Some of the most important information in an investigation can be learned from thoroughly examining timelines, dates, and times to determine what exactly happened.
In Report 2, I criticized Louis Freeh's report because it contained only one somewhat comprehensive timeline in the beginning of the report. As readers of my reports and blogposts know, the specific timelines of various incidents in the Sandusky scandal have revealed some very critical information.
A few examples follow:
-- That Mike McQueary had to tell Joe Paterno that the 2001 incident happened around a corner to enable Curley and Schultz to inform Spanier of the same information;
-- That DPW official, Jerry Lauro, lied to Sara Ganim of the Patriot News regarding his lack of knowledge of the psychology reports in the 1998 case; and,
-- That Ray Gricar did not close the 1998 case on June 1, 1998 because there was no time for him to review the police report, which was completed on June 3, 1998.
1998 - 2001 TimelinesThe timelines in the 1998 and 2001 cases have a few things in common that indicate PSU was the more diligent party in terms of investigating Sandusky and that perhaps indicate DPW/CYS intervened in the 2001 case.
First Scheduled Interviews With Sandusky
According to the 1998 University Park Police Report, ADA Karen Arnold instructed Detective Ronald Schreffler to interview everyone involved as soon as possible (see page 5). DPW's Jerry Lauro contacted Detective Schreffler and stated that Sandusky was scheduled to be interviewed on the morning of May 7, 1998 (see page 8). On May 7, 1998, Lauro met with University Park police but there was no interview of Sandusky. No explanation is available regarding why the interview did not occur.
According to Gary Schultz's handwritten note of 12 February 2001, Tim Curley was supposed to meet with Jerry Sandusky on Friday, February 16. This interview was also postponed and no one - not even crack investigator Louis Freeh - has provided a reason for the postponement.
Based on the timeline comparison, it is uncanny that both initial meetings with Sandusky were planned for the first week of the investigation, but both were postponed (with no reason given).
Interviews with Sandusky Delayed By Weeks
In both the 1998 and 2001 cases, the interview of Sandusky eventually takes place, but only after several weeks pass. In 1998, three and a half weeks (25 days) go by before the police and DPW talk to Sandusky. According the the testimony of former police Chief Tom Harmon, the police had scheduled another interview with Sandusky on May 27, 1998 - only to have CYS call it off because DPW could not attend.
In 2001, Tim Curley eventually met with Sandusky on March 1 or 2 according to the e-mail records and Spanier's notes referencing the case. Therefore, about three weeks pass (22/23 days)before PSU speak with Sandusky. On March 7, 2001, Curley closed the loop with Joan Coble informing her that he informed Gary Schultz he had met with Sandusky/Second Mile. (Note: The Freeh Report incorrectly stated that Curley met with Second Mile on March 19, 2001).
What happened between the initial scheduling of the Sandusky interview and the actual interview was also somewhat similar. After May 7, 1998, there was little to no involvement of DPW and CYS in the investigation, aside from bringing in John Seasock to do an evaluation of Victim 6. Conversely, the University Park police ran two different stings (May 13 and May 19) as well as fielded a call from the Mother of Victim 6 about Sandusky's contact with her son on May 11.
The only activity in the investigation in 2001 was the Schultz/Curley interview of McQueary, occurring on or about February 19, 2001 and the activities on 25 to 27 February to reschedule the interview with Sandusky. So it is interesting that there is some evidence of a possible report, but no specific information on the public record about an investigation.
I submit that the timelines, specifically the delays in interviewing Sandusky, provide an indication that DPW or CYS had likely been contacted and intervened - at least temporarily - in the 2001 case. Their intervention delayed PSU's interview with Sandusky. The timelines also indicate the PSU officials were more diligent about addressing the Sandusky allegations than were state officials.
Penn State Deliberations About SanduskyThe Schultz note of 12 February 2001 reflects a plan that was developed on or about the time PSU would have been required by law to report the incident to DPW/CYS (i.e., 48 hours from first report on the morning of 10 February). Therefore, it makes absolutely no sense for Schultz to make a plan of contacting DPW outside of the 48 hour window required by law.
So, why the reference to DPW in the note?
Two Issues To Resolve
There are two issues at play in this case, not just one. One issue is completely within DPW's control, while the other is in PSU's control.
The first issue is that PSU must deal with a report of suspected child abuse. According to the evidence, research on "suspected child abuse" and conferences with Gary Schultz were conducted between Courtney and Schultz about that issue. Both men believe the end result was a report to local child welfare authorities. Also remember there was the slip-up by Agent Sassano stating that a record of the 2002 (sic) report was in the possession of DPW (Sassano has yet to correct the record).
The second issue at play is Sandusky's inappropriate use, as an emeritus faculty member, of PSU's facilities with youths from The Second Mile (TSM). This issue is such that it could be addressed almost immediately by the PSU administrators. It is probable that the Schultz note of 12 February 2001 was the plan for dealing with the facilities use issue -- not the plan for dealing with suspected child abuse.
The reference for calling in DPW "as an independent agency concerned with child welfare" is likely a result of Schultz's review of the 1998 case and his discussions with Harmon over the conflicts of interest between TSM and Centre County CYS in 1998.
It is likely that Schultz did not believe that he could go to Centre County CYS if Sandusky and Second Mile "pushed back" on PSU's directive for Sandusky to not use the facilities with TSM youths. If the "push back" from TSM and Sandusky occurred, Schultz believed he would get a better result if he raised the issue to DPW.
E-mail Authenticity (or lack thereof)
While Freeh, Frazier, the majority of the media point to the e-mail of February 27-28 (Freeh Report, Exhbit 5G) as evidence of Curley, Schultz, and Spanier's decision not to inform DPW, the testimony of Braden Cook proved that this e-mail was not authentic. According to Cook, his team was provided the Schultz e-mails for a second time on July 2, 2012 (page 70).
The e-mails were first provided in March 2011 (page 69) on a DVD after it was discovered that the Schultz data was not in their inventory provided to them PSU's John Corro. John Corro testified to providing three USB keys of data to Cynthia Baldwin. That means none of the "incriminating" e-mails in this case was pulled from a forensic hard drive or a copy of a forensic drive. Cook did not say who provided him with the Schultz e-mails in July 2012, however he testified that he was providing e-mail information to Freeh's team and the PSU lawyers for attorney-client privilege review (beginning in late Fall 2011).
Government and private sector document and computer forensics experts who were consulted regarding the authenticity of the e-mails agree that the evidence is suspicious, but that tampering can only be determined through comparison with data from the hard drives. Freeh's history with evidence tampering, as well as Ken Frazier's insistence that the documents in this case provided the information the Board needed to come to make decisions in the case, provide valid reasons to believe the Schultz e-mails may have been altered.
Keep reading and you will discover that the stakes in this case were high enough for Freeh - who was identified and recommended for the job by Governor Tom Corbett - to make the evidence fit a pre-determined conclusion.
The Inconvenient Truth of the Sandusky CaseThe inconvenient truth that the Commonwealth does not want the public to learn, is that DPW and CYS routinely fall short when it comes to protecting children and indicating child abusers. The grand jury presentment of November 2011 did its best to hide the failures of DPW and CYS to take Sandusky off the streets in 1998. And I suspect it has done the same in the case of the 2001 incident.
The record of failures of CYS and DPW to properly intervene in child abuse cases and protect PA's children is staggering. Based on a 2008- Health and Human Services review of DPW, children continue to be harmed in 43% of the cases after abuse is reported. Mathematically, this computes to an estimated 11,000 abuse cases and approximately 200 deaths since 2002 (the original date of the McQueary report).
Those are just numbers, however. The stories behind the numbers are quite interesting.
Many of you might recall the story of Aleta Bailey. Aleta was a little girl in York County who was reported to have been beaten by her mother's live in boy friend, Larry Hake. The York County caseworker on that case, Beverly Mackereth, requested a police escort for herself because she felt unsafe to investigate the case because of Hake's reputation as a violent man. After taking Aleta to the hospital to be examined, Mackereth sent the little girl back into that environment - requiring that there be another adult present when Hake was near Aleta. Five weeks after that order, Aleta was raped, tortured, and murdered by Hake. The hospital nurses found bruises and swelling on all parts of her body, including her feet.
Most rational people would question how Mackereth retained her employment after this incident, thus it is truly mind blowing that she not only kept her job, but is now the Secretary of DPW. From 2011 to her promotion in March 2013, she was the Deputy Director of Children and Youth Services -- the agency with the mission to protect children.
In another case I investigated, a child lodged complaints to Clearfield County CYS officials about the abuse suffered at the hands of the parent over and over again. CYS refused to investigate the case because they had previously investigated and cleared the parent. The child attempted suicide, but before doing so had vandalized the home. The child survived, but afterwards was charged with vandalism and had to make restitution. No action was taken against the parent. The child remains emotionally damaged.
One of the more interesting cases is that of former psychologist Jim Singer, again in Clearfield County. Dr. Singer saved a young girl's life by reporting her abuse and taking the extra step of hiring his own attorney to approach a judge to get a protective order for the child. The judge issued the order. A state police investigation of the case revealed that Clearfield County CYS never investigated or even filed a formal report of the abuse incident. Instead, CYS and other entities retaliated against Singer for reporting the abuse resulting in the loss of his license to practice psychology. There have been other retaliatory cases in Centre County, though not as extreme as what happened to Jim Singer.
What becomes apparent after studying the issue of child abuse is that the failure to report child abuse is not a problem in Pennsylvania.
The problem is what happens AFTER a report of child abuse is made. I suspect that the 2001 case is another example of DPW failing to protect Pennsylvania's children.
Coming Soon: The Failure to Report Child Abuse "Dog and Pony" Shows