Tuesday, March 5

Media: Poor fact checking enabled false narrative to prevail

 There are a number of different statements about the Sandusky case that the media reported as facts, then were refuted.  Other statements accepted by the media fall apart under scrutiny.

Ray Blehar

As I pointed out in Saturday’s blog, the reports stating that an anonymous e-mail or message board tip led investigators to McQueary has never been verified.   If the prosecution received this tip, they were obligated to produce it in response to the discovery request from the attorneys of Curley and Schultz.  To date this information has not been produced, yet no one in the media has questioned the story.

Based on the evidence (or lack thereof), that anonymous tip has about as much validity as the text message Vicky Triponey alleged that Joe Paterno sent to the team in 2007. 

In other words -- none.

The anonymous e-mail tip is not the only “urban legend” in this case.  In fact, there are quite a few.  Some have already been dismissed as false by knowledgeable people, but others have escaped scrutiny -- until now.

Refuted “Findings of Fact” from the Grand Jury Presentment


The most explosive, inflammatory charge in the case – that McQueary witnessed “a ten year old boy being subject to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky” was refuted within one month of its publication.  At the December 16, 2011 preliminary perjury hearing, McQueary stated he could not see insertion nor used the term anal intercourse or rape to describe the act.  While knowledgeable people know a rape didn't occur in 2001, there are a number of ignoramuses in the media - Christine Brennan comes to mind - who insist that multiple rapes occurred at PSU.

The “urban legend” that Central Mountain High School officials acted promptly was refuted within weeks of the grand jury presentment when the Huffington Post ran the story of school officials telling Dawn Daniels to “go home and think it over.”   ABC's Chris Cuomo, of 20/20 fame, dispelled this "fact" when he ran the story on Aaron Fisher last fall.

Also, the grand jury account of the 1998 investigation placed all of the responsibility for the investigation on the University Park Police and the failure to press charges on then District Attorney Ray Gricar, made no mention of CYS’s role in the investigation and barely mentioned DPW at all.  It took nearly six months for the facts about the child protection agencies and Dr. Chambers to make it into the press – and this came about when defense attorney, Joe Amendola made a request for the psychology reports as part of the court proceedings. The press boiled down the DPW and CYS screw up as a case of a "lost pscyhology report."

Other “Facts” Unsupported By Evidence


1.        The 1998 investigation was transferred from CYS to DPW due to a conflict of interest between CYS and The Second Mile (TSM).  TSM provided foster care and foster placement services in conjunction with CYS. 

·         Based on TSM’s 1998 IRS 990, a total of $32,319 was spent on the foster care program.   The 1998 Annual Report included as section titled “Foster Family Support” which stated, “Twenty four Foster Family activities were provided to 1,316 foster family participants throughout the state.”  The foster care activities consisted of trips to local amusement parks, recreational venues, and restaurants as rewards for program participation.  TSM's foster care program did not involve any training for foster parents or any assistance with the placement of children.

·         According to the 1998 police report, once alerted to Sandusky investigation by police on May 4, 1998, CYS sent caseworker John Miller to the University Park Police station to meet with Schreffler.  Miller informed Schreffler he would check with CYS officials and get back with him about the investigation.  Later that day, Miller called Schreffler back and informed him that he would be assigned to the case.  If CYS had a conflict-of-interest with TSM regarding foster care, it stands to reason they would have informed Miller of this fact immediately. 

·         CYS Director, Carol Smith stated in a Pittsburgh Post Gazette interview that Centre  County CYS had minimal dealings with the The Second Mile. 

·         The law (055 Pa. § 3490.81) in this case states that DPW should have been called in from the beginning due  to Sandusky’s status as an agent of the county due to his work with The Second Mile. 

Conclusion:  CYS conflict with TSM because of foster care services is not supported by the evidence.   It is more likely DPW was called in because the law required it.

2.       Jerry Lauro was brought in to investigate because of Sandusky’s high profile status.

·         There is nothing in the Protective Service statutes regarding investigations of high profile child abuse cases.

·         General internet searches come up empty when attempting to find high profile child abuse cases in Pennsylvania that were investigated by Jerry Lauro. 

·         Specific searches on DPW’s website regarding high profile child abuse cases returned no results.

·         The law (055 Pa. § 3490.81) in this case supports the case that Lauro was brought in based on the fact that Sandusky was an "agent" of the county.

·         Chambers’ oral report to ChildLine on or about May 7th would not have been a factor in Lauro’s assignment

Conclusion:  Jerry Lauro’s assignment because of Sandusky’s high profile is not supported by the evidence.  It is more likely DPW was called in because the law required it.

Note:  The PA OAG made no reference to the Protective Service law because it would have damaged their case vs. Spanier, Curley, and Schultz and also highlighted deficiencies in the CYS response to 1998 investigation.

3.        Mike McQueary only spoke with his father, Dr. Dranov, Paterno, Curley, and Schultz about the 2001 incident.

·         The press has fallen into line in reporting that McQueary told the aforementioned individuals about the incident he witnessed on February 9, 2001.  However, the press has been less than curious in seeking out other individuals that McQueary admitted to telling.

·         At trial, McQueary admitted to telling his entire family about the incident (over time) and that he believed he told his girlfriend at the time. 

·         McQueary stated at trial that the incident was nothing he told the guys in the locker room about, yet on page 88 of the Freeh Report, a footnote that states that McQueary told an equipment manager about the incident.  It is likely that the equipment manager was either Brad “Spider” Caldwell or Kirk Diehl, considering both have been on the football staff prior to 2001.

·         If McQueary told an equipment manager, it’s also likely that he told others on the football staff.  While the SIC interviewed current staff members, it is unclear whether or not they interviewed coaches who left the staff – Kenny Jackson and Kenny Carter immediately come to mind as possibilities, considering they were both Wide Receiver coaches before McQueary.

·         Finally, there are the people on the message board or in the chat room that McQueary allegedly told, yet not one of these people have come forward.  It must have been a lonely night in the chat room for Mike.  Or maybe no one read his message board post (except Sara Ganim).

Conclusion:  McQueary told more people about 2001 than the press (or the AG) have reported.  And if McQueary holds to form, every witness will have been told something different.

4.        Gary Schultz kept a“secret file” on Sandusky that he hid from investigators.

·         Media reports  on or about June 12, 2012, stated that the Freeh investigators uncovered a file kept by Schultz containing e-mails and notes about Sandusky.

·         Court filings by Gary Schultz state that Schultz informed then PSU General Counsel, Cynthia Baldwin, about the existence of the files on 5 January 2011 (prior to his grand jury appearance).

·         Schultz was retired from Penn State when Grand Jury Subpoena 1179 was issued in December 2010.  There has been no credible evidence presented that Schultz was ever informed of the subpoena’s requirements after being re-employed by Penn State in early 2011.  Schultz had re-retired from PSU when another subpoena for similar information was served on  February 2, 2012.

·         At the July 12, 2012 press conference, Freeh stated his investigators uncovered the file in March 2012.  The PA OAG stated that the files were turned over to them by April of 2012 after an eighteen month delay. 

·         Former President Spanier also stated that Counsel Baldwin never informed him about any subpoenas while he was President and she was serving as General Counsel. 
Conclusion:  The allegation that Schultz had withheld the files from investigators is not supported by credible evidence.

Bottom Line:  The person who was keeping the existence of the files “a secret” from the Attorney General appeared to be Cynthia Baldwin, not Gary Schultz.   Baldwin's “secret” is more commonly known as obstruction of justice

And if she informed other PSU officials (e.g., Erickson, Frazier,etc.) about the file before it was "found" by Freeh and turned over to the AG, then we have something a bit more problematic for Penn State.


  1. Clear and convincing. I hope Joe Posnanski is following this work. From his new position with NBC Sports, perhaps he will help publicize these efforts to uncover the truths of Sandusky's ability to victimize kids.

  2. I see Baldwin figures in this once again. When are we going finally hear of all her shenanigans under oath?

    1. Rumor is that she got immunity for her, ahem, testimony against Spanier, Curley, and Schultz. That immunity deal is going down the tubes sooner than she knows.

  3. I posted this on Yahoo's big ten board in November and February. I wonder what is taking everybody else so long to catch up.

    2-Feb-12 06:19 pm

    "what i haven't heard from anybody yet is the penn state attorneys names. i assume that they were involved. if not by paterno, then by curley and/or spanier."

    4 days after the mess erupted i asked for the attorney's information. Since then she has put in her resignation, we've just found that she was at the grand jury representing penn state, but not schultz or curley, found out she left before paterno testified, wasn't suppose to be in the grand jury unless she was representing somebody testifying and now has the board of trustees trying to cover for her. ms. baldwin is in a mess.