responsible for investigating the abuse or for providing services to the child and shall at a minimum include a health care provider, county caseworker and law enforcement official."


Including a child-care caseworker from Centre County would have likely uncovered the existence of the 1998 Sandusky investigation and police report, which was the key evidence that broke the case.


Feathers Questions Veracity of E-mail Evidence

One of the more interesting aspects of Feathers' reluctant retirement was his request to have an independent forensic expert examine the e-mail evidence, as stated in the letter below.


Oct 3, 2014

Honorable Kathleen Kane
Pennsylvania Attorney General
16th Floor,  Strawberry Square
Harrisburg PA 17104

Dear General Kane:

This is in response to your allegations regarding inappropriate emails during my employment with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office.

I am requesting the opportunity to have an independent forensic expert review the information which form the basis of your allegations against me.  


              Respectfully,


              Randy P. Feathers
              1101 S Front Street
              Harrisburg PA 17104


While this is a perfectly reasonable request, one has to wonder if Feathers motivation for the independent review has anything to do with the processing and handling of email evidence in the Sandusky case. 

According to the independent report of Geoffrey Moulton, the Penn State emails were turned over to the Pennsylvania State Police on 7 July 2011 (see page 158).  However, PSU IT employeee, John Corro, testified (see pages 89-90) that he turned over the emails in April 2011.  

OAG forensic expert Braden Cook testified (see page 67) that the Penn State (Schultz) emails were missing from the inventory of items and were provided to him in March 2011 (later corrected to March 2012).  Cook never testified to the date they were originally received by the OAG. In all, no less than six dates were provided for the turning over of the emails, which were considered the most important evidence in the Conspiracy of Silence case.

Braden Cook was praised by Geoffrey Moulton for his role in reconstructing the e-mail evidence that had been deleted by OAG officials and is now at the center of the "porn gate" scandal.  

 Given the above, Feathers should be granted his request for an independent forensic examination.

The Rest

Porn gate has claimed three individuals who had a role in the Sandusky case, however at least two others have escaped unscathed -- so far.

Frank "Moral Obligation" Noonan, the Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner, has been spared from being forced out of his office for the flimsy reason that he didn't open, respond, or forward any emails.  Pennsylvania NOW rightfully called for his resignation for his failure to put a stop the email exchanges.  One has to wonder what Noonan has as leverage to keep him from being removed.  The Edwin Edwards quote is apropos..."either a dead girl or a live boy."

Frank Fina has only escaped the publicity of porn gate because of his maneuver to have a Montgomery County judge bar Kane from mentioning his name publicly.  

Rest assured, these men have only won temporary victories.  

Porn gate is just a warm-up for the feature act that will come later.





Thursday, October 9

UPUA Votes Pave Path for Future Tuition Increases

UPUA voted down Al Lord's resolution to complete the Freeh investigation and supported proposal A+ on board reform.  Those decisions ultimately will result in future tuition increases.

By
Ray Blehar

This morning upon learning that the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) had voted down Al Lord's resolution to complete the Freeh investigation (under the false pretense that the resolution called for a   re-investigation) and supporting BOT reform proposal A+, I made the following comment on a report by OnwardState.

Their vote to support A+ -- which is nothing more than the OGP ensuring that they stay in control of the BOT - shows that the UPUA didn't look beyond the carrot it was offered when it voted on the resolution. In other words, they didn't look at the "stick."

The "stick" I was talking about was the future tuition increases students will face as a result of a stacked BOT membership that will do nothing to change the status quo.  In short, future tuition increases were the cost the UPUA was willing to "pay" for a seat at the table.

Neither the OnwardState or The Collegian reports made any mention of any debates about how these two resolutions will impact tuition.    As it turns out, the resulting tuition increases will fall under the "law of unintended consequences" and perhaps can be used as a learning experience by the UPUA.

The Hows And Whys of the 2013 Tuition Increase

Between 2012 and 2013, tuition and fee payments by students rose by approximately $40 million dollars, from $1.508 billion in 2012 to $1.549 billion in 2013.  After the vote by the BOT to increase tuition, then-President Rodney Erickson stated (my emphasis added):

Erickson: "unavoidable cost increases" ??
mandated higher tuition fees
“Before considering an increase to tuition and fees, we identified expense reductions of $35.9 million and delayed planned budget increases for the capital improvement plan and deferred maintenance. The unavoidable cost increases that could not be funded by internal budget reductions and reallocations are what constitute this increase” 

At this point, I hope that most have already figured out those "unavoidable costs" that couldn't be funded happen to be costs "assumed" by PSU for the fallout of the Sandusky scandal.  These costs were not "unavoidable" as Erickson stated.

Expenses
Obviously, the best example of an avoidable cost in 2013 was the $59.7 million that PSU volunteered to pay the Sandusky victims despite the fact that civil liability for the abuse had never been established.   Also, the $12 million in fines that PSU agreed to pay that year also was an avoidable cost.  As were many of the legal fees had the Administration and Board decided to defend its employees, rather than throw them under the bus.


Revenues
On the other side of the coin, tuition had to be increased due to  losses in revenues as a result of the BOT's decisions.  Ad Age estimated revenue losses over $1 million in advertising.  An athletic department that once funded all of PSU's sports is now in the red due to severe revenue losses since 2012.

And despite what the Old Guard Plus (OGP) tells the public about donations and giving, that took a major hit too.


In short, tuition was increased because funds from the institutional support budget were used  to pay the "unavoidable costs" of the scandal -- instead of being used to make up the shortfall between the projected revenues and  expenses for instruction, academic support, and student services in 2013.  PSU went from a positive total cash flow for the year ending June 30, 2012 to a negative total cash flow for the year ending June 30, 2013.

Future Tuition Increases

In late mid August, the PSU BOT voted to accept the the conditions of a proposed settlement in the Corman v. NCAA lawsuit which would result in the University's payment of $60 million in fines over five years (which commenced in 2012).  In addition, the PSU BOT decision not to reject the Consent Decree resulted in the continued punishment by the Big Ten Conference, which will keep any bowl revenues earned by PSU.

Additionally, at least three victim lawsuits are pending that could result in even greater payouts.  The notes to the PSU financial statements also reveal that the lawsuits "could have a material adverse effect on our current and future financial position, results of operations and cash flows."   In each of the pending cases, attorneys are utilizing the language of the Freeh Report to make their cases against PSU.  In summary, the continued expenses of those items and other litigation related to the Sandusky scandal will eat up future funds that could have been used to defray tuition costs.

Conclusion

The best way for Penn State to regain its financial health is for the Board to publicly reject the Freeh Report on the grounds that it is 1) erroneous, 2) incomplete, and 3) an embarrassment to higher education.  Any student who would have turned in a paper as sloppy and structurally deficient as the Freeh Report most assuredly would have received an "Incomplete" grade or an "F."

Conversely, the decision to accept proposal A+ will lock PSU into the future expenses noted earlier, as the voting power will remain with the OGP, who have no intention of admitting they made poor decisions in the aftermath of the scandal, that the Freeh investigation was a sham, and that Freeh's resulting report was worthless.

Tuesday, October 7

Barry Fenchak: CDT LTE: Stand Up, Penn Staters

In a Letter to the Editor of the CDT, Barry Fenchak writes about the disgraceful power grab by the OGP -- proposal A+ should be called F-

Board reform? Or board manipulation and control?
Later this fall, the “leadership” of the Penn State board of trustees will be cramming down the A+ board reform proposal (hereinafter referred to by the more appropriate moniker of F- board manipulation and control proposal).
Fearing the impending ouster of Tom Corbett from the governor’s office, the board’s leaders know that — barring this cram down — they will lose their majority control of the board.
With the current structure in place, the leaders know they will gradually see Corbett’s proxies removed from the governor-appointed seats as Tom Wolf fills those seats (presumably with trustees who actually seek to serve the university’s interests).
Nine elected trustees plus the nine voting seats held by governor appointees eventually will result in the board leaders holding control of only 12 of 30 voting seats.
This fear led to the leaders’ attempts to reduce the number of elected trustees through the proposal put forward by Richard Dandrea.
After failing in that attempt, the board resorted to plan F-, eliminating voting privileges for three of the governor appointments, while adding six leadership-appointed sycophants to the board and allowing them to maintain control of 18 of 33 voting seats on the “new” board.
Are Penn Staters that naïve? That gullible? That disinterested? At what point do Penn Staters stand up and demand an end to this?
BARRY FENCHAK
STATE COLLEGE

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/10/07/4391638/letter-to-the-editor-stand-up.html?sp=/99/145/330/#storylink=cpy

Saturday, October 4

PA NOW calls for Resignation of Frank Noonan


Hat tip: Wendy Silverwood

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Pennsylvania NOW Calls For Resignation of State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan

PHILADELPHIA, October 3, 2014- It's been a week since Attorney General Kathleen Kane disclosed that hundreds of sexually explicit materials had been shared via email in the Attorney General's office under Tom Corbett's leadership. It is appropriate that Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo has resigned in the wake of the scandal, and that he accepts responsibility for the “lack of judgement” allowing such a practice to continue demonstrates. The Pennsylvania state chapter of the National Organization for Women (PA NOW) calls on Governor Corbett to take swifter action addressing the issue and to answer questions about his own leadership of the office during the time this widespread practice occurred. State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan and others currently serving in leadership positions within the Corbett administration should be asked to resign.

According to Kane, Commissioner Frank Noonan received 338 emails with explicit content, pornographic images depicting women in workplace settings, and violent porn, none of which have any place in an office setting nor in the halls of government, and which contribute to a hostile work environment. After having received 338 pornographic emails, it certainly doesn't reflect well on Noonan's judgement not to have stopped the circulation of such images at work.

Pornography has no place at work. It's harder for women to work in an atmosphere where sexism is tolerated, and even encouraged. It contributes to a sexist culture that's unacceptable in any workplace, in government, and most especially in our law enforcement agencies where women trust officials to evaluate cases free of the stereotypes and myths that often accompany sexual assault and harassment.

Women, as well as men, expect the state's law enforcement officers to have better judgement, to model behavior that doesn't tolerate sexism. The volume suggests that Commissioner Noonan either ignored the problem or condoned it. In either case, it's appropriate for the Governor to ask for resignations,” said PA NOW President Caryn Hunt. “Sharing pornography at work- especially sexual fantasies about workplace relationships – contributes to a hostile, sexist workplace culture. If you don't know that pornography belongs in your private life, and not at work, then at best it's fair to seriously question your judgement and your competency to lead both men and women. ”

Fostering a sexist work atmosphere undermines the public's trust of our top law enforcement officials. We call on the Governor to act now so that every member of state government knows this practice will not be tolerated.

Contact:
Caryn Hunt
President, Pennsylvania NOW





###

Pennsylvania NOW, Inc. | P. O. Box 4 Ft. Washington, PA 19034 | 814-280-8571 PennsylvaniaNOW@gmail.com

Thursday, October 2

Barron and "Old Guard Plus" continue the incivility toward alumni

Barron's and Board's recent actions continue to show a lack of respect for the intelligence and the opinions of Penn State alumni

by
Ray Blehar

When President Barron sent out his now infamous "civility" email and video, both he and I agreed that civility and respect go hand in hand.

The recent decisions by Board chair Keith Masser to disallow public comment on Board reform demonstrated that President Barron's plea for civil discussion of issues has gone unheeded.

In addition, proposal A+ that was accepted by the governance committee (minus Anthony Lubrano) was nothing more than a power play to keep the "Old Guard Plus" (OGP) in control.  It was quite a show of disrespect for the intelligence of PSU alumni for Richard Dandrea and the rest of the sponsors to think that alumni wouldn't immediately recognize this proposal for what it was.

Finally, President Barron's discussion with Barry Fenchak, the alumnus who was denied a chance to speak at the September 19th meeting, revealed that Barron has been co-opted by the OGP when he made a number of disingenuous statements in an attempt to justify the existence of the unaccountable members -- which happens to be the majority - of the Board.


Comments on Board Reform Unwelcome, Silenced

Barry Fenchak has been working for over two years on his proposal for BOT reform.  Along the way, he has met with a number of officials, including Senator Jake Corman, to discuss why the reforms are so badly needed.  Given that Board reform was a topic of high interest inside and outside of Penn State, Fenchak requested to provide public comments about his proposal at the Friday, September 19th meeting.  In fact, when he logged in to sign up on September 12th, he was too early and the web-site was not yet up.  When it eventually came on line, he was the first to sign up.

On September 17th, he received a notification from Jeanie Andrews stating that "we are unable to accommodate your request" to speak at the meeting.  Fenchak was incredulous that he wasn't chosen, given his topic AND that he was the first to sign up.


Civility: Barry Fenchak denied opportunity
 to speak then forcibly removed from meeting
In addition to his attempt to speak at the Board meeting, Fenchak had arranged to meet just prior to the Board meeting with President Barron.  At that point, he again broached the topic of being turned down to speak and asked Barron if he could be afforded a spot, since there were two or three "no show" speakers.

Even more incredibly, Barron told Fenchak that he could not speak because he had already had his chance.  Fenchak, who had never spoken at a Board meeting, alerted Barron to that fact.  To which Barron responded, you're written plenty of letters and emails over the past two years. 

At the close of Friday's meeting when the last scheduled speaker finished, Fenchak approached the microphone stand to speak.  The microphone had been removed, but he went on with his presentation, only to be cut off by Keith Masser and told that he could sign up for another time.  Masser stated we are "moving on" as he moved to adjourn the meeting.  He was then approached by a rather large individual who confronted him and apparently motioned for others to come and assist in the removal of Fenchak.

Fenchak also noted that it was very "uncivil" for many of the Board members to leave the meeting at the start of the public comment session.  As you will see on the video, there are many empty chairs around the table and most are occupied by the alumni elected trustees.


Barron's Disingenuous Justifications for Unaccountable Board Members

After Fenchak had been denied the chance to speak at the meeting, he followed up with President Barron in a series of emails, one which specifically asked:

"Do you believe that the governance board of Penn State should be an accountable, democratically elected body......or do you support the current non-accountable unauthorized factional structure?"

Barron response stated that he would not answer the question because it presupposes only one answer (which of course, is the right answer).

However, Barron's disingenuous answers began shortly thereafter when he tried to justify the unaccountable, non-elected members (my emphasis added).

First, Barron stated:  "We receive considerable state-support.  A part of the accountability for receiving that support is to have board members appointed by the state if you are a public or public-related institution.  This may be direct appointments by the Governor, or appointments by a Board of Regents (appointed by elected officials) or both.  They expect accountability because universities operate partially on taxpayer dollars.  This is the common practice.   We are accountable to elected officials who are the distributor of taxpayer dollars.

Separating fact from fiction:  
1.  The Commonwealth provided $272 million of a $4.9 billion budget for 2013.  That's only 5.6% -- hardly considerable.  It's about the same amount of money that PSU got in donations (private gifts, grants, and contracts).  

2. The only elected government official on the Board is Governor Tom Corbett, who has attended just one meeting during his tenure as governor.

Next, Barron attempted to justify the Business and Industry trustees.  "Most boards dearly love to have business and industry representatives.  They create connectivity, open doors, often donate significantly. They have wisdom from operating large institutions.  Most are alumni and, as such, add even greater value.   I know of no public or private institution that doesn’t work very hard to have business and industry leaders on their boards if state laws don’t get in the way. 


Separating fact from fiction:  
1.  If the B&I trustees were so connected, one might expect that a considerable amount of PSU's research grants would come from industries represented by this group.  That is not the case.  PSU's 2013 OMB Circular A-133 audit of Federal grants reveals none of the companies associated with the B&I members among the grantees.  Typically, private sector companies like Boeing, SAIC, Northrup Grumman, and many others provide research funding via "pass throughs" (see page 43 of the audit report).    

The fact of the matter is our B&I trustees are mostly in banking, investing, and finance -- which provide little in the way of grants.  

2.  Those of us who have been watching since 11-9-11 are hard pressed to see any wisdom coming from the direction of the B&I trustees.  Consider that almost every benchmarking activity related to Board reform showed that PSU's Board was exceptionally large and that a smaller Board would be more in line with other Universities.  Yet, Richard Dandrea and others offered AND PASSED a proposal to increase the size of the board.  This brought more negative comments from Senator Yudichak, who went as far as to state that the BOT's attempt to change the structure of the Board may be illegal.

Barron closed with another  false statement about PSU's funding:  "We also have to remember that this institution operates almost solely on dollars from students and the taxpayer."


Separating fact from fiction:  
1.  Less than half of the University's revenues are from tuition and the state appropriation
About $1.82B of $4.9B (37%) is from those sources and  -- the state appropriation is rather minuscule at $272 million.  

2.  The "institution's" other major sources of revenues include Hershey Medical center at $1.3B (28%), government and other grants about $620M (12%), and the rest are cats and dogs, none contributing more than 8%.

It is very hard to give President Barron the benefit of the doubt at this point, given that he has been in place since May and seems to be of the mindset that he can "snow" the alumni about the operations of PSU.

Conclusion

On September 19th, over 1500 alumni signed a letter, which was run as a 2 1/2 page ad in the Centre Daily Times asking President Barron to bring Louis Freeh back to campus for a civil discussion of the Freeh Report.

To date, the authors of the letter (Eileen Morgan and I) have not received a response.

It appears that when it comes to having a meaningful and civil discussion on the issues, President Barron has opted to stand with the OGP and shut out those who disagree with the University's positions.

Thursday, September 25

Frazier, Tomalis Received Updates About OAG Investigation of Spanier, Curley, and Schultz

Email reveals that Frazier and Tomalis were privy to PA OAG's "flip" strategy for Curley, Schultz, and Spanier.

By
Ray Blehar

In a document dated 31 January 2012, which was obtained via my investigation in November 2012, lead prosecutor Frank Fina had informed PSU officials that he "expected C & S to flip."  As my blog post on 18 August revealed, the Sandusky trial transcripts indicated that the ultimate target of the OAG was Graham Spanier.

E-mails obtained by Ryan Bagwell through his RTKL efforts, provide more evidence that members of the PSU Board of Trustees -- and specifically Special Investigations Task Force Co-chairs -- Kenneth Frazier and Ronald Tomalis were included in the group who were being updated by the OAG.   E-mails also reveal that the Freeh group received an update on the OAG's impending announcement of the Spanier charges.

The June 3, 2012 e-mail below indicates that Schultz had decided not to "cooperate."  In other words, he had turned down a deal to "flip" on Spanier.




While some may argue that this email is discussing participation in the Freeh (fake) investigation, logic and evidence proves that was not the case.  With Curley and Schultz facing charges, it was well established that they could not speak about anything pertaining to the case, thus wouldn't be considered as individuals to be interviewed by the Freeh group.  Spanier, on the other hand, had reached out to the Freeh group at the beginning of the "investigation" and offered to meet with them several times.

From ESPN:

"Since November of last year, when he resigned his presidency, he has wanted the Freeh Group to create an accurate report and has been determined to assist in any way he can," said the statement from Spanier's lawyers. They ended their four-paragraph statement by saying they remained "hopeful that truth and reason prevail."

This email erases any thought that the investigation conducted at Penn State was conducted "independently" and "in parallel" to the OAG's.  Clearly, the SITF co-chairs were being kept informed of the progress of the OAG investigation.

But what about the Freeh group?  Were they too being kept abreast of the OAG investigation's progress?

Freeh Group Informed of Pending Spanier Charges

On October 31, 2012, the day before the Conspiracy of Silence presentment was released, Frank Fina called Greg Paw of the Freeh group to inform him of the pending charges.  Paw emailed Fina back and asked if it could wait until the next day (Thursday, November 1st) or Friday?

Obviously, it couldn't wait because by the next day, the information that Fina was going to tell Paw would have been all over the news.  Thus, Fina requested that he "call quick now?"


The Conspiracy of Silence presentment is referred to as the Freeh Report-Lite in some circles because it appears to utilize much of the same language and content from the Freeh Report. Other emails after the Sandusky conviction and the release of the Freeh Report revealed the cooperation between the Freeh group and the OAG (reported here by Ryan Bagwell).  There is little doubt that the November 1st report was a collaborative effort by the Freeh team and the OAG.

The October 31st email revealed that the OAG maintained contact with the Freeh Group at least until Spanier was charged and additional charges were filed against Curley and Schultz.  Fina's rather urgent message to Paw, as well as the other Bagwell emails,  reveal that the two entities had formed a bond of sorts during their work together.

This email also raises the possibility that the Freeh group was billing Penn State for work outside the scope of the contract.  While the final cost of the Freeh "investigation" and report was a little over $8.1 million, additional billings were received from Freeh, Sporkin, and Sullivan (FSS) after the completion of the "investigation."  One has to wonder what exactly were the nature of these billings.

Perhaps someone on the BOT might request an audit?

Emails Prove Freeh Caught In Another Lie

The evidence reveals that Louis Freeh has been caught in another lie regarding the independence of his "investigation" at Penn State.

From his press conference transcript:

While independent, our work was done in parallel with several other active investigations by agencies and governmental authorities, including the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police, United States Attorney, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Department of Education. We continuously interfaced and cooperated with those agencies and authorities. We also received assistance from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). As promised, we immediately turned over any relevant evidence we found to these authorities, such as the critical February 27, 2001 emails between Messrs. Spanier, Schultz and Curley. 

Previously, evidence from the Moulton report and judicial proceedings revealed he lied about his team's "independent discovery" of the email evidence.  Moulton's report (page 158) revealed the emails were turned over to the Pennsylvania State Police on July 7, 2011.   Thus, the situation was the exact opposite of the situation stated by Freeh -- he didn't turn over evidence to the authorities; the OAG turned evidence over to him (or used the PSU legal counsel and/or the SITF as an intermediary).

Conclusion


Louis Freeh and FSS did not conduct a full, fair, and independent "investigation" of Sandusky's crimes occurring at Penn State.  The evidence uncovered so far indicates that Freeh investigation was little more than a public relations ploy to provide the appearance of an "independent" investigation.

The majority of people, especially the media, were taken in by the ruse.  However, at least one media member was not.   Snigdha Prakash, wrote in Slate magazine, that the selection of Frazier to lead the SITF would result in a cover-up.

























Prakash was right about a cover-up, but missed on figuring out what would be covered up.  It was not PSU's role in the Sandusky scandal, but rather the Commonwealth's failure to take Sandusky off the streets in 1998.

Freeh's team was complicit in that cover-up.



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Tuesday, September 23

Barry Fenchak: CDT Op-Ed - Hold Trustees Accountable

Their View | Accountability needed on Penn State board of trustees

By Barry Fenchak
22 September 2014

Two years ago, then-Penn State board of trustees chairwoman Karen Peetz said that by 2014, all of the issues the university faced then would be a distant memory.

But the issues we face are not a memory, because they are far more impactful than short-term issues such as whether or not the football team goes to a bowl game. The issues are even more important than the tens of millions of dollars squandered due to the fiduciary negligence of this board's leadership.

The overriding issue is the genesis of most of the divisiveness of the last 34 months: The utter lack of accountability of the majority of the board.

With alumni trustees, the accountability process is clear. Trustees are elected in a democratic "one-man, one-vote" process in which all alumni are enfranchised. If it is felt that those trustees are not serving the best interests of the community, they may be removed.

Governor-appointed trustees and the voting ex-officio trustees are selected by the governor. Their accountability is to the governor, not to the stakeholders of the university.

Agriculture trustees are selected by delegates from "agricultural societies" throughout the commonwealth (a maximum of three delegates from each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties). There are several qualification parameters a society must meet to have delegates recognized at the election, and all delegates are required to be registered at the election. To ensure the validity of the election, there must be a proper vetting of the agricultural societies that had delegates recognized at the election. So, exactly which agricultural societies had delegates at the last election? This information has been repeatedly requested from the board of directors office, which has refused to provide this information.

Why is this information kept secret from the stakeholders (and even the other members of the board)? Based on the recent history of board leadership, the most logical reason may be that the board leaders know those delegates were not properly vetted, and the entire election process was invalid (the results of the most recent election are being contested in the state courts).

Historically, the business and industry trustees were selected in a process similar to the agricultural trustees - by delegates of business and industry interests. In 2002, a committee chaired by former board of trustees chairwoman Cynthia Baldwin recommended the process be changed. The implemented changes now allow for a five-member panel of existing board members (at least three of whom must be existing business and industry trustees) to select a candidate for those open chairs. Again, these trustees have zero accountability to the stakeholders of the university.

Are the appointed - not elected - board members serving the interests of the university? Recent non-elected appointments to the board include:

Todd Rucci: Appointed to the board by Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014. In 2011, Rucci was appointed by Corbett to the position of executive director of the Pennsylvania State Lottery at an annual salary of $136,000. In 2013, Rucci left the PA Lottery to take a position as government relations officer with PAP Technologies. PAP Technologies is a subcontractor of Scientific Games International, which has two contracts with the Department of Revenue to provide instant games and online lottery services. In fiscal year 2012-13, the state paid Scientific Games $62.3 million. Whose interests do we believe Rucci will protect: Penn State's or Corbett's?

Richard Dandrea: Appointed to the board by the five-member panel for business and industry trustees in 2013 and then placed on the exclusive executive committee of the trustees. Dandrea - an attorney - is a colleague of Katie Surma. Katie is the daughter of Vic Surma, and niece of former board of trustees vice chairman John Surma (former CEO of U.S. Steel). Dandrea's law office is in the U.S. Steel building in Pittsburgh. Dandrea was placed on the board by Ken Frazier and former trustees chairman James Broadhurst - other non-elected, non-accountable board members. And now Dandrea, in the ultimate act of hubris and gall, proposes that elected, accountable trustees are over-represented, and their numbers should be reduced. Whose interests do we think Dandrea is protecting: Penn State's, or the "old guard" of the trustees?

The presence of these conflicts become a non-issue if the board members are accountable. Unfortunately, no matter how strongly the Penn State stakeholders may distrust the non-accountable trustees, the trustees are just that, non-accountable. Would any of the non-elected trustees be selected and retained by a broad-based vote of the university's stakeholders? Keeping in mind that over the last 34 months, the only nine trustee seats that are subject to accountability have come up for election. None of those trustees were retained, and none of the votes were close. I think the answer to the question is that it would be highly unlikely that any of the non-elected trustees would be retained.

Before we can "move on" to tackling the myriad challenges facing Penn State, we must have an accountable governance board in place. Without accountability, we cannot begin to effectively address the issue of ensuring a Penn State education remains within the financial resources of Pennsylvania's young men and women. Without accountability, we cannot effectively develop solutions to the budgetary constraints we face in a time of increasing costs coupled with declining public support.

Penn Staters are a special breed, and we will not condone those who prostitute the legacy and the reputation our university. Penn Staters love our university too much to give in to tyrants.

Barry Fenchak is a Penn State graduate and finance instructor at the university

Thursday, September 18

Frazier, Tomalis & OAG instrumental in authoring the Freeh Report

Email and other evidence indicates that the Special Investigations Task Force and the PA OAG had a key roles in crafting the so-called Freeh Report

By
Ray Blehar

As I wrote on September 1st of this year, former PSU President Erickson's five-point promise provided the outline or template for the Freeh Report and the NCAA Consent Decree.  It was released to the public on November 11th -- just days after PSU BOT Co-chair John Surma failed to provide any real answers to questions about the firing of Paterno and Spanier.   

John Surma: Short on the facts
Surma often stated that the Board didn't have all the facts or was waiting for additional facts to come out.  So, the question is: what was learned in just two days that provided Erickson with so much "wisdom" to write the five-point promise?  

The Special Investigations Task Force was established the same day as the five-point promise but had not yet identified its members (done on Nov. 17th) nor named Louis Freeh as the (phony) investigator (done on Nov. 21st).   

I ask again, how was it possible for Erickson to come to the conclusion that PSU needed to "reorient our culture?"  I suspect that gem was put into his ear by Kenneth Frazier.

Frazier, Tomalis, and Freeh

Certainly, as the best and brightest lawyer on the Board, Kenneth Frazier, knew and understood that a grand jury presentment was little more than a one-sided prosecutorial document that was not to be taken at face value.  However, his comments to the New York Times revealed that he either forgot all his legal training (and how a "corporate officer" should act) or he is a hypocrite and a rat who was in on the scapegoating of Paterno, the PSU Three, and PSU athletics. 

Frazier's hypocrisy about protecting
children was exposed in March 2013
“To me, it wasn’t about guilt or innocence in a legal sense, it was about these norms of society that I’m talking about: that every adult has a responsibility for every other child in our community. And that we have a responsibility not to do the minimum, the legal requirement. We have a responsibility for ensuring that we can take every effort that’s within our power not only to prevent further harm to that child, but to every other child.” 


The takeaway was the Paterno, and by extension Penn State, had somehow violated the norms of society by doing exactly as they should have done in 2001 (according to the latest ruling by the NCAA).  Moreover, his sentiments about the protection of children were exposed as hypocritical in March 2013, when in an emotional meeting of the Board of Trustees, he excused the failures of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) in not identifying Sandusky as a child molester in 1998.  

The very people who are trained to prevent harm to children were given a pass by Frazier -- just as they were given a pass in the Sandusky grand jury presentment (see page 18), and by Louis Freeh.

If you're smelling a rat, then your olfactory senses are working just fine.

In order to take the heat off of DPW for the 1998 failure, the Commonwealth needed to sensationalize the 2001 incident at Penn State.  The Frazier and Tomalis-led Special Investigations Task Force (SITF) went right along with their sham story of a reporting failure (by PSU) in 2001 that enabled Sandusky's abuse and chartered Louis Freeh to find the reasons for the failure (not if a failure occurred).   

No doubt, Governor Corbett was also pleased that Frazier and Tomalis had set the stage for Freeh (with the help and blessing of the PA OAG) to scapegoat PSU  for the DPW's failures:

Corbett: Praised Frazier, Tomalis, and
Freeh's roles in PSU  investigation
"Ah, let me talk about the Penn State investigation first.
I'm very pleased with Ken Frazier leading that. Ken – I've only known him a short time – but I'm very impressed with his leadership. I'm very impressed that he has put together some people, including Ron Tomalis, on behalf of the administration and also as [state] secretary of education, on that team, and the selection of Louis Freeh is I think a very good one. I'm sure most of you by now know the former director of the FBI and former federal judge Louis Freeh was appointed.
And I think one of the reasons that someone like Mr. Freeh was appointed is because he understands the role of a grand jury investigation, the role of the prosecutors and will work well with the attorney general's office and Attorney General Linda Kelly so that [obstruction of the attorney general's investigation] does not happen.

The Kangaroo court had been set up.  The outline (five-point promise) was written. The Sandusky grand jury presentment provided the background. Now it was time for the SITF (i.e., Frazier and Tomalis) to work with Freeh to fill in the supporting details of the Freeh Report.

"Final" Draft of Freeh Report Completed in March

Nearly all of the contents of the Freeh Report were in the possession of Penn State and the PA OAG's office when Freeh was hired.  The only notable exceptions were the personal files of Joe Paterno regarding Sandusky's retirement, information gathered via interviews by Freeh, and, perhaps, the Schultz file.  

The Schultz file may have been known to PSU prior to it being turned over to the OAG, given that Schultz informed Baldwin about his Sandusky-related notes on January 5, 2011.  Baldwin could have retrieved the notes from the office of then Senior VP for Business and Finance, Albert Horvath.

Evidence of the existence of a draft report (or at a minimum, draft findings) was revealed in heavily redacted email, dated March 13, 2012 from Omar McNeil of the Freeh Group to Frazier and Tomalis.  VP Tom Poole had written that he was ready to announce progress on Freeh's interim recommendations, but had reservations about the planned roll out.  





As a matter of procedure for investigative reports and other assessments, recommendations flow from findings.  Therefore, by March 2012, Freeh had "reasonably" concluded PSU officials had failed to report Sandusky's abuse based on the existence of recommendation #2 (below).

2. Prompt reporting of abuse and sexual misconduct. At regular intervals we will send the University community reminders, updates and notices to underscore the importance of reporting misconduct and identifying ways to report. This includes enhancing the visibility of the Office of Internal Audit's Ethics Hotline.

For the record, the other recommendations were: 1. Strengthening policies and programs involving minors;  3. Compliance with Clery Act's training and reporting requirements;  4. Administrative reforms; and   5. Athletic Department Security Arrangements

The Board announced the acceptance and the University's implementation of the interim recommendations on March 16, 2012.  Rod Erickson provided a prepared statement to the BOT, updating them on the Freeh investigation. 

Frazier characterized Erickson's statement as "perfunctory" (i.e., superficial) in a March 15, 2012 email to Omar McNeil and Ron Tomalis.  

At this point, the draft report apparently did not contain the email evidence that was used to "reasonably conclude" PSU officials had concealed Sandusky's abuse, however that doesn't rule out the draft report had concluded a cover-up by PSU officials.  Again, it had already concluded a failure to report the 2001 incident and likely implicated Paterno in the alleged failure (based on his grand jury testimony). 

March 19th, 2012 email indicates that the report was considered a final draft and that plans were being made for its impending release. 


The key points of the email are that the SITF and Board would review the report prior to release and then there would be no edits after release.  It's clear that the BOT stuck to the second part,  however, Freeh had to issue an errata to edit some (but certainly not all) of the mistakes in his report.  

At that point in March, the SITF and Freeh may have thought that the heavy lifting was done and that there was little to do but wait for the Sandusky trial verdicts and finalize the report.  

Perjury Particulars Cause SITF and Freeh To Revise Report

Analysis of the emails uncovered by Bill Cluck and Ryan Bagwell via their RTK requests to the PA Department of Education revealed that a flurry of activity between the OAG, the Freeh group, Frazier, and Tomalis occurred right after the PA OAG filed (on 30 March) the perjury particulars for Curley and Schultz.

On April 1st, 2012, Greg Paw of the Freeh Group wrote (to Frank Fina):

Frank--
When you have a chance, can you please send us copies of the responses you filed on Friday to the motions filed by Curley and Schultz? Thanks! 

Regards, 
Greg

From April 2nd to April 9th, arrangements were made for a briefing call of the SITF to likely discuss the impact of the perjury details to the draft report.  Analysis of the perjury particulars reveal that a number were based on evidence from the Schultz e-mails.  While the perjury issues had little effect on the report contents, the e-mails became an integral part of the report's faulty substantiation of Freeh's "reasonable conclusions."  

 Also, on April 12, Freeh informed the SITF that he had touched base with federal prosecutors.







If Freeh had actually discovered and turned over the emails on March 20, 2012, as he claimed, why did it take him until April 12 to notify the feds about their possible outcome?  Why was Greg Paw asking for filings that were publicly available?  

The answers to these questions appear to be just as I concluded nearly a year ago, Freeh conducted a phony investigation where he was fed information from the OAG and/or PSU.  In short, little to no investigating took place.

My blog post regarding evidence suppression revealed that the OAG was hesitant to release information that damaged their existing narrative of the Sandusky case.  Additionally, evidence uncovered in my investigation reveals that either PSU officials (i.e., Erickson, et al) did not share their knowledge about who had contemporaneous knowledge about 2001 or they did share it with Freeh but decided to omit it (as was done with other evidence in the case).

On April 27th, an email revealed Frazier and Tomalis had decided to discuss (off-line) their direction to Freeh about his "ultimate work product."

Investigation Wrapping Up?
After the burst of activity in early April, the SITF's activities took a more leisurely pace, with discussions about the Edelman presentations and information concerning governance consultant Dr. David Roselle.  An email from Ken Frazier to Louis Freeh revealed that Frazier told Dan McGinn that the "investigative phase" was wrapping up.




Sent from my iPhone 



On May 5, 2012, at 9:52 AM, "Frazier, Kenneth C." <ken frazierra>.merck.com> wrote: 



I would recommend waiting a few days to see if Wick calls. If he doesn't, j'd call him 

saying that I suggested that you reach out to him based on my conversation with 

McGinn. I would also let him know ( as I told McGinn) that you guys are wrapping up 

the investigative phase. If they have something to say they should speak up now.



In response to a heavily redacted email from Freeh, Frazier responded about his conversation with Dan McGinn and what "fixes" (likely edits to the report) were required.


From: Frazier, Kenneth C. <ken_frazier@merck.com> 
Sent: Saturday, May 05,201210:30 AM 
To: Louis Freeh 
Cc: Omar Y. McNeill; Tomalis, Ronald 
Subject: RE: Meeting with Dan McGinn 

Thanks, Louie. I told McGinn that your investigation would spare no individual in its pursuit of what happened and what "fixes" are required going forward.

However, just a day earlier, Frazier and Tomalis were exchanging emails that appeared to be confirming leaks (i.e., "that didn't take long") to the press by other trustees.  Frazier had misled the Board about the expected completion date of the Freeh Report and the status of the investigation -- which made their way into a media report.



































This email (and others) make it clear that Frazier and Tomalis were acting as the SITF and the others were on the investigative team in name only.

However, the plan for Freeh to wrap up his "investigation" and for the completion of the report would be thrown off again by another development in the case.

The Schultz File

The SITF and Freeh email exchanges activities picked up again in late May, likely due to Gary Schultz and Kimberly Belcher turning over the infamous Schultz "secret file."  




The Schultz file required the SITF and Freeh to make significant changes to the report to add context about the 1998 investigation of Sandusky and to include additional items in the Appendices.  As the emails reveal, the incorporation of the new information took considerable time.  Freeh received the Schultz file on May 1st and it appears discussions of the changes took place approximately three weeks later.

The discussions about what  to include from the Schultz file were likely difficult, as the file contained information related to at least a dozen signs of possible child sexual abuse that were uncovered in an investigation that cleared Sandusky.  I suspect that the sensationalism associated with the "Pandora's Box" notation likely won the day in terms of reward outweighing the risk.  Just to make sure the risk was reduced, poor quality copies of the notes were placed on their sides in the appendix to make it more difficult for readers to readily see the details of the handwritten notes.

All of this appeared to go on without the knowledge of the BOT and Edelman. 

Edelman was still under the belief the release of the report was imminent and had prepared questions for Freeh regarding his press conference and Peetz prepared an agenda (for May 20th)  to hear from them.  She also put a Freeh Report status update on the agenda.  

Prior to the meeting, Frazier emailed Tomalis about information received from the Freeh team. Tomalis followed up after the BOT conference call and appeared to compliment Frazier for his handling of the Freeh Report status discussion.  This email again shows how Frazier and Tomalis were keeping others in the dark about the alleged Freeh investigation and its progress.







Finalizing the Report and Readying for Release

After updating the report to include the new information by early June, Frazier and Tomalis discussed the change to the review process prompted by a request from PS4RS that asked the report be released without review.  


























This email preceded another flurry of emails on June 6 and 7 between the Freeh Group and the Core Team (i.e., Frazier, Tomalis), subjects "Core Team Questions Call" and "Checking In."  



These appear to be a final round of questions about the report prior to any updates resulting from the Sandusky trial.

On June 9th, Karen Peetz began crafting the agenda for a June 18th BOT meeting regarding 
the report's release.  
















Leaks and a Lie by PSU

Two days later, it appeared Frazier was tipped to the leaks of the emails to the press.  His email of June 11th shows that he expected the leaks to be discussed on the Today Show, which came to fruition soon afterward.

The leaked emails prompted PSU to make a public statement, which resulted in the University publishing a known falsehood the Freeh had discovered the emails and turned them over to the OAG.  This was proven not to be the case by the Moulton investigation, which revealed the Pennsylvania State Police received the "Penn State emails" on 7 July 2011, long before Freeh showed up on campus.



























"Concealing" Abuse and the "Paterno Hook"

The next day, June 12th, the Core Team exchanged emails about a philly.com article reporting on the leaks involving Paterno and potential charges for Spanier.  

In that exchange, Omar McNeil responded that the report was the first he'd seen in print or on TV.  That email appeared to prompt a response from OAG Supervisory Agent, Randy Feathers, who alerted Fina, then the Freeh group to a June 11th NBC video about the possible new charges.  NBC's Michael Isikoff cited "law enforcement" and "legal"sources informed the network of newly found (!?!) email evidence that indicated PSU officials "concealed" Sandusky's conduct and that the incident never got reported.  The report also mentioned he recovery of Courtney's billing record from 2001.

Concealed?  I wonder which "legal" source provided that information.

The emails regarding Paterno subject read: "today's philly inq has paterno hook."   The article stated:

 "the emails also indicated that the school's iconic football coach, Joe Paterno, had been consulted by one of the three men about the [2001] incident."

After BOT member Keith Masser made public statements that PSU officials were involved in a cover-up, received a call for his resignation from PS4RS, then apologized, Frazier's next move was to praise an ESPN article written by Howard Bryant regarding the excessive respect of icons.



















A July 3rd email from Frazier appeared to confirm that those involved with the OAG and the Freeh investigations were leaking information like a sieve.  The ESPN story referenced a PSU official who was briefed on the (Freeh) inquiry, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

















Meanwhile, PSU officials made no statements condemning the leak, as had occurred after the emails were leaked to the media in June.

Freeh Report Published, Task Force Disbands
If there is one piece of evidence that reveals that the Frazier and Tomalis were involved in the authorship of the Freeh Report and had no other goal but to publish a final report, Frazier's email and Peetz's response makes that very clear. 






There is absolutely no intention of those involved on the SITF to review the Freeh Report for errors or to make corrections -- as would normally be done by any legitimate corporate board who received a report such as Freeh's.

However, this was really not Freeh's report -- it was mostly the work of Frazier and Tomalis. 

And because the SITF chairs wrote it, they believed it had to be unquestioningly correct.




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