Thursday, April 24

FEAR & LOATHING in HAPPY VALLEY - The BALDWIN DUPLICITY and The CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE

CYNTHIA BALDWIN - Who is this Woman? 
And how can we explain or even understand her actions ?  

By all biographical and outward signs, Cynthia Baldwin is a major success story:

PSU BA in English 1966, MA in Amer. Lit 1974. Worked as a teacher, English professor and Asst. Dean of Students at PSU's Greater Allegheny Campus. JD from Duquesne 1983, Prosecuting Attorney Bureau of Consumer Protection. First black woman elected to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas 1989 - 2006. Appointed interim Supreme Court Justice by Governor Ed Rendell.Jan 2008 Duane Morris, LLP -. appellate litigation non-profit issues. VP / General Counsel at PSU Jan 2010 to announced resignation in Jan 2012   President PSU Alumni Assn 1989-91.and Chair of the Board of Trustees 2004-07.

What happened to Cynthia Baldwin seems a complete mystery? 

Continuing yesterday's  PROSECUTION or PERSECUTION - CONSPIRACY of SILENCE we can compare Graham Spanier, Tim Culey and Gary Schultz's actions to Cynthia Baldwin - the person these administrators believed was representing them and Penn State at the Grand Jury.

PSU President Graham Spanier was a good friend and benefactor to Cynthia, putting her name forward for several awards and honors over his 16 years at the helm of PSU. He approved her request to resign from the board and take over as in-house General Counsel & VP when the Board decided to go with in-house counsel in January 2010. Turns out that may be the biggest mistake Graham ever made. 

In 2012, Graham Spanier was under review for a very high security clearance from the Department of Defense and the Intelligence community, since he was involved with:
National Security Higher Education Advisory Board,
The National Counterintelligence Working Group, and
The Board of Advisors for the President at the Naval Postgraduate School & War College


How does that make any sense, Cynthia? How can a person make 180 degree opposite claims in 6 months. In early 2012 Spanier is a "forthcoming open man of integrity" - half a year later he's a "misleading liar". 

When you read the POST HEARING MEMORANDUM from Graham Spanier's Attorneys you will be even more astounded at Cynthia Baldwin's behavior and statements along with the court's acceptance of this behavior. Typically I would not suggest a full reading of a long legal document, but this one is simply astounding. Some excerpts:


2.   Dr. Spanier then testified before the grand jury and, after being asked by Mr. Fina whether he was represented by counsel, identified Ms. Baldwin as his counsel:
Q:  Sir, you’re represented by counsel today?
A:  Yes.
Q:  Could you just identify counsel?
A:  Cynthia Baldwin sitting behind me.
4/13/11 Testimony Trans. at 3.
3.                  Neither Ms. Baldwin nor OAG representatives corrected Dr. Spanier’s identification of Ms. Baldwin as his attorney.  4/13/11 Testimony Trans. at 3.

Was Preceded By: 

2.  The final statements by Judge Feudale and Ms. Baldwin before Dr. Spanier was brought in to be sworn as a witness were as follows:
JUDGE FEUDALE: . . Cindy, just for the record, who do you represent?
MS. BALDWIN:  The university.
JUDGE FEUDALE:  The university solely?
MS. BALDWIN:  Yes, I represent the university solely.
Id. at 28. 
3.  Judge Feudale permitted Ms. Baldwin to remain in the proceedings and be present for Dr. Spanier’s grand jury testimony.  4/13/11 Proceedings Trans. at 28-34; 4/13/11 Testimony Trans. at 1-43.
4.  Dr. Spanier was then brought into Judge Feudale’s chambers and given an instruction on his rights as a grand jury witness.  4/13/11 Proceedings Trans. at 28-34.  Judge Feudale instructed Dr. Spanier that:
In other words, if you’re uncertain as to whether you may lawfully refuse to answer any question or if any other problem arises during the course of your appearance before the Grand Jury, you have the right to stop the questioning and appear before me, either alone or, of course, in this case with your counsel, and I will rule on that matter whatever it may be.
Id. at 30-31 (emphasis added). 
5.    No one present during the in-chambers proceedings advised Dr. Spanier that Ms. Baldwin had stated, outside his presence, that she represented only Penn State.  4/13/11 Proceedings Trans. at 28-34.

Judge Feudale knew Cynthia Baldwin did not represent Graham Spanier.
Prosecutor Fina knew Cynthia Baldwin did not represent Graham Spanier.
Cynthia Baldwin certainly knew she did not represent Graham Spanier.
ONLY GRAHAM SPANIER WAS PURPOSELY KEPT IN THE DARK
Spanier specifically stated that Baldwin was representing him, in their presence, but none of them disabused him of that notion.  

Read this affidavit of David Rudovsky:


  


See entire RudovskyAffidavit at this LINK: David Rudovsky Affidavit 

Reading this the question arises - Does former Commonwealth Supreme Court Justice Baldwin know the law?  In what way is her behavior responsible, ethical, or even legal? 

We might expect a prosecutor of Fina's low ethical standards to fail to live up to his obligations as an officer of the court and violate the clear standards conduct imposed by the Bar Association and the courts. 
“ The duty of a prosecuting attorney is not to persecute, but to prosecute, and that he should endeavor to protect the innocent as well as to prosecute the guilty. He should always be interested in seeing that the truth and the right shall prevail….”
We know that the prosecution wanted this case tried in the court of public opinion from the elaborate staged performances of both Presentments. The Nov 5 Penn State Presentment in which Sandusky and Penn State Administrators were given equal billing on the exhibits:


And the Nov 1 2012 stage show when Graham Spanier was added to the big CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE PRESENTMENT:


Remember Ray Blehar's Media Conspiracy of Silence earlier this week? Among that wealth of information was this portion on the subpoenas. It shows that Baldwin - a former prosecutor and State Supreme court justice -  failed to respond to subpoenas and then allowed the prosecution to infer that it was Penn State administrators that were 'obstructing the investigation'. What kind of counsel does something like that?

Corbett stated:  “I’m very disappointed in the lack of forthcoming evidence to the subpoena that was given to them by the Attorney General’s office.” 

The statement was a continuation of a theme of misattribution – or assigning blame or responsibility where it didn’t belong.  It is a fact that Cynthia Baldwin received a letter from the Attorney General in December 2011 that admonished her for failure to comply with grand jury subpoenas.  The letter referenced information that was subpoenaed before Curley, Schultz, and Spanier had any knowledge of the investigation.  Moreover, Schultz was retired at the time of the subpoena, thus had no role in answering that particular request.  Corbett’s July 2012 statement was part of the Commonwealth’s strategy of trying the case in the court of public opinion.  

Baldwin and Subpoena Compliance

The Conspiracy of Silence grand jury presentment reported that then PSU Counsel Cynthia Baldwin requested that Curley, Schultz, and Spanier search for the files and records pertinent to Subpoena 1179.  Subpoena 1179 requested “[A]ny and all records pertaining to Jerry Sandusky and incidents reported to have occurred on or about March 2002 and any other information concerning Jerry Sandusky in inappropriate contact with underage males on and off University property.”

Baldwin stated that she held several meetings with the PSU Three to discuss the subpoena (page 21) and that each man told her they had no information responsive to the inquiry.  Baldwin also stated she kept Spanier continuously informed of all aspects of the investigation.

Despite Baldwin’s insistence that she met with the PSU Three to discuss documents related to the 2002 incident, all three men gave different answers for the year of the McQueary incident at their grand jury appearances.  Notably, Schultz stated he took the report of the incident seriously after what had transpired with Maurice Humphrey’s case.  The Humphrey case was in 2003.  Curley testified he believed the incident occurred in 2000. Spanier recalled the incident occurred in 2002.   This evidence indicates that Baldwin never showed them or informed them regarding the Subpoena.  

Former PSU President Graham Spanier stated (in The New Yorker) that he never saw a single subpoena in the case.  Not even the one which required him to testify.  

Sources close to former Athletic Director, Timothy Curley, stated he was never provided with a copy of his subpoena to testify. 

Scott Paterno also related that he had to make several demands before Baldwin furnished a copy of Joe Paterno’s subpoena to appear.   Scott noted that Baldwin told him she could not give the subpoena to his father directly because he was in Tampa preparing for a bowl game.  Ironically, Baldwin was also in Tampa, staying at the same hotel as Joe Paterno.  Baldwin’s stories about the delivery of subpoenas to PSU officials don’t hold water.

According to PSU Policy AD-49, which was revised by Baldwin on July 19, 2010, it is the responsibility of the Office of General Counsel to handle subpoenas.  Specific language follows:

“All legal documents including subpoenas are to be referred to or routed through The Office of General Counsel. The Office has the prerogative to send them to other parties after receipt. The Office of General Counsel shall establish all procedures for handling and addressing legal documents.”

Baldwin oversaw the July 2010 and July 2012 revisions of AD-49, thus she was aware of her responsibilities to handle subpoenas.

The Freeh Report and preliminary hearing testimony did not reveal any evidence showing that Baldwin responded promptly to Subpoena 1179 or to any other subpoena.  The Freeh Report should have included e-mails or other records of preservation notices which she would have sent to affected employees.  No such evidence was in the Freeh Report or provided at any of the judicial proceedings to date.

The Baldwin and Spanier grand jury transcripts also reflect that Baldwin did not respond promptly to Subpoena 1179.

At the April 13, 2011, grand jury appearance of Graham Spanier, Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Eshbach raised the issue that Counsel Baldwin had never responded to Subpoena 1179 (which was issued in December 2010) and had not filed a motion to quash.  In response, Counsel Baldwin requested to make an oral motion to quash while in chambers that day.  The motion was granted, Baldwin was excused while Fina made his in-camera argument for e-mails and documents from 1997 and prior, then Baldwin returned and agreed to provide the materials on Friday, April 15th. 

On December 18, 2011 - after the removal of Spanier as President of Penn State -- prosecutor Fina sent a letter (see Exhibit O) to Baldwin in which he admonished her for her noncompliance with a December 2010 subpoena and threatened to hold the University in contempt.  Based on the letter, her grand jury testimony, and the other evidence, it appears that Baldwin (and likely her "handlers" on the PSU BOT) had been stonewalling the investigation ever since she took over as General Counsel in February 2010. 



 Baldwin fails to correct the Governor’s and the OAG’s allegations that it is Spanier, Curley, and Schultz who have obstructed the investigation.  

I hate to think that Cynthia Baldwin is cut from the same cloth as Corbett, Kelly, and Fina or even subject to the same sorry failure of fiduciary duty of BoT members who failed to stand up for Penn State. But these failures as General Counsel for Penn State were completely devastating. 

When President Spanier, who suggested the proper course of action, was forced out and the VP and AD were indicted, the only people who could stand up and work to protect the university were the Board of Trustees and the VP/General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin. But Baldwin failed miserably in that obligation. So we are left to try to understand why she did such a terrible job. 

Was it incompetence? Fear? Willful negligence? An ethical problem? Coercion? 

The most compelling reason to my limited understanding is a realization that she was primarily responsible for protecting Penn State as General Counsel. She failed miserably and is attempting to pass the blame for that failure on to 3 PSU administrators. Since Graham Spanier did not see any of the correspondence between Sandusky investigators and Baldwin, he was completely unaware of any potential problem or personal danger. 

Spanier only knew Sandusky's reputation as an honored charity founder dedicated to serving deprived children. He did not know him. There was no conception that he could possibly be considered as some kind of molester protector. He heard Tim Curley and Gary Schultz's opinions and trusted their judgment. 

Curley & Schultz knew Sandusky as an honored charity founder and foster father who was physically demonstrative. Mike's 3 slaps story suggested horseplay between a charity founder and a boy in his care - not molestation. A 1998 investigation of a similar shower cleared Sandusky. They were not trained to know about grooming behavior. They reported the incident to the child psychologist who was Sandusky's employer and the man responsible for the welfare of those children. If Mike's own father and doctor - 2 trained medical professionals - did not consider MIke's story worthy of reporting to police should they? They weren't covering up for a molester - they didn't realize he could possibly be one. 

REMEMBER JOEL MYER'S ABSURD CLAIM? 
Myers claimed Spanier "did not keep the BoT informed." But it's clear from all evidence that former board Chair and Trustee Baldwin, who attended every board meeting, was the only person who knew about the subpoenas or the scope of the investigation. She was the one person who should have prepared these men for their appearances. 

But what truly makes this simply unbelievable -  for anyone with a reasonable handle on logic -  is this wild claim of CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE. Here are accomplished individuals who have handled very demanding jobs with Penn State for 100 years . The Prosecution wants the world to believe these men knowingly and deliberately conspired to cover up for Sandusky's crimes for years, without any shred of benefit to them financially or personally. 


"Conspiracy of Silence" participants years of service to PSU (as of Nov, 2011):
Paterno: 61 years, 45 as head coach - since Joe is deceased he is not charged.
Spanier: 25 years, 16+ as President
Schultz: 40 years, 16 as Senior Vice President
Curley: 35 years, 17+ as athletic director
More than 160 years combined, 95 years in their "current" positions *Nov 2011
99 years if you deduct Joe Paterno. 

We are all familiar with Occam's Razor: - in the absence of evidence to the contrary the simplest explanation is the most likely?  So what is more likely to you: 
     Three accomplished, intelligent, long time PSU administrators, covering up for the crimes of a known child molester, failed to get together (with or without an attorney) to get their stories straight about their crime so their testimony before the Grand Jury concerning the molester they conspired to protect would at least agree as to the dates and their actions?
OR 
   Three accomplished, intelligent PSU administrators were so unconcerned about the correctness of their actions concerning Sandusky that they had no concern whatever about their testimony?

I think most informed and rational people believe that men of means with important jobs can afford and do receive the best legal counsel available whenever a situation arises that might put them in some legal jeopardy. So why were Spanier, Curley and Schultz - the men prosecutors would have you believe conspired to willfully and knowingly allowed a known child molester to prey on children and covered up his behavior - fail to get the best representation possible for their Grand Jury appearances? They wouldn't even need to pay for that representation since as administrators, that would be covered by the university. 

The TRUTH is very obvious to me. They had nothing to hide and they believed that Cynthia Baldwin was there to look out for their best interests because in this case, their interest and Penn State's interest should have been the same. But they failed to account for Cynthia Baldwin's incompetence, duplicity, disability, fear, ethics or _______.  That's a question we ALL should want answered. What happened with Cynthia Baldwin? 

9 comments:

  1. I still cannot understand why Kane is spending hundreds of thousands of PA $$$ prosecuting the cases. She now has to spend more PA $$$ defending her actions in front of a Federal Magistrate. This seems to be a drain on resources that should be spent investigating real criminal activity. And it looks to be getting deeper and more costly.




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    Replies
    1. Gregory,
      Good question. Corbett and Fina produced the Philly Sting and Kane paid the price for dropping their debacle. Unfortunately, politics is the answer to your question. Kane is hoping that Judge Hoover deals with Baldwin and the judiciary kills the case. In that scenario, the blame falls on Corbett and Fina. Otherwise, she must continue the prosecution started by Corbett/Kelly and Fina in order to expose their illegal activity.
      This is what happens when we elect attorneys general who become Governors. The step ladder is too inviting.

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    2. Gregory,
      Just look at the blow back Kane is getting for not prosecuting an un-prosecutable bribery case. There's no way that she could drop this case and not be excoriated by the media (who I've revealed are little more than a propaganda arm for Corbett).

      Haven't you heard? Sandusky was convicted on 43 of 45 counts. Because of that, no one is allowed the question the successful prosecutor, Frank Fina, who also successfully prosecuted BonusGate and ComputerGate.

      The Conspiracy of Silence case was a steaming pile of doggie doo left for Kane to handle. She was handed that doggie doo to Bruce Beemer and now Bruce has the honor of trying to get a jury to buy it. If Judge Hoover doesn't toss it.

      However, Hoover will face the same media onslaught if he dismisses the charges.

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  2. or ___Hired Gun (a person who is hired to do a specific job and especially one that some people consider to be morally wrong)___.

    We know of Mike McQueary's possible motives for driving this case against the PSU Three (personal liability for gambling and sexting while asst coaching). We know of Corbett's and Surma's personal vendettas. We know of Frazier's and Freeh's HUGE monetary incentives. So what motivated Cynthia Baldwin to do her fair share of the dirty work?? Obviously, she was and had long been intimately connected with all things PSU BoT. I also read of something involving her daughter.

    So how has "Cindy" benefited from her complicity in this rush to injustice? It must be something BIG. Because she's certainly risked her entire professional legacy for whatever it was.

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    Replies
    1. Fina sent Baldwin a scathing email in Dec. 2011 threatening obstruction charges for failing to cooperate on the subpoenas. That could be a motive.

      It would be far less embarrassing for a former PA supreme court justice to testify against her clients than to be charged with crimes herself.

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    2. The Peter Principle is the principle that "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence". is that at work with Cynthia Baldwin? Could a female African American in a University setting find herself in over her head as a result of gender and racial equalization? I have no idea how it happened but this is a unique situation with devastating consequences where it seems most mediocre attorneys would have known better. How can a General Counsel fail so miserably to prepare administrators for a Grand Jury appearance? It seems that complete incompetence or devious complicity would be obvious - unless there was some means of coercion.

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    3. Does not Kane have a fiduciary responsibility to PA residents to allocate resources to optimize the safety and security of PA citizens? Wild goose chases do not look good. Politics?? Kane's margin of victory gave her enormous political capital. Why would she want to squander it on this case? And backing up decisions with solid evidence is always looked upon favorably by the citizenry. Frank Fina booby traps and Corbett lieutenants in the media cannot prevail against demonstrable facts. We, the People, only want the truth.

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    4. Kane has to deal with the political reality of Gov Tom Corbett and a media that seems to be in his pocket. Those Commonwealth resources were already squandered by Kelly Beemer, Fina and Corbett. What better place to squander Beemer's time than having him deal with this case. Corbett wanted this political IED so let him and his hand picked guy handle it so when it blows up it's them that end up politically quadriplegic

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    5. I think Barry has IDed the most likely general causes for Baldwin's actions throughout this case: "complete incompetence... devious complicity... coercion".

      So which is it? Who knows anything about Cynthia Baldwin's quality of work? What type of student was she? Is she a lifelong learner, curious about things? An engaged member of the PSU community? A caring mentor? A respected colleague?

      She has a long history with PSU. Can any of you learn anything about her that would shed light on her behavior throughout the Sandusky case? Was she acting so incompetently to protect her daughter (something to do with a car accident??).

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