Wednesday, August 19

Fina Feared Being "Nifonged" By Kane (Part 1)

Attorney General Kane stated the emails in the "porngate" prompted Fina's attack on her, however, Fina also feared that Moulton's investigation could cause him to be disbarred.  


By
Ray Blehar

At her press conference, Attorney General Kathleen Kane stated that she broke no laws and that the court system and subsequent charges were being used as a "stealth weapon" to discredit and silence her.

Sound familiar?

In November 2011, former AG Linda Kelly and her lead prosecutor, Frank Fina used the same tactics to silence and discredit PSU officials Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz -- falsely charging them with failure to report and perjury.  Had they not been charged, their accounts of the 2001 incident could have been used to impeach the testimony of Mike McQueary during the Sandusky trial.

Don't take my word for it, though.

Sandusky trial Judge John Cleland mentioned that the Curley and Schultz charges could have been used as a means to "hamstring the defense" (see page 169).   Judge Cleland then went on to caution Fina about using the email evidence and Schultz file for the Sandusky prosecution, stating it might "risk your case against Curley and Schultz."  

Unbelievably, prosecutor McGettigan replied, "but we're not going to try that case."

What was going on?


The notes of former PSU President Rod Erickson (below) confirm that on or about January 2012, the OAG was keeping Old Main informed of the ongoing grand jury investigations of Sandusky, Curley, Schultz, and Spanier.   The amount of information shared by the OAG was far more than current AG Kathleen Kane allegedly shared with the Philadelphia Inquirer

But the most important fact contained in the notes was that Fina shared his case strategy with Old Main.  Specifically, that he "expected" Curley and Schultz "to flip"(on Spanier). 

Fina's "flip" strategy is at the root of the misconduct in the Conspiracy of Silence (CoS) case.    If the flip had happened, Fina would have made the case against Spanier on the testimony of Curley and/or Schultz -- and very likely, Cynthia Baldwin.  Securing a plea deal would have likely ensured that Fina's ethical violations would have remained hidden.    

When the flip didn't happen -- and Kane was elected on her promise to investigate the Sandusky investigation -- Fina looked in the mirror and saw Mike Nifong.


The PSU Case Is Duke Lacrosse on Steroids

Fina and Nifong: Mirror misconduct?
Former DA Mike Nifong was disbarred over the Duke lacrosse case, in which he filed charges based on the inconsistent and unsupported testimony of the key witness, suppressed exculpatory and other relevant evidence, used questionable evidence, and made highly prejudicial statements in the press.

The North Carolina State Bar Committee called the case a "fiasco" and said Nifong's actions involved "dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation."


Frank Fina's actions related to the CoS case were remarkably similar to Nifong's, however the stakes in the were much higher in Pennsylvania than they were in North Carolina.  Nifong was using the Duke rape allegations to revive his struggling election campaign.  

Fina used McQueary's dubious rape story to paint PSU officials as enablers of Sandusky's abuse. The goal, likely set by his boss, Tom Corbett, was to scapegoat Spanier for directing Curley and Schultz not to report the incident.  The abuse of grand jury secrecy rules in leaking the presentment (and other evidence) was done to deflect attention away from the Commonwealth's child protective services (and the state police's) failures to protect children from Sandusky.  Had the truth gotten out, the Commonwealth (e.g., Centre County CYS) likely would have been facing lawsuits -- not Penn State.

McQueary Gave "More Vivid" Description in 2010

It is a matter of public record that McQueary's testimony and public statements about the 2001 incident have been consistently inconsistent.  

What is not on the public record - until now - is that Erickson notes confirm that McQueary gave a "more vivid" description to "Detectives - ten years later" than he did in 2001.  The notes also reveal the tortured reasoning by prosecutors to use McQueary's unreliable and unsupported testimony to charge PSU officials.

Lines 1-5:  McQueary denied seeing anything sexual to Dr. Dranov.

Lines 6-7: McQueary lied to Dranov and his father about what he saw. 

Lines 8-9:  Dr. Dranov's, Curley's, and Schultz's stories seem "same."

Lines 10-11: McQueary told different version to Curley and Schultz than he did to Dranov and his father.

Lines 17-21:  When questioned "by police.. Detectives - 10 years later," McQueary gave "more vivid" version "than before." 




It appears that lead prosecutor Fina was pulling a Nifong when he charged Curley and Schultz with failure to report and perjury and then approved a grand jury presentment that stated McQueary was an "extremely credible" witness.  

Fina also had to ignore physical evidence to believe McQueary's story.


No "line of sight" 

Based on the description of the incident provided by Dr. Dranov and the physical properties of the locker room, it is highly probable that McQueary did not see Sandusky and the boy while they in the showers.   According to the notes, the obstruction (and victim) were positioned at the "far right" of the shower room (on the floor plan). "Other three behind" refers to the number of shower heads that would be positioned behind the victim. 

If the victim and Sandusky were positioned in that location, they would have been out of the "line of sight" of McQueary, who testified he looked into the shower through the mirror. 

Lines 20-21:  "kid looked out from behind the obstruction."

Lines 22-23:  "Actually far right, other 3 behind"   "line of sight"

While I believe that McQueary heard slapping sounds and saw Sandusky and a minor youth exit the shower, the physical properties of the locker room made it impossible for him to see in and observe contact.  I also believe Fina knew that to be the situation, but didn't let that evidence stand in the way of his prosecution of PSU officials.  The janitor incident is germane.


Spanier's version

Graham Spanier's grand jury testimony also was the same as Curley and Schultz's -- as it should have been because they informed him of the incident.  

The former PSU President testified (page 14) that "they were horsing around in the shower. I believe that was the language that was used."  When Fina (page 24) asked if it was possible the report was "sexual in nature," Spanier (page 25) responded, "No... what was reported was not a report of any activity that was sexual in nature."

Once again, another individual testified to not being informed of anything sexual being reported about the 2001 incident.  For those keeping score at home, that was five people, including Mike's father, who testified that explicit details were not shared by Mike. 

Fina would eventually charge three of the five with perjury, even though there was no corroboration of Mike's account.

Conclusion
When Duke accuser Crystal Mangum changed her story and was no longer certain she was raped, Nifong dropped the rape charges.  

Conversely, Fina continued to press forward with the perjury and failure to report charges even though detectives believed McQueary gave a more vivid description in 2010 than he did in 2001. 

Weighing the evidence so far, it appears that Fina's conduct related to the CoS case was more unethical than Mike Nifong's at Duke.  But this is just the beginning of the story.

Next: Part 2: Evidence Suppression

8 comments:

  1. As you noted, Erickson's notes indicate the detectives identified McQueary through chat rooms and bulletin boards and not from an email.

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    1. Misder2,
      Thanks for mentioning that. I think that supports the going theory that the anonymous/Houser email was just a lucky coincidence that gave the AG "cover" to contact McQueary. They knew about the 2001 incident long before 2010.

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  2. Thanks very much for this Ray. Any mention of 1998 in Erickson's notes? If so will that be included in Part 2?

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    Replies
    1. 1998 is mentioned, but part two is going to be about evidence suppression.

      The BOT was more interested in tying Paterno to 1998 than the OAG was....Freeh did that for them....without any real evidence to prove it.

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  3. Keep up the good work here Ray!

    This "stealth political weapon" that Kane spoke of in her press conference is the key to this whole mess surrounding the Sandusky's Second Mile, Tom Corbett scandal. The abuse of the grand jury process by corrupt politicians to frame innocent people, is creating utter chaos in PA. It is a way to falsely accuse and ruin any innocent person at will in the newspapers without due process of law. Just look at the names adding up: President Graham Spanier Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, Joe Paterno, Stacy Parks Miller, Attorney General Kathleen Kane, and now her driver too? A child can see the absurd desperation of the people that are covering their own crimes by framing others. Stacy Parks Miller is one tough customer, she's backed her accusers into a corner and forced them to admit, "oh sorry, we got bad legal advice when we accused her". Yeah, "bullsh*t!"
    Now, Kane needs to get tough and start pointing fingers and arresting those connected to covering up their negligence and/or involvement in illegal activities of the state as it relates to their protection of the pedophile's charity, Second Mile.
    Which brings to mind, why would the FBI need to investigate Kathleen Kane when they ignored everything she was elected to find out about the Second Mile and their relationship to PA state government? Why weren't the corrupt PA newspapers filled with headlines reading, "FBI will not allow Second Mile to flee the state with records"? Or, "FBI investigates politicians with possible link to Second Mile". Instead, they want to know about Kane's trip to Haiti? Who's side is the FBI on anyway, the good guys or the bad guys? With Frank Noonan's lies and Louis Freeh's lies, and now this FBI attack on Kane, it's clear the FBI has become a cabal, an arm of the corrupt.
    The bottom line is, the FBI, Philly.com, Fox43.com, and PennLive.com are incriminating themselves with their actions and headlines. They are actively participating in covering up state-condoned child abuse(possibly for profit) by helping to falsely accuse the ones that want to expose this.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Truthseeker,
      I have to wonder how accurate the media is about the FBI investigation. At one time, a reporter approached me to find out my sources at the Bureau...obviously, I didn't disclose.

      I agree Kane should come out swinging. She's played politics about this because of the negative publicity it would generate if she turned in Fina for ethics violations and that somehow ended up causing Sandusky to get a new trial.

      At this point, why should she care? She could rightfully convict Sandusky and get him on more counts than Fina -- as well as show just how widespread his abuse was across the state. The investigators in the Sandusky case didn't even bother to look at Reading, PA -- where Second Mile held there other summer camp.

      The state is corrupt and I agree that the media is helping to cover up just how bad it is. Here is a quote from Gordon Zubrod, the AUSA for the Middle District -- who brought down the judges in Kids for Cash....

      Mr. Zubrod described the kids-for-cash case and related investigations that have led to more than 30 arrests as part of a decade-long process aimed at rooting out organized crime's influence on public institutions in the U.S. Middle District, which covers 33 counties in Pennsylvania.

      "It is one of a series that has been going on, a very intense series by the FBI and the IRS and our office from the late '90s on to focus first of all on the connection between organized crime and public corruption, which is very real in this district, and then, secondly, step by step taking out each pocket where there is a power and people who think they can't be touched," Mr. Zubrod said.

      Fina thinks he can't be touched....and he's wrong.

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  4. Great job Ray.

    I don't understand why Kane hasn't released all the porn emails, including those by Fina, now that the PA Supreme Court gave its okay.

    Were the 3 notebook pages illustrated all from Jan. 2012?

    Did Erickson indicate where he got that info?

    If Erickson got that info from Baldwin, who was still PSU legal counsel, that would undermine her testimony against Spanier if she knew McQueary gave a "benign description" in 2001.

    Those notebook pages, and Erickson's testimony about them, should be a big help to the plaintiffs in the Spanier and Paterno estate lawsuits.


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    1. Tim,
      Kane's attorneys said there are other provisions -- the Philly Inky reported Fina got a ruling that Kane couldn't release anything derogatory about him - that are keeping her from full release.

      The notebook is from on or around January 2012. It seems Erickson was in meetings and on conference calls, based on the notes. Different people at different times -- some of the notes are completely unrelated to the scandal.

      Wait until part 2, you'll see Baldwin's testimony get undermined by other information.

      Agree that these notes should be helpful in the lawsuits.

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