Saturday, May 9

Latest FBI Misconduct Mirrors PA OAG Missteps in Spanier Case

Court documents related to the Flynn case show that top FBI officials did not have sufficient predicate to conduct investigation and withheld exculpatory evidence...the same happened in the Spanier case and other cases

Ray Blehar

May 9, 2020 6:56 PM EDT

According to court filings in the case of former National Security Advisor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn,  the FBI head of counter-intelligence Bill Priestap framed the impending interview of Flynn in this manner (my emphasis added):

“What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?"
That statement, among other evidence, proved their was insufficient predicate to continue investigating Flynn.  The subsequent interview of Flynn wasn't being conducted to determine if Flynn was guilty of anything, but rather to induce Flynn to commit a crime...."or get him fired." 
The "or get him fired" part of the statement completely damned the FBI and DOJ actions in the case.
When have you ever heard of law enforcement officials wanting to get people fired??
For readers of this blog, the answer is in October 2010 when former PA Attorney General Tom Corbett vowed that that he would eventually cause the removal of PSU President Graham Spanier  From that point forward, the Jerry Sandusky criminal investigation grew legs and got moving. 

Friday, March 13

Emmert & NCAA Board Blow Call on Tournaments

Mark Emmert and the NCAA again rushed to judgment in penalizing athletes and harming communities

Ray Blehar
March 13, 2020, 1:25 PM EDT, Updated March 14, 8:30 AM EDT

Yesterday morning, opined that the NCAA and conferences should suspend play until the nation overcomes the coronavirus pandemic and then resume play later in the year.   That solution would not have endangered the health of the athletes and would have allowed for communities to reap the financial benefits of hosting the tournament.

However, instead of a suspension, Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors decided to cancel the remaining winter athletic seasons and spring championships.

The move is reminiscent of Emmert's and the Executive Board's rush to judgment in penalizing Penn State Athletics based on highly questionable data furnished by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Given the time frame of the decision, this was a knee jerk reaction.  Emmert and the NCAA Board did even less research on this issue that it did in the PSU case.

In that case, former Executive Committee Chair Ed Ray admitted to not reading the Freeh Report and emails (obtained in the Corman case) revealed his decisions were driven by media reports and reader comments.  As a result of the Corman litigation, the NCAA reversed some of its decisions, notably the restoration of wins for the PSU football program.

Thursday, March 12

NCAA, B1G, & Others Should Suspend Tourneys Right Now

Emmert's and Warren's decisions to continue play in nearly empty arenas is unsafe (and greedy)

Ray Blehar

March 12, 2020, 10:20 AM EDT, Updated 11:00 AM & 1:26 PM EDT; Updated March 13, 2020, 12:45 PM EDT

Last night, the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended play after it was learned that Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The league really had no choice, given that it takes approximately two weeks to develop symptoms and in that time frame the Jazz played (and possibly infected) the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, and Toronto Raptors.

All of those teams and players are possibly infected and so are their opponents from the last two weeks.

The NBA was absolutely, 100 percent correct to shut it down and wait until the virus subsides to resume play.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Big Ten and the NCAA who have decided to take the risk that no athletes are infected and to continue play in nearly empty arenas.

Friday, February 21

Fina & Baldwin Are Just the Beginning

The decisions to suspend Frank Fina's law license and to publicly reprimand Cynthia Baldwin are  just the beginning of a long line of disciplinary actions to come against current and former OAG officials

Ray Blehar
Feb 21, 2020. 9:27 PM EST, Updated Feb 23 at 11:04 AM EST

Image result for Fina Baldwin punishedOn February 20th, the Supreme Court meted out some long overdue punishment for former Penn State University (PSU) General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin and former Deputy Attorney General (DAG) prosecutor Frank Fina.   

Fina will lose his law license for one year and one day, which forces him to reapply for a license.  

Baldwin will be publicly scolded on April 21 at 10 AM at 819 City County Building at 414 Grant Street in Pittsburgh.

Thursday, February 6

Diary: The Incredible Shrinking Schultz File

Kathleen McChesney's diary and other evidence prove multiple copies of the Schultz file existed and that information was removed from it to frame PSU officials

Ray Blehar
February 6, 2020, 7:25 PM EST, Update 2/7/2020 at 9:54 AM EST

The diary of Kathleen McChesney and other evidence confirm that Louis Freeh's investigators not only didn't find the so-called Schulz secret file, but that multiple copies of Schultz's file were held by numerous groups and that records were removed in an effort to subvert justice.

First, a diary entry of March 30, 2012 states:
"Concerned about Schultz sensitive files not having Sandusky stuff, thick file missing - lots of people said there was file there."

Evidence shows that "lots of people" handled the Schultz file, including the Penn State University (PSU) General Counsel (GC), the Office of Attorney General (OAG), members of the Special Investigations Task Force (SITF), the Freeh Group and lawyers from the Duane Morris and Reed Smith law firms. 

In the PSU v. PMA case, Schultz's former administrative assistant Joan Coble was deposed and asked to verify information purportedly from the Schultz file.  The PSU legal team included Freeh Exhibit 2F as part of the Schultz file.

According to all available court filings, that exhibit was not among the information turned over to the OAG by Schultz and Belcher, but it was purported to be part of the file in 2016.

This is another smoking gun of evidence mishandling on the part of Fina and Baldwin.  Fina got away with similar sloppy evidence handling in the Computergate and Bonusgate cases. 

Wednesday, February 5

Gladwell Gets Backlash Over Paterno Statue Statement

Critics of Gladwell prove that the lies of the November 2011 grand jury presentment and Freeh Report need to be corrected

Ray Blehar
February 5, 2020, 12:10 PM EST

When Malcolm Gladwell announced his support for returning the Paterno statue to its rightful place outside Beaver Stadium, he received a hearty round of applause.   The audience in the State Theater agreed with Gladwell's assessment that Joe Paterno was not trained to detect a serial pedophile and that the legendary coach followed the rules of his University and was punished unfairly.

Gladwell also received some criticism for his position on Paterno and, as it turns out, the criticism is rooted in the lies of the November 2011 grand jury presentment and the Freeh Report.

Image result for paterno statue"

Actually, the criticism predated the event at the State Theater. 

Back in September 2019, Tom Ley, a reporter for Deadspin, called Gladwell's argument the "oldest, dumbest defense of Paterno."  Then Ley used this nonsense to support his position (emphasis is mine):

"Gladwell isn’t doing anything here that Joe Posnanski and Sally Jenkins didn’t already do years ago, which is to excuse Paterno’s failure to call the cops...who couldn’t possibly be expected to understand or properly respond to being told that his longtime assistant coach was seen raping a boy in the Penn State showers."

Ley's knowledge of the case seems to be based exclusively on the November 2011 grand jury presentment because he has no idea that the record was corrected at December 2011 preliminary hearing.  At that hearing, McQueary testified he never told Joe Paterno about a rape and went even further to stated never used the words rape or sodomy to describe the incident in the showers.

McQueary's early clarification about what he told Paterno didn't make headlines and the AP  placed it near the end of its report.  That said,  there is no excuse for Ley to be ignorant of the fact that Jerry Sandusky was acquitted of the rape in that episode and/or that McQueary gave multiple versions of the event in question.

Thursday, January 23

Diary Entries Point to 2001 Email Fraud

The McChesney diary entries add to the evidence the that Freeh's team tampered with a 2001 email to implicate Paterno and Spanier

Ray Blehar
January 23, 2020, 10:45 AM EST

A series of entries in the McChesney diary combined with court documents make the case that Freeh's team tampered with the February 27-28, 2001 email to implicate former legendary football coach Joe Paterno and former PSU President Graham Spanier.

The critical diary entries show that the 1998 emails were discovered separately from the 2001 emails and that the Freeh's team provided only the 2001 emails.   OAG prosecutor Frank Fina remarked that he'd have to "establish the right chain of custody" for those emails.  Fina is currently facing disciplinary action for misleading the court in the Spanier case. 

Court documents prove that the 1998 and 2001 emails were discovered simultaneously in an email archive belonging to PSU former VP of Business and Finance, Gary Schultz.

Saturday, January 18

BOMBSHELL: Exculpatory Evidence Removed From Schultz File

The Kathleen McChesney diary confirms an exculpatory email was removed from the Schultz file

Ray Blehar
January 18, 2020, 4:09 PM EST has long contended that Gary Schultz or someone at Penn State University (PSU) made a report to Centre County Children and Youth Services (CC CYS) in response to the 2001 incident.

Now it appears we have the proof.

McChesney's diary entries of May 1, 2012 detail discussions about the Schultz file and it contains the following bombshell.

"Exculpatory 2.26 email is on the top & they came in the same order where he says they contacted cps"

To be clear, an email was written documenting that the 2001 incident was properly reported and it has never seen the light of day.

That evidence is a game changer and exonerates not only Schultz, but Tim Curley, Graham Spanier, and legendary coach Joe Paterno.

Thursday, January 16

More Smoking Guns from McChesney Diary Upend Freeh's Email Claims

Numerous diary entries confirm that PA OAG and State Police had Schultz's emails prior Freeh's "discovery" of them

Ray Blehar

January 16, 2020, 1:00 PM EST, Updated 1/18/20 at 9:30AM EST

The diary of former Freeh investigator Kathleen McChesney contains numerous entries referencing the 1998 and 2001 Penn State emails that predate the purported discovery of the emails by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

At a nationally televised press conference on July 11, 2012, Freeh claimed that his investigative team independently discovered the 1998 and 2001 Penn State emails on March 20, 2012.   The claim was also repeated on page 11 of the Freeh Report.

McChesney's diary proves many times over that Freeh was fibbing.

Wednesday, January 15

McChesney Diary Confirms Freeh & OAG Misconduct

Former Freeh Team member Kathleen McChesney's diary confirmed that the PA OAG supplied her team with the PSU emails and the Schultz file

Ray Blehar
January 15, 2020, 3:27 PM EST

Yesterday, Ralph Cipriano of released a bombshell report confirming this blog's previous reporting that Louis Freeh's team was handed the emails and the Schultz file by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (PA OAG).

Kathleen McChesney, one of the key investigators into the Sandusky matter at Penn State University, kept a detailed diary of the activities of the 2011-2012 investigation. 

At one point in the diary, McChesney wrote in reference to the email evidence:

"Records - IT: Team working with Atty general, will receive in stages."

On April 2, 2012, McChesney wrote in reference to the Schultz file:

"AG documents received re: Curley and Schultz."

Our August 13, 2013 story confirmed that Kimberly Belcher twice refused to hand over the Schultz file to Freeh's team and instead gave it to the PA OAG in  April 2012.  She also testified that Schultz's legal team provided their copy of the file to the OAG one day earlier.

Belcher's testimony is seemingly confirmed by the diary, in which McChesney wrote:

"Fina got papers from two different sources."

Circling back, McChesney's diary (i.e., "AG documents received re: Curley and Schultz.") also may confirm our reporting that the Athletic Department had maintained a file on Sandusky and that the so-called "Schultz secret file" may have contained information gathered from both the Finance and Athletic Department offices.

Email confirms Freeh, Frazier, and Tomalis waited for leaked emails to be leaked to the press
As Cipriano's blogpost correctly pointed out, the transmission of these materials from the PA OAG to Freeh's team constituted illegal leaks of secret grand jury information.

The illegal leaks go a long way to explain why Freeh spun a yarn about his team discovering the emails and the Schultz file.  To be clear, the only cover-up at PSU was the one being conducted by Freeh and members of the Special Investigations Task Force (SITF).

Emails revealed that individuals from the SITF and the Freeh team were waiting for the leaked information to be further leaked (by the OAG) to the press and for the targeted PSU officials, especially former President Graham Spanier and former legendary head football coach Joe Paterno, to be convicted in the court of public opinion.

Not only was the Freeh investigation a sham, but it became part of Pennsylvania's system of injustice.