E-mails obtained through the diligence of Ryan Bagwell reveal that Freeh's investigation was not done in parallel, but in cooperation with, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG)
From David S. Woodrow
In the late summer of 2012, after the Freeh Report, the NCAA sanctions, and the condemnation of sports talking heads, the Penn State Nittany Lion Football Team took on the motto “One Team."
The motto was meant to signify unity, cooperation, teamwork, doing your job and watching your teammate’s back. Surely they felt the outside world was against them so they bonded together to achieve their goal: to go out and play football with all their hearts. It was an inspiring season, but where did they get the “One Team” idea?
Maybe they were inspired by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and the Freeh Group. Kudos to RyanBagwell for obtaining e-mails that show Freeh’s investigators and the AG investigators congratulating each other on the “scores” of the Sandusky conviction and the Freeh press release and conference.
Let’s briefly introduce the players in order of appearance and their position at the time.
THE TEAM PLAYERS
Randy Feathers – Office of the Attorney General, Regional Director of the Bureau of Narcotics in State College. He was the head of the Sandusky scandal investigation.
Frank Fina – Chief Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania.
Anthony Sassano – Office of Attorney General Narcotics Agent, Lead investigator of the Sandusky scandal, and vintage TV Guide collector. He has grand jury and wiretapping experience.
Thomas A. Cloud – Owner, Vice-President, and Secretary of CFR Professional Investigations and Senior Consultant with Freeh Group International Solutions LCC. He is also the interpreter of Joe Paterno’s notes for his meeting with Sandusky and Curley about Jerry not being the next head coach at Penn State (Freeh Exhibit 3D).
Gregory A. Paw (PAW) – Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP and head of the FSS investigation. According to his profile on the PH website he “led the investigation at a major public university concerning the handling of a sex abuse allegations by senior university officials and the board of trustees, resulting in a “groundbreaking” report described as “required reading for boards of directors.”
Nils Hagen-Frederiksen – Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
Linda Kelly – Pennsylvania Attorney General (appointed by current Governor and former Attorney General Tom Corbett).
Communication among team members is crucial to successful execution, whether it is a game plan, rescue mission, military operation, or sting operation. While we do not have the exact information they shared amongst themselves, these e-mail communications are incriminating in that they specifically mention working together. And the slobbering praise and adoration they heap upon each other indicates more than just mailing a document or evidence.
I have created the timeline, quoting verbatim the e-mails, along with the specific events that occurred during their communications (italics are my thoughts / interpretations).
· Sandusky trial starts.
· At 6:34 p.m. Randy Feathers sends an e-mail to Frank Fina and cc’s Anthony Sassano with a link to an NBC video on from The Today Show that morning. In the video Michael Isikoff announces that “law enforcement sources” have told NBC News that they uncovered evidence that showed PSU officials concealed information on Sandusky’s behavior. NBC's interpretation of the e-mail evidence was in the same context that would be used by Louis Freeh in his report. Isikoff continues saying state investigators obtained new evidence that PSU even did legal research on abuse (Freeh Exhibit 5A). The video also mentions Alycia Chambers report and her conclusions of a grooming pattern, even a brief comment from her, but then mentions “a second psychologist reached a different conclusion.” NBC did not name or show the second psychologist (John Seasock). As mentioned is previous posts Seasock was not a licensed psychologist at the time of his evaluation, only a counselor.
· 8:49 a.m. Randy Feathers forwards the same video link to Tom Cloud of The Freeh Group.
· 1:15 p.m. Trial is sent to the jury for deliberation.
· Jury announces verdict just before 10 p.m. EST, convicts JS on 45 of 48 counts.
· 10:29 p.m. PAW e-mails Fina “I am proud of you and the entire prosecution team. Very well done.”
· 11:16 p.m. Tom Cloud e-mails Randy Feathers “As I told Tony – congrats on a great job in tough conditions. Our team is happy.”
· 11:58 p.m. Randy Feathers responds to Tom Cloud “Thanks were (sic) happy too. It was great working with you guys. You are all real pros.”
· 6:25 a.m. Fina replies to PAW’s congratulations the day before “Thank you for all the help and support."
· CNN breaks the news about the leaked e-mails. CNN does not possess the e-mails, only has the contents read to them by their source. The main e-mail is the long string between Curley, Spanier, and Shultz where Curley proposes confronting Sandusky directly and Spanier says that the gesture was “humane” (Freeh Exhibits 2F and 5G).
· 2:47 p.m. Fina e-mails PAW “Did Freeh call the AG?”
· 3:23 p.m. PAW replies to Fina “No. Your word was all we needed.”
· Freeh report was to be made available online at 9 a.m. EST.
· Freeh scheduled to hold press conference to discuss report and its findings at 10 a.m. EST.
· 9:48 a.m. Nils Hagen-Frederiksen e-mails the text of Freeh’s press release to Linda Kelly.
· 14:39:07 Fina e-mails PAW “Greg – Truly great work. Pease extend my congratulations to your team. FGF”
· 12:19 p.m. PAW responds back to Fina “Frank – this note really means a lot to me. I have a tremendous respect for you and your work, and it was my pleasure to have the opportunity to work with you on this matter, Greg”
· Sara Ganim, the lead reporter for the Patriot News, joins CNN (I am sure this has nothing to do with the CNN source for the e-mail leaks).
So the e-mails provide evidence that, despite two supposedly independent investigations, it appears Freeh and to OAG worked together to help build each other’s cases.
Did any of this collaboration violate the rules that the Freeh group had with the Special Investigative Committee? Let’s look at the Letter of Engagement (signed by Kenneth Frazier and Steve Garban) also released this week (emphasis mine):
Freeh Engagement to Perform Legal Services (11/18/11)
1. “FSS has been engaged to serve as independent, external legal counsel to the “Task Force” to perform an independent, full and complete investigation…” “The results of FSS’s investigation will be provided in a written report to the Task Force and other parties as so directed by the Task Force.” “It is understood by FSS, the Trustees, and the Task Force that FSS will act under the sole direction of the Task Force…”. It also is understood by FSS, the Trustees, and the Task Force that FSS’s investigation will be completed in parallel to, but independent of, any other investigation that is conducted by any policy agencies, governmental authorities or agencies, or other organizations within or outside of (e.g., The Second Mile) PSU, and will not interfere with any such other investigation.”
It also is understood by FSS, the Trustees, and the Task Force that during the course of FSS’s independent investigation performed hereunder, FSS will immediately report any discovered evidence of criminality to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, and provide notice of such reporting to the Task Force.”
FSS also will communicate regarding its (sic) independent investigation performed hereunder with media, police agencies, governmental authorities and agencies, and any other parties, as directed by the Task Force
5. “For the purpose of providing legal services to the Task Force, FSS will retain Freeh Group International Solutions, LLC (“FGIS”) to assist in this engagement.”
As noted in my emphasis above, the FSS investigation is supposed to be independent. They are supposed to act under the direction of the client. Should FSS find any evidence of criminal acts, they are to notify the appropriate law enforcement authorities AND the client. Did Freeh ever tell any of the Special Investigative Committee of the “evidence” he found and turned over to the AG? Someone apparently told NBC News and CNN about the evidence (see LOE terms above regarding communications with the media). Freeh and SIC members have some explaining to do.
Despite Freeh’s claim in his Letter of Engagement, his press conferences, his press releases, and his report, it is evident that his team’s investigation was anything but independent.
And now WE have the e-mails to prove it.