Wednesday, February 20

Whatever happened with the investigation of the grand jury leak?

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office couldn't explain how the Sandusky grand jury presentment was accidentally posted to the AG's website.  They promised an investigation.  We still don't know what happened.

By
Ray Blehar

The butler did it.

On November 4, 2011, the Sandusky grand jury presentment somehow found its way onto the Attorney General's website.  It was apparently removed - at least temporarily - while the AG hustled to put Sandusky in shackles and get him away from children.....after a three year long investigation.

Here's Nils Frederickson:

Nils Frederickson
"The moment we had a grand jury presentment in hand, we began making arrangements to take the suspect into custody," Frederiksen said. "Given the serious nature of this offense it was the direction of the Attorney General that he be taken into custody as soon as possible and not comment on the matter until he was physically in custody."

And while the cops went to round up Sandusky, Nils hovered over his computer, banging out the press release that would establish the narrative for the Sandusky scandal.  And link the presentment to the press release.

So, if the AG was concerned about how it got leaked on Friday, why were they providing it nationwide on Saturday?

Nevertheless, even if they hadn't linked the presentment, Frederickson's false account was being run across the newswires.  Some of the more fictional parts follow.

Central Mountain High School

Frederickson wrote all about how the folks at Central Mountain High School immediately jumped to action upon the second, third, or whatever number report it was of Sandusky's bizarre behavior with students at the school.  

"The quick action by high school staff members in Clinton County in response to reports of a possible sexual assault by Sandusky is in marked contrast to the reaction of top officials at Penn State University, who had actually received a first-hand report of a sexual attack by Sandusky seven years earlier."

Incident in wrestling room - no report.  Taking kids out of classes - no report.  Shouting matches with students - no report.  But when a mother visited the school after her son's breakdown, the officials were Johnny on the spot.  No, not really.

We now know that the Principal, Karen Probst, and Vice-Principal, Steven Turchetta were anything but quick to react and had to be told to ban Sandusky from the school by Mike Gillum.  Gillum was the psychologist who worked for Clinton County CYS who got Aaron Fisher to admit the details of Sandusky's crimes against him.

We also know that Probst called Clinton County CYS after Dawn Daniels, the mother of the victim, told her that she was going directly to CYS -- and wasn't going home to think it over (as Probst urged her to do).   Gillum called Probst's phone call a CYA move.

And when ABC's Chris Cuomo showed up at CMHS with a camera and microphone in hand, we saw just how much Probst and Turchetta wanted to talk about their heroic acts.

McQueary's Report

According to Frederickson's press release, Linda Kelly stated,

 "Despite a powerful eyewitness statement about the sexual assault of a child, this incident was not reported to any law enforcement or child protective agency, as required by Pennsylvania law," Kelly said. "Additionally, there is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child who was sexually assaulted on their campus or made any follow-up effort to obtain more information from the person who witnessed the attack first-hand."


Powerful alright.  So powerful that McQueary could barely get the words out to Paterno and similarly provided few details to Gary Schultz and Tim Curley.  None of the men recalled McQueary describing the event as a sexual assault, let alone an act of anal intercourse (as written in the presentment).  

So powerful that McQueary was unable to tell his father or Dr. Dranov what he had seen.

So powerful that McQueary changed his story about what he saw inside of two weeks of the presentment being published.

Powerful.

The Three Year Investigation

The coup de gras arrives when Frederickson describes the investigative skills of the Pennsylvania State Police and Office of Attorney General.   This is a real gem:

"Kelly said that despite the false testimony and "uncooperative atmosphere" encompassing some Penn State University and Second Mile officials, investigators from the Attorney General's Office and State Police gradually uncovered a pattern of other potential sexual assaults by Sandusky. 
The grand jury eventually identified a total of eight young men who were the targets of similar sexual advances or assaults by Sandusky, starting in 1994 and continuing through 2009.  All of the victims first encountered Sandusky through Second Mile activities."
Wow.
The police eventually pieced together a pattern that the founder of The Second Mile, who had unfettered access to children, was using The Second Mile to find his victims.
I guess we should erect a statue of Inspector Clouseau in the PA Attorney General's office to honor these police and investigators for their exceptional performance.

The 1998 Investigation

Here is Frederickson's error riddled account of  the 1998 investigation:
During testimony before the grand jury, Schultz acknowledged that he was aware of a 1998 University Police investigation that also involved allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior involving Sandusky and young boys in the football showers, but did not pursue the matter further and did not seek any additional review in light of the new report in 2002.
The grand jury also noted that the 1998 report involving Sandusky and boys in the showers was reviewed by University Police and Child Protective Services, with the blessing of Wendell Courtney, who at the time served as University Counsel and was (and remains) counsel to The Second Mile - though no criminal charges were ever pursued. 
Schultz testified that he vaguely remembered the 1998 case as a matter of inappropriate conduct that was alleged by a mother of a young boy.  However, where is Frederickson coming from with Schultz asking for another review of the 1998 case?  And Frederickson definitely got it wrong about Courtney - on two counts.  1) Courtney was never told about the 1998 case until 2011; and 2) Courtney was not representing The Second Mile in 1998.

Conclusion

It's clear that the Attorney General's Office, with Frederickson as its acting director of communications, wrote the script for the false narrative and everyone else in the media promoted it.
By the time the horrific story had made the papers, all of the reporters were sucked in and never followed up on the reason how the grand jury presentment was leaked in the first place.
Nor did they consider alternative scenarios for a cover-up of Sandusky's crimes.
This is the state of mainstream journalism in America.
And explains why more and more people have turned to the internet and the blogosphere to find the best information.


6 comments:

  1. Hi Ray, I've posted this elsewhere, but I think it's worth consideration:

    Emmert, Remy and the NCAA committed a 3d degree felony by threatening PSU with the "death penalty" (a group boycott) unless PSU agreed to pay $60 million to the NCAA. This clearly illegal under Pennsylvania law:

    "A person is guilty of theft if he intentionally obtains . . . property [i.e., PSU's $60 million] of another by threatening to bring about . . . a . . . boycott [i.e., the NCAA "death penalty"]. . ., if the property is not . . . received for the benefit of the group [i.e., the NCAA] in whose interest the actor purports to act." 18 Pa CS § 3923.

    Corrupt actors like the NCAA cannot be permitted to misuse their outsized economic power to bully Pennsylvania institutions and steal Commonwealth resources. That's why we have this law and why Emmert, Remy and the NCAA must be indicted.

    AG Kane: you know what you need to do.

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    Replies
    1. I hope Governor Corbett and Jerry Sandusky end up sharing a jail cell.

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  2. Ray, I thought Courtney has been the pro-bono counsel for TSM since the 80's?

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    Replies
    1. Jessi, he didn't become TSM's counsel until around 2009. Frederickson disputed Courtney's claim, calling it "semantics." Right.
      http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/breaking/ags-office-rebuts-lawyers-second-mile-penn-state-claim-323372/

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  3. Ray,
    Please consider the following facts. During the weekend of the Sandusky investigation leak, The Republican "Computergate" trial jury was home after four days of deliberations in Harrisburg. The jury was not sequestered. The leak happened on Friday. The news of the pending Sandusky indictment hit the media Saturday and shocked the Commonwealth. The story was prominent for weeks.

    Newspapers reported that Attorney General Linda Kelly was planning a press event on Monday to announce the indictment of Jerry Sandusky. The Sandusky story was overwhelming. The Republican trial jury met on Monday. The jury went home, it was not sequestered.

    On Tuesday, the Republican trial jury reported out with convictions on all counts against two defendants.

    Did AG Kelly and/or Fina leak the indictment to influence the Republican trial jury in Harrisburg? Did AG Kelly actually schedule a press event to announce the Sandusky indictment while the Republican trial jury was in deliberations? The convictions on all counts was a surprise to all. Was the AG team concerned about an acquittal on Monday and therefore leaked the Sandusky indictment on Saturday? And the questions go on and on.

    Keep up the good work.

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  4. Here's a link to a 72 page discussion on PA Grand Juries by a Univ. of Arkansas law prof. In it he describes how PA Grand Juries are not held to the same standard as Federal ones & points out how flagrantly the GJ Presentment was used to tarnish Paterno's name in the public spotlight.

    Gee, we are rather screwed up here in PA, aren't we?

    http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=brian_gallini

    ReplyDelete