Thursday, April 6

Caught In Their Own Trap

Eshbach and Fina set a trap to identify the OAG leakers and it worked.

Ray Blehar  

April 6, 2017, 9:30 PM, EDT

Former OAG prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach testified that she consulted with her then supervisor, Frank Fina, to set a trap to find out who was leaking information to former Harrisburg Patriot News reporter Sara Ganim.

She then told the court, “no one took the bait.”

Of course no one did. 

But the “trap” worked.

Their “trap” ruled out than no one else in the OAG’s office could be the leakers.

Unless the “trap” story is a fabrication – then Eshbach committed perjury.

And if that's the case, then the "trap" worked just as well in (hopefully) bringing the leakers to justice.

Eshbach further testified that because the “trap” didn’t catch anyone, then the source of Ganim’s information was someone else with knowledge of the grand jury (who was not under a non-disclosure order).

That argument was plausible until last week, when Mike McQueary spilled the beans on who was behind the intentional leak of the charges.

The charges were expected to be released on Monday, November 7th, however with a PSU football bye week and no game on Saturday, Eshbach and Fina likely decided it was an opportune time for a leak.

The goal apparently was to make sure the attention of the Sandusky case was PSU football and the leak of the presentment was supposed to cause the football beat writers to report on the charges against Tim Curley and a larger football related cover-up.

But it didn’t work out that way.  That story didn't start making headlines until Sunday.

(To be continued)


  1. But Feudale ordered an investigation of the leaks, which ran to ground just like Abraham's investigation of Second Mile and Fina's porn ring. Of course Fina was never held accountable. Nothing criminal there...only something that would get most people fired in an instant.

  2. Gregory - It would be criminal if Fina and/or Eshbach leaked grand jury information. It would also be perjury if they lied about the leaking under oath.

    AG Kane was convicted of doing both those things.

    I think the OAG is extremely unethical by convicting defendants in the court of public opinion before they ever get to trial.

    I don't even see how it would be legal for Eshbach to warn McQueary that Sandusky, Curley and Schultz were soon going to be arrested. If McQueary told others, as he did, that could get back to them, and they could flee the country. Or maybe that was one reason for the leak - to encourage them to flee.

    1. Tim,
      I think Jonelle was warning Mike about the impending firestorm that the presentment was going to create.

      But that was delayed -- you'll read about that in the next blogpost.

    2. Ray,

      Despite the warning, Mike was not prepared for the lies in the presentment that libeled him, Paterno and the rest.

  3. Ray -

    The setting of a trap seems very contrived. If they wanted to find the leak they should have questioned everyone who could have known including the grand jury witnesses. While the grand jury witnesses could have leaked quite legally, lying about it to OAG investigators would be obstruction of justice.

    I still don't think Ganim really needed an inside source. There were plenty of people at victim 1's high school who knew details of his allegations. Victim's 1's mother also probably told people as she seemed eager for publicity. Eshbach should have been questioned about what she told victim 1 and his mother about the progress of the case. She might have given them too many details, which would have made her the leaker.

    The location of the grand jury is not secret. If Ganim had someone keeping an eye on the comings and goings there, they could have spotted Paterno, Curley and Schultz going in to testify. Ganim may have also gotten the 1998 police report legally through other channels.

    1. Tim,
      The Patriot News reported (in November 2011) that they had the 1998 police report in early 2011. I'm sure they had it before Ganim got there. In fact, she slipped up and wrote that she hadn't seen it in March 2012.

      I agree the "trap" story was contrived -- just like the Rudy story.

      Eshbach and Fina knew who the leakers were -- obviously.