Friday, November 9

What is Barron hiding? It's called fraud

The A7's comprehensive review of the Freeh Report will expose the fraud perpetrated by the inner circle of the PSU BOT, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, and the NCAA

By
Ray Blehar
November 9, 2018, 7:10 AM EST

For two prior football home game weekends, former Penn State University (PSU) Board of Trustee (BOT) member Anthony Lubrano ran full page advertisements in the Centre Daily Times (CDT) asking PSU President Eric Barron to make public the findings of an exhaustive review of the Freeh Report that was conducted by seven of the alumni elected trustees (a.k.a., the A7).    

Just to make sure Barron didn’t somehow overlook his first request in the CDT, Lubrano also used a banner plane to get his message out, asking point blank: “Pres. Barron What Are You Hiding? Release the Report.”





What is Barron hiding?

In January 2015, President Barron provided a glimpse into his review of the Freeh Report and it confirmed that the report was not credible.

“I'm not a fan of the report....Freeh steered everything as if he was a prosecutor trying to convince a court to take the case.  Barron added that the report "very clearly paints a picture about every student, every faculty member, every staff member and every alum. And it's absurd. It's unwarranted. So from my viewpoint the Freeh report is not useful to make decisions."

The last line of that passage is likely why we haven’t heard more of Barron’s review of the report.  Barron’s statement that it wasn’t useful to make decisions flies in the face of the Trustees and administrators at the top of the University who threw away hundreds of millions of dollars based on Freeh’s faulty conclusions.



To be clear, former President Rodney Erickson, Ken Frazier, and others weren’t bedazzled by Freeh’s bullshit or bullied by the NCAA into agreeing to draconian sanctions. They were in on this fraud from the start.

It's not a stretch at all to call what happened a fraud.  Here is the definition from Merriam Webster and, in my opinion, it fits Louis Freeh and his investigation perfectly. 

1aDECEIT, TRICKERY specifically intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right 
ban act of deceiving or misrepresenting : TRICK 
2aa person who is not what he or she pretends to be : IMPOSTER 
also one who defrauds : CHEAT 
bone that is not what it seems or is represented to be

Barron, like Erickson before him, serves at the pleasure of the controlling majority of the PSU BOT.  The decision to not release the A7's report appears to be nothing more than a cover-up of a multi-million dollar fraud. 



Sham investigation

In November 2011, the PSU BOT publicly announced that FSS, headed by former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director, Louis Freeh, was hired to conduct an independent investigation and review into the alleged crimes committed by Jerry Sandusky which occurred on the PSU campus.  

For well over two years, Old Main and the inner circle of the PSU BOT misled the public about the independence of the investigation

In 2014, emails and documents obtained by PSU Alumnus Ryan Bagwell and from the McCord/Corman case proved Freeh’s investigation was not independent in the least and was conjoined with the criminal investigation of the PA OAG, as well as investigations by the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference.

But the bigger story here, so far mostly overlooked by the media, is that those documents also exposed that Louis Freeh/FSS wanted to be an investigative arm of the NCAA. 


While FSS was hired for the purpose of justifying the removals of former PSU President Graham Spanier and former legendary football coach, Joseph Paterno, the opportunity presented itself for FSS to use the PSU investigation as an audition of sorts, in an attempt to become an investigative arm of the NCAA.

FSS welcomed input from the NCAA on how to proceed with its investigation of PSU officials.  Similarly, emails and other documents show that then PSU General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin was provided drafts of documents that were under attorney-client work product (privileged information) to the NCAA for its review.   

In short, everyone involved was collaborating with the NCAA from the beginning to “railroad” PSU officials. According to its Engagement Letter, FSS was directed to conclude that PSU officials were enabling Sandusky’s crimes on campus. 

FSS was a relatively new firm at the time it took on the PSU investigation and was looking to make a big splash to grow its business. The inner circle of the PSU BOT was willing to help make that happen.   Emails and documents revealed that much time and effort was spent on developing the public relations strategy that would promote Freeh's work and destroy the University’s reputation -- while making “heroes” of certain BOT members.

Make no mistake, the evidence in this case shows that the Freeh and the NCAA press conferences were done to promote the self-interests of the parties involved, not to serve the best interests of the public or prevent the abuse of children.    


The Freeh Report’s deceptions & unsupported conclusions

The Freeh Report was/is a study in deception. 

The sensational conclusions in the report’s Executive Summary were actually refuted by the information in the body of the report and by the scant evidence included in the report's appendices.  Its 267 pages in volume gave the report the appearance of thoroughness, but much of the report was simply repackaging and repetition of investigative information from the PA Attorney General.   Many of its so-called findings were not findings at all, but merely statements of fact that provided no supporting evidence for its conclusions.

What the 267 pages accomplished, however, was to deter most people from diving into the details and, instead, work under the assumption that the details supported the key findings – which they didn’t.

Most people wouldn’t do the deep dive, but most assuredly, some would. Freeh had a plan to prevent that.

As evidence shows, there was a choreographed computer glitch to prevent the media from actually reading the Freeh Report prior to his grandstanding press conference in July 2012.  Instead, the media was provided with his press conference transcript (that contained conclusions that were not contained in the Freeh Report).  



Without the benefit of reading the report, the media simply took Freeh’s statements that condemned PSU officials and the PSU community as valuing football over the welfare of children at face value (among other conclusions) and reported them as fact.

Later that day, PSU’s former President, Rodney Erickson, and former Trustees Kenneth Frazier and Karen Peetz, publicly praised the Freeh investigation, even though none of them had thoroughly reviewed it.  Their unapproved public statements were viewed by the NCAA as approval of the Freeh Report.

Even though Erickson, Frazier, and Peetz knew that the PSU BOT didn't approve the Freeh Report, Erickson went on the record that he accepted it for the purposes of penalizing the football program (even though he knew, and the NCAA knew, the program had committed no NCAA violations). 

The NCAA was equally derelict in failing to review the report. 

NCAA Counsel, Don Remy, alleged that the NCAA's review of the Freeh Report wasn't necessary because PSU had reviewed and approved it. 

Emails and documents also confirmed the NCAA Executive Committee chairman, Ed Ray, did not read the Freeh Report.  Instead, Ray advised the NCAA should take action based on his reading of an ESPN column written by Rick Reilly – and the vitriolic comments of Reilly's readers.

NCAA President Mark Emmert, who purportedly read the report three times but failed to notice that many of the evidence exhibits were missing,  also (initially) defended the Freeh Report as more thorough than anything his investigators could have done.   

Years later, as a defendant in a civil lawsuit and facing discovery that would fully expose the maneuvering that led to illegitimate sanctions against PSU, the NCAA backed off and called its enforcement action an “experiment.”  After doing so, it restored football scholarships, repealed the ban on post-season play, and restored Coach Paterno’s victory record, while keeping some other sanctions in place.

If there was any evidence at all that Joe Paterno actually put the football program over the welfare of children, the NCAA would have kept in place the sanction of vacating 111 wins, as it did the $60 million in fines, but it didn’t.  

Also, after years of publicly defending the Freeh Report as if it were one of his own children, former Trustee Kenneth Frazier’s December 2015 deposition revealed that he believed the findings “weren’t as irrefutable as some people think they are.”

In the Spanier case, Freeh alleged that 23 of
 his conclusions were opinions, not facts.
As surprising as Frazier’s reversal was, it paled in comparison to those made by Louis Freeh.

In May 2016, the former FBI Director argued that 23 of his conclusions about Spanier and other PSU officials were merely opinions.  Some of the most damning conclusions that drove public outrage were among those 23, including that Spanier and other PSU officials:  exhibited a "total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims", exhibited a "striking lack of empathy", and "failed to adequately report and respond to the actions of a serial sexual predator."

As the evidence shows, those who vehemently defended the Freeh Report’s fraudulent conclusions, including Louis Freeh himself, were forced to back down once they were before a court of law and had to offer more than media talking points. 


They couldn't defend a fraud and neither can President Barron.  

13 comments:

  1. In Schultz's notes and in the email exchange between he, Spanier and Curley from 2001, there's not a single mention of the boy. That's significant, in my opinion. If they were concerned that a boy been abused, he would have been the main topic of discussion.

    How do you explain the gist of that email stream?

    It reads as though they were singularly focused on preventing Sandusky and Second Mile kids from being alone in the facilities in the future because PSU would be legally vulnerable if even an accusation was made against Sandusky. I think they realized what could have happened had V6's mother filed a civil suit against Jerry in 1998. One angry mom would be all it would take. So they took steps to prevent that possible scenario from occurring in the future.

    There's nothing at all in those emails to suggest they thought the boy with Jerry in 2001 had been abused or was a risk of filing a complaint because of what had happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Howard,
      Thanks for reading the blog and for your very insightful comments.

      I agree that if there was any thought that a boy was abused or in danger, that would have been reflected -- at least - in the early communications (February 12 emails and notes) between Schultz, Curley, and Harmon.

      Wendell Courtney's billing record shows that he did legal research on reporting child abuse. Words are important in the legal world and it's important to note that Courtney was NOT researching child sexual abuse.
      Courtney, in a New York Times interview, stated that he was never told about Sandusky sexually abusing children and, if he was, he would have called the police immediately.

      Graham Spanier explained that his (purported) statement that PSU was "vulnerable" was not about criminal or legal concerns, but that Jerry showering with children in the PSU locker rooms simply didn't look good and that people would talk about it. Spanier stated his concern was that Sandusky wouldn't abide by their directive and continue the practice.

      The bottom line was that the 1998 incident being dismissed as a nothingburger informed how they reacted to 2001. That, and that McQueary never informed Curley and Schultz that anything sexual occurred.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Ray. To me, Spanier's statement about being vulnerable is really exculpatory. It was made in the context of an IF/THEN scenario. Something had to happen in the future...Jerry had to ignore their "message" for them to be vulnerable. And since that was the "only downside" on his radar, that suggests there was no perceived downside from what had occurred.

      Delete
  2. As usual Ray has hit he nail on the head once again. thank you for your persistence. Hope some day we can get wider acceptance of the total fraud this investigation and teheresulting actions were and are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Al,
      Thanks for the kind words.

      There are a few avenues left to get people interested in what really happened in the Sandusky scandal but none of them are going to be fast.

      Persistence is the key here.

      Delete
  3. Ralph Cipriano of the Big Trial blog had a June 30, 2018 article based on a "seven-page "Executive Summary of Findings" of that internal review dated Jan. 8, 2017, plus an attached 25-page synopsis of evidence gleaned from those confidential files still under court seal."

    http://www.bigtrial.net/2018/06/internal-review-shreds-louis-freeh.html?m=1

    I've never seen another article about that 7 page Executive Summary and 25 page synopsis from the A7 report. The mainstream media seems to be willfully ignoring the story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tim,
      Thanks for your comments and the link to Ralph's story.

      I suspect Ralph's story was based on leaked information and the rest of the media have not seen that info.

      Delete
    2. Ray - It seems fishy that the mainstream media ignores such a juicy story. It is extremely common for news stories to be based on leaked information, often just statements from anonymous sources. This is a much more solid kind of leak because it is a document that is known to exist.

      I would be surprised if Cipriano refused to share a copy with a newspaper reporter if they asked. Cipriano writes articles for Newsweek and other mainstream publications.

      What would happen if a reporter showed a copy of the leaked documents to Barron or Lubrano and asked if they were genuine?

      Delete
  4. Thank you Ray for keeping us informed and NOT allowing this travesty to go away! We also need to hold Second Mile and its administrators accountable, since that is where the grooming was hatched!!
    Thanks again. For The Glory!!
    Mac

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    Replies
    1. Mac,
      Thanks for reading the blog and for the kind words.

      There are many of us who will not quit until the truth is known.

      Once the truth is known, it is up to the justice system, not us, to hold those folks accountable. Don't hold your breath.

      Delete
    2. The only people still interested in uncovering the truth at PSU are us bloggers. Nobody from the mainstream media wants to take a second look at this; they have their official storyline and their reputations to uphold.

      In their view, anybody who challenges the prevailing wisdom is a science denier. I'm still amazed that nobody from the mainstream media has touched the John Snedden story. A certified federal investigation by a former NCIS special agent and cold case investigator. And nobody cares.

      Delete
    3. Ralph,
      Thank you for commenting.

      You are spot on regarding John Snedden. One would think that his view on the case, given his background, would garner the media's attention. But, as you say, the media is more interested in upholding (what's left of) its reputation and have moved on.

      Interestingly enough, I was told by a sportswriter that the only way he would be pick up the story again is if Sandusky was somehow proven innocent.

      I don't agree with him.

      I believe that if all of the collusion between PSU, the NCAA, and Freeh is exposed, and that the Freeh Report did not reflect the information gathered in the investigation, that could become a national story.

      Delete