Sunday, June 26

Feckless Exhibit 1: Ira Lubert

This is the introduction to a multi-part opinion/analysis series that will highlight some interesting information about current and former members of the Penn State University Board of Trustees.  First up, Ira Lubert.

by BHF23


Introduction

A recent post on the Rivals BWI McAndrew Board described Penn State’s leaders as “feckless.” I had to look it up. First thing I found was “lacking in feck.” For real…which

I thought sounded pretty cool, actually. Don’t know if I ever had any “feck” myself, for that matter. But I digress…

From merriam-webster.com. feckless (adj.): 1. weak, ineffective; 2. worthless, irresponsible.

While there have been many adjectives used to describe the trustees responsible for the damage that resulted in the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal, I decided to see if some of them met the definition.








Exhibit 1:  Ira Lubert

Let’s take a quick inventory on Trustee Ira Lubert...

Was on the BOT at the time of the 1998 incident.

Contributed $50,000 or more to The Second Mile (TSM) for year ending August 31, 2001.

Served on TSM’s Southeastern Board of Directors from 2005-2008, leaving as part of a mass exodus from TSM’s Board about the time the Aaron Fisher investigation began.

Allowed TSM to use his Green Hills facility in Reading for TSM Summer Challenges (camps) until 2008.

Was in charge of the Sandusky scandal related settlements.  A subcommittee was formed 10/28/12, including Lubert, Frazier, Eckel, and others.  Recent court filings revealed that the claims were not considered valid or invalid.  In other words, money paid out without vetting the claims.

Feckless (irresponsible)?  Yes.

The icing on the cake of the settlement fiasco was that claimants were prohibited from suing Lubert's former charity -- TSM.  
 
It is highly probable that with TSM nearing bankruptcy from the scandal that lawsuits may have been filed against its directors or former directors.   Perhaps Lubert was looking out for himself by putting that provision in the settlements -- especially in light of what apparently was going down when TSM used Green Hills. 


TSM at Lubert's Green Hills Camp



 After the Sandusky scandal broke a few media outlets wrote articles about the TSM camp at Greenhills. 


“Rob Lehr, a former camp operator, is speaking out about what he saw and heard.  He rented the camp to the group for a four-week period annually.  The camp has now been sold and Second Mile no longer uses the facility.  Lehr is the former director of a camp in the deep woods of Berks County, where children from the Second Mile would come each summer for several years.”   (foxphilly.com, 11/14/11)

“Lehr said the group crossed dressed one year, and another year had the kids cross dressing:  “Camp counselors cross dressing for one of the evening events with children.  The following year now they [had] some of the boys cross dressing,” he says.  Lehr also said shower curtains would be taken down when Second Mile was at the camp.  He said he never saw anything illegal, but did see things that were immoral and questionable.  (crossingbroad.com11/16/11)

”Lehr has not been interviewed by state investigators on the Sandusky case, but he says if asked he would cooperate.”    ( foxphilly.com, 11/14/11 and here)

Never interviewed.  
Imagine that!  

Also, the video of Lehr's interview was nowhere to be found on the internet.   

Imagine that!

Getting to the Bottom of It

When I read the Freeh Report, I smelled a rat and posted on a Penn State message board to see if anyone wanted to help get to the bottom of it. I live in Georgia. Work for a bank. No connections. Knew precisely jack squat. Almost immediately, I was told that the real story was at TSM. 

I’m no investigator. I’m lucky to remember to put my socks on before my shoes in the morning. Five days it took. Working on it maybe two or three hours a day to start making the connections. 

And no one on the BOT nor Louis Freeh apparently heard anything untoward going on at TSM.

Imagine that?

Tom Corbett…with two stints as OAG (starting in 1995, by the way), responsible for oversight of TSM, buddies with Bob Poole and Bruce Heim…never heard anything. 

Imagine that?

Louie Freeh…having investigated organized crime in the immediate vicinity of Pennsylvania, buddies with Ric Struthers…never heard anything. 

Maybe it’s true; maybe it’s not. 

But there’s no way the state OAG didn’t hear it. 

And there is no possible way that any honest investigation into this mess doesn’t lead pretty quickly to the front door of TSM.

And that brings us back to former TSM board member, Ira Lubert.

·   Lubert was the top gaming industry contributor ($456,000) to political candidates from 2001-2008.  Ed Rendell, who as governor appointed Lubert to the BOT in 2007, was the top receiver (over $1 million) over that same time span (postgazette.com, 6/24/09).  

The Sandusky investigation started when Rendell was governor. 

In the spring of 2009 -- as the case moved from Centre County to the OAG's office, the PSU BOT began making moves to hire its first in-house counsel.  It's not a reach to believe that Lubert was tipped by Rendell and was  among the first people at PSU to know about the investigation -- and likely pulled the strings for the hiring of "feckless" Cynthia Baldwin.

Going back to my investigation.  

Within exactly five days of starting it, I “learned” (to use John Morganelli’s word) that Sandusky situation was part of a wider pedophile ring and that Louis Freeh was hired to cover that up. 

Who is the one PSU BOT member who was/is most likely to have that kind of knowledge (or heard those rumors) about TSM?  

Ira Lubert.

Lubert was on the "move forward" bandwagon --  advocating for it so the OAG investigation would start and stop with the PSU football program and Paterno.  The BOT tried to sell "moving foward" to the PSU community by claiming to save football from the wrath of the Big Bad NCAA.

Most PSU alums didn't buy it and demanded to know more about how TSM escaped the scandal without criminal charges.

And what was the harm in calling for more investigation?  In most people's minds, it could actually clear PSU and put responsibility for Sandusky where it belonged.

After a thorough review, if nothing was found, burn all those innocuous TSM documents and have a weenie roast. 

Knock yourselves out. 

But if you’re wrong…or worse yet, were found to be intentionally covering up that there's even one more “Sandusky” connected to the rat’s nest that is TSM (and I’d bet my last nickel there are plenty), it will be reasonable to conclude that the OG BOT:

-- trashed our university,
-- printed endless stacks of cash for anyone who could spell “PSU,”
-- and labeled every one of us as football crazed, JoePa loving pedophile enablers...


.. all to cover-up that they’re directly involved or somehow beholden to the people who are.  

16 comments:

  1. Finally, something about the SM. I could not understand how it kept out of the story when I have always felt it should have been the main actor! The PSU leadership, to me, were more interested in getting JoePa fired then finding the real story behind the scandal. Personal vendetta should never be the main objective but some on the BOTs were only interested in their own personal gains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob,
      That is correct. There is much more to the story, but for a start (re) read "Bad Faith Addendum 3: Underestimating Penn Staters"

      http://notpsu.blogspot.com/2015/03/bad-faith-addendum-3-underestimating.html

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  2. The convergence of Corbett-Spanier, Surma-Joe, along with BoT members needing the microscope focused away from them, created one of the saddest and ongoing defamation cases of our time. I think we have enough information to write the book. Anyone want to throw out a working title?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob,
      Suggest "The Real Cover Up at Penn State"

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Well, there were 32 trustees on the board when Joe got fired...

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  4. Follow the money -- always felt TSM was somehow involved and the truth (that's all JoePa ever wanted) would come out. Hopefully it will come out forcefully enough to make the media take notice.

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    Replies
    1. Al,
      The media will take notice when the charges are filed -- not until then.

      Delete
  5. This one reads like a tabloid hit piece. Way too much hearsay and innuendo. You have already demonstrated that Lubert and the Rosen Law Firm were totally derelict in their duty to protect PSU, and that is where the discussion should be. If PA had a governor and AG that had any competence, there would be movement afoot...but deer in headlights don't move too much...they just get run over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is an opinion/analysis piece by guest author, BHF23. Sprinkling these in here and there to give readers some variety

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  6. I think you're on to something about the OAG knowing about Sandusky long before they took over the investigation in 2009.

    I find it hard to believe that the OAG wasn't notified about Sandusky being investigated in 1998. The OAG has oversight over children's charities so would certainly be concerned if the founder of one of the biggest children's charities in the state was accused of child sex abuse.

    The PA Attorney General in 1998 was Mike Fisher now a federal judge. I wonder if he was ever deposed about 1998.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to law, if a report of csa is declared "unfounded", it must be removed from the DPW data base. The law also stipulates criminal and civil penalties for anyone trying to take averse action against the accused. There was certainly historical knowledge of 1998 at SM, as that incident was clearly cited in a quarterly newsletter sent to SM contributors circa April 2011 (please don't get too excited, folks...allegations were made before and were deemed unfounded). Being that SM pulled about 3 megabucks into Centre County annually, there were probably a lot of local vendors and businesses around the back end of the cash cow. The SM itself was actually an outstanding charity. It was Raykovitz, his wife, local businessmen and politicians that had their hand in the till. Any investigation should center on those financial entanglements.

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    2. If the Sandusky scandal taught us anything, it is that the law requiring unfounded abuse allegations to be removed from the database should be changed. It greatly hindered the Sandusky investigation.

      Who knows how many old complaints against Sandusky were purged from the system as "unfounded."

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    3. The law was written to protect both parties in the allegation. Using abuse allegations has unfortunately become a favorite tactic for obtaining revenge...so much so that the first thing a defense attorney will do is look for a revenge motive in the accuser...usually an ex spouse or jilted lover. If it becomes established that Sandusky "victims" were lying to get a payout ( a REAL possibility), it will be catastrophic for CSA investigations. A very tangled web was weaved here. We MUST get the truth.

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  7. As Charles Dickens wrote "the law is a ass." How does it make sense for CYS and DPW to purge unfounded child abuse investigations when the police keep their records on the same investigations?

    It just gives CYS and DPW employees a license to lie to cover up their mistakes. I think DPW's Jerry Lauro is an example of that.

    I agree with you that we must get to the truth but purging records just amounts to hiding the truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tim,
      Not all child abuse investigations involve the police. Malnutrition, neglect, and other cases not involving crimes are handled by CYS without involvement of the police.

      As you might expect, CYS doesn't always abide by the expungement rules and sometimes a parent/guardian may find ten year old investigative reports in the files.

      There is movement in PA to strike expungement of records.

      Delete