Thursday, January 3

Corbett's Lawsuit Does Not Clear Paterno - Continues to Support Freeh Report

PA Governor Tom Corbett's Lawsuit on Behalf of the Citizens of the Commonwealth Is A Cheap Political Stunt to Deflect Attention Away From His Botched Investigation of Jerry Sandusky

by Ray Blehar

In the first minutes of Corbett's press conference, the Governor made this telling statement that proves he is dedicated to perpetuating the lies told by Louis Freeh and to continuing the malicious prosecution of Penn State officials:

"...the administrators who are alleged to have covered it up have been charged criminally, and will be tried before the courts.  ..and in the wake of this terrible scandal, Penn State was left to heal, and clean up this tragedy that was created by the few."

While Penn State alumni, fans, and friends want to see the NCAA sanctions removed, the sanctions should not be removed at the expense of finding the truth about the circumstances that enabled Sandusky to commit his crimes for the past fourteen years.

As you have read on this web-site, the flawed investigation of Sandusky in 1998 is the primary cause that let Sandusky roam free for fourteen years.  As you have also read here, the recent three year investigation of Sandusky was the bible on how not to conduct a child molestation investigation.  These are facts that Governor Corbett has a vested interest in concealing from the public.  If there's a single person to point to, aside from Sandusky, who endangered the welfare of Pennsylvania's children, it's Governor Corbett.

Corbett recommended Louis Freeh to conduct the investigation of the Sandusky scandal and, by Corbett's own admission:

"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."

My upcoming report, to be released in February, will show that Louis Freeh failed to investigate  and/or disclose information that would have damaged or put at risk, the charges against Sandusky and Penn State officials, as well as the then active investigation that led to the "Conspiracy of Silence" grand jury presentment in November 2012.  Moreover, Freeh downplayed the failures of CYS and DPW to bring Sandusky to justice in 1998.

The Lawsuit

However, let's return to the lawsuit filed by the Commonwealth.  There are at least two points in the lawsuit that continue to levy false charges against PSU officials.

 First, Point 6:

Point 36 (excerpted) :

Continuing The Indictment of Penn State

At 12:10 of the press conference, Governor Corbett, then channels Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner, Frank Noonan, stating:

"Penn State does have a moral responsibility to the victims and to the community - and it has accepted that responsibility and is working with the victims in the civil courts."

It is clear that Corbett is continuing to let Penn State take the fall for the failure of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's and Centre County Children and Youth Services (CYS) failure to stop Sandusky's abuse back in 1998.   

It is also clear that Corbett, and his AG Linda Kelly, are continuing to use the Freeh Report (despite statements that it was "incomplete") to perpetuate the false claims that PSU officials knew the details of the 1998 investigation and knowingly covered up the crimes of Sandusky.   

As pointed out in this blogpost, state law (Pa. Code 055 § 3490.154) prohibited Gary Schultz from disclosing the details of the 1998 investigation to PSU officials.  Therefore, there was no concealment of knowledge of Sandusky's abuse nor could this information have been provided to the Board of Trustees.  

But Corbett and Kelly have every intention of pursuing this prosecution though it has little chance of succeeding.  The attorneys for Curley, Schultz, and Spanier will tear this case to shreds if it ever makes it to a court of law.  My money says it never sees the inside of a courtroom. 

The Bottom Line

Corbett is a petty politician who will stop at nothing in his attempt to win favor with the voters.  He is of the mistaken belief that this lawsuit will win favor with the considerable voting block of Penn State alumni in the Commonwealth.   Corbett knows that the alumni, who contributed to Kathleen Kane's landslide victory in the last election, are livid over Penn State's response to the NCAA and are hungry for action.  He believes that he can file this lawsuit on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth and now become a hero by fighting the NCAA.

Don't be fooled.

The Commonwealth has not sought a preliminary injunction.  In their request for relief, they are seeking a permanent injunction, which means when the case is over.  This case has no chance of being completely over for at least three years - the same time frame that the sanctions expire.

The NCAA will claim that the Commonwealth does not have standing.  It will take six to nine months for the case to be heard.  

Corbett is throwing a Hail Mary.  

If the Commonwealth survives the NCAA's motion to dismiss, then Corbett is hoping to negotiate a deal. That deal will not restore Penn State's or Joe Paterno's reputation, and more importantly, won't fix the system that is failing Pennsylvania's children  -- and that's not a deal any of us should accept.


  1. It is time for the Paterno family and the players from 1998-2011 to follow up on the notices of appeal filed with the NCAA in Aug, 2012 and join in the lawsuit. For one thing, that will prevent a settlement which is not in the best interest of all injured parties and prohibit sleeze/villain Corbett from having sole control. Hopefully, the to be released Paterno family report is a prelude to the Estate of Joe joining in. The time for all to act is now !

  2. May be a Hail Mary, but it's the only Hail Mary in play. And, it has the power (and treasury) of a large state behind it.

    Mark Emmert will spend many, many hours trying to avoid this case, and particularly the depositions of himself, Dr. Ray, Erickson, Peetz, and the 20 members of the NCAA executive committee. Now, lets see if they can all give the same story without perjuring themselves.

    Can't see the Paterno Estate actually joining in this case. But it is likely very close to filing its own case with a different cause of action. It could benefit by using the sworn deposition testimony obtained in the Corbett case.

  3. Col_G,
    With all due respect, you missed the point of my post. There will be no "Corbett case" any time soon. There will be a hearing in about 6-9 months to determine if the Commonwealth has standing. They are unlikely to win, but if they do, Corbett will then try to get the NCAA to the negotiating table.

    My information says that this farce will be put to an end long before that and the sanctions will gone before Corbett ever gets this to court.

    The only courtroom Corbett is going to see is for his own trial.

    1. I would agree with you! I see the whole thing as politically motivated. Gov. Corbett is immensely unpopular Governor who wants to run for re-election in 2014. Gov. Corbett should be investigated for the Sandusky case but for his attempt to privatize the state lottery and his attempt to hijack the pensions of State employees.

  4. The main item that you need to know about for Corbett's motivation behind this lawsuit is that he did not consult with incoming Democrat AG Kathleen Kane before filing this. He only consulted with his handpicked AG Linda Kelly who will be out of office in about 2 weeks. Corbett has lost control of his primary weapon in this whole matter, the office of the Attorney General, which he has controlled since 2006.

    This is his attempt to remove the power from Kathleen Kane to investigate this whole situation on her terms. It is likely she will use the power of AG to terminate this lawsuit because it takes her out of the equation and uses an outside law firm with significant ties to Corbett. If she does terminate it, then Corbett will try to use the media to make it seem like Kane doesn't really care about PSU, especially when her claim to look into this case further was a big reason she was elected.

  5. Rums Du,
    You hit the nail on the head.

    Corbett has done this to make Kane look bad if she decides to terminate the case.

    He did the same thing with the "Conspiracy of Silence" charges. He's put those out there so if she dismisses the charges, he can call her a pedophile enabler.

    What Kane should do on her first day in office is CHARGE JACK RAYKOVITZ with failure to report child abuse and drop the charges against Tim and Gary. That would win her more favor with Penn Staters than continuing the tilt at the windmill that Corbett is doing with the NCAA.

    Kane is going to end up a hero to Penn Staters. Watch and wait.

    1. Ray- you need to differentiate between the NCAA sanctions,on the one hand, and the vindication of JVP and PSU, on the other. If tomorrow morning the NCAA lifted all sanctions, effecive immediately, nothing would change vis JVP(yes his and the teams wins would be restored, but the statue will remain down and his legacy severely damaged). Regardless of who joins in the suit, and if standing challenges are overcome, I do not believe that a court will look into the NCAA's findings of fact or the accuracy of the Freeh Report; it will review challenges to the NCAA's "jurisidcition" to sanction PSU under its by-laws for the Sandusky matter, and whether the NCAA followed its own producedural requirements. It will not make any findings re JVP. Corbett finds himself in a box of his own creation(everytime he plugs one leak, another one sprouts). Unless the NCAA agrees to lift all sanctions, litigation by someone must proceed. The Estate and the players need to join in the suit. The restoration of JVP and PSU in PUBLIC needs to be done on a separate , but parallel track, including the to be released Paterno Family report, efforts by you and others, finding friends in the media who want to amke ESPN, et al look bad, anti- Corbett politicians, etc.In short, the battle must proceed on two fronts.

    2. To supplement the above,unfortunately the complete vindication of JVP and PSU will need to await the outcome/resolution of the Curley,Spanier, etc trials. The legal questions which I believe a CT would listen to re the NCAA sanctions are unrelated(legally irrelevant) to the outcome of these trials. Also meant to say "Public Opinion" above

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. HK - I would be surprised if the case against Schultz, Curley and Spanier will ever come to trial because if it did than all the dirt on Gov. (then AG) Corbett will come out. I don't think that the Governor could afford to have that happen. Also, just think of the embarassment to the NCAA if they were found not guilty. BTW, Just referring to someone as the 'elephant in the room' is NOT a suggestion of guilt but leaves a lot of unanswered questions. I suspect the courts will throw out Corbett's ill-advised and ill-conceived lawsuit because Gov. Corbett DOES NOT have standing in the matter. Now if the Paterno family and former and current Penn State players had filed the lawsuit then I believe that lawsuit would have merit. Plus I think I would add ESPN (for slander) and Sports Illustrated (for libel) to a lawsuit.

  6. No need to waste time and money on lawsuits against the NCAA. The sanctions are built on a house of cards called the Freeh Report. The Freeh Report, by admission of Corbett was incomplete. Also, it was Corbett and Kelly's doing that made it incomplete. They can't have their cake and eat it too.

    House of cards are about to fall, without a lawsuit. Take it to the bank.

    1. From your mouth to God's ear

    2. Corbett's lawsuit is ONLY interested in the money. Corbett hated Joe Paterno and Joe Paterno didn't care much for him. The NCAA's sanctions are based on a VERY shaky house of cards. I disagree with HK's comments that the NCAA sanctions and Joe Paterno's wins along with his legacy are very much linked. Also, its interesting that people have mentioned Dr. Jack Raykovitz because I know that behind every addiction has an enabler. Perhaps, Dr. Raykovitz may be Jerry Sandusky's enabler?