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.
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?|
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 2010It 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 versionGraham 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.
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