Tuesday, September 6

In The Lion's Den: An Informative and Infuriating Read

Review by Ray Blehar

Graham Spanier's first hand account of the injustices he endured at the hands of the Pennsylvania's corrupt criminal justice system and the dishonesty from former Penn State officials is an informative and infuriating read.

Spanier takes us on an informative journey of his somewhat tragic upbringing that spans two continents, to his distinguished professional career in academia and an advisor at the highest levels of government, both in the US and abroad, and finally to the unbelievable and infuriating experiences in his attempt to defend himself from overzealous prosecutors hell bent on jailing him for political purposes. 

The prosecutors in his case routinely used the media to convict their targets in the court of public opinion, threatened witnesses with prosecution if they would not condemn the accused, ignored their ethical obligations to the legal community and the public at-large, and engaged in abhorrent behaviors that corrupted the entire criminal justice system in the Keystone State.   

Monday, April 18

ESPN's Paterno hit piece, "Untold," is refuted by the facts

Not Untold: A 1979 Sports Illustrated story mentioned the Todd Hodne incident

Ray Blehar
April 18, 2022

ESPN's Paula Lavigne's and Tom Junod's hit piece on Joe Paterno, titled "Untold," piles onto the false narrative (from the Freeh Report) that the former legendary coach and Penn State University (PSU) protected the football program at all costs.   Like the Freeh Report, "Untold" assigns sinister motives to nearly every action taken by Paterno and other PSU officials with respect to the arrest and conviction of former football player Todd Hodne.  And, like the Freeh Report, "Untold" makes its case mostly through innuendo and uncorroborated statements. 

The facts about Paterno and PSU's handling of criminal cases stand in stark contrast to the story spun by Lavigne and Junod.

1.  According to former judge Carmine Prestia, neither Paterno, nor anyone else from the football program, ever interfered in criminal investigations or asked that his players received special treatment in the 40 years he was a policeman and judge.

2. Former Penn State Faculty Senate chairs wrote that over their hundreds of years of experience they were never asked to give favorable treatment to student athletes.

3. No one from Penn State was convicted for covering up or obstructing the investigation of the Jerry Sandusky criminal case.  

But ESPN wasn't about to let those facts stand in the way of its story.

Wednesday, November 10

10 Years Later: Unfinished Business of Sandusky Scandal

Freeh should have to pay back over $8.5 M plus damages to the University

In my last post, I discussed the long overdue action of naming the football field as Paterno Field at Beaver Stadium as a means of honoring legendary coach Joseph V. Paterno.

But that isn't the only unfinished business of the Sandusky Scandal.

Numerous actions should take place in order to right the wrongs and hold people accountable for their dishonesty.    While the list of villains of this scandal is long, there are some who can be realistically held accountable for their wrongdoing.  Unfortunately, there are others who will walk away from the scandal without getting the punishment they deserve.

First, let's focus on those who can realistically be held accountable -- and former FBI Director Louis Freeh is at the top on the list.

Tuesday, October 19

After nearly 10 years, it's time to do the right thing

"There's never a wrong time to do the right thing."  (Charles M. Blow)

In late summer 2021,  Penn State University honored Sue Paterno, placing her on the cover of the Penn Stater magazine while writing about her life.  Of course, much of the story revolved around Sue's life spent as the wife of legendary football coach and mother of five, as well as her well known efforts as a volunteer for the University and the community.

The column was long overdue and a step in the right direction.

Saturday, May 29

Dishonest Shapiro Continues Cover Up Lie

PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro continues to repeat the lie of Tom Corbett, Linda Kelly, Louis Freeh, and numerous media know nothings that former PSU President Graham Spanier covered up the child abuse crimes of Jerry Sandusky.

Shapiro's tweet, above, contains false and defamatory statements because Shapiro knows that that not a single witness or document presented at Spanier's trial alleged that the former PSU President was ever informed of child abuse.

1.  Spanier did not "turn a blind eye to child abuse."

Gary Schultz and Tim Curley testified that they told Spanier it was horseplay.

The key witness, Mike McQueary, never spoke to Spanier.

No emails or notes (from 1998 and/or 2001) show that Spanier was ever informed of child abuse. 

2.  Spanier did not "cover up Jerry Sandusky's abuse."

Aside from never being informed of "abuse," there is no evidence of a cover-up.  

If this were an actual cover up, the eyewitness would have been sworn to silence (and possibly paid off),  there would have been no emails or notes to find, and the University's lawyer would not have been looped in.   

Instead, Spanier and others communicated openly about the incident on email, Schultz kept notes about the meetings, the University General Counsel reviewed the incident, the incident was reported to The Second Mile, and the eye-witness, Mike McQueary, was not told to keep quiet.  

There was no cover-up -- at least not by Spanier, Curley, Schultz, and Paterno.

And, by the way, what would the motive be to cover-up the crimes of a person who is no longer an employee, coach, or otherwise has no real involvement with the University?

Monday, October 19

The New Trial for Jerry "Hail Mary"

 Attorney Al Lindsay struggled to convince the court that the AG-Freeh collaboration had any impact on the verdict, but at least he was right about investigating grand jury leaks. 

Ray Blehar
October 19, 2020, 11:15 AM, EST

The latest attempt to win a new trial for Jerry Sandusky was another Hail Mary pass.

During oral arguments on October 14th, Sandusky's attorney, Al Lindsay, raised several issues, some old and some new, as to why his client didn't receive a fair, but he failed to provide any real argument as to how the new evidence could have changed the outcome of the trial.

For example, Lindsay argued that the diary of Kathleen McChesney confirmed that there was collaboration between the Freeh Group (FG) and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (PA OG) during the investigation.   

He also argued that newly discovered evidence showed that the FG had interviewed one of the Sandusky trial jurors.  

While Lindsay is correct that these things happened, he couldn't explain how any of them would have impacted outcome of the trial and instead fell back on the previously failed argument of a rushed trial.

Thursday, September 3

Baldwin Couldn't Keep Her Lies Straight

Cynthia Baldwin's statements and court testimony are so full of contradictions that no reasonable person could find her to be credible -- and now her credibility will again be put to the test

Ray Blehar

September 3, 2020, 5:04 PM EDT, Updated 5:22 PM

Back in 2013, notpsu.blogspot.com's post titled "Who's Telling the Truth, Baldwin or Everyone Else"  recounted numerous examples of former Penn State University (PSU) General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin's testimony being contradicted by not only current and former PSU employees, but even by members of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG). 

It's one thing to be contradicted by other individuals; however, it's worse when you contradict yourself.

And Baldwin did that many times over when she testified before the grand jury in October 2012, before the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) Hearing Committee in May 2018, and in her public statements about the case.

The good news for Penn Staters is that Baldwin's credibility is again on the line as a result of former grand jury judge Barry Feudale filing complaint against a sitting Supreme Court Justice.

The complaint will do little to nothing to fix Baldwin's already tarnished reputation. 

In fact, it could make matters worse.

Sunday, August 16

PA Govt & Baldwin Conspired from the Start

The PA Supreme Court's opinion in the Baldwin disciplinary case and other evidence show that PA govt officials and Baldwin were undermining PSU officials from the start

Ray Blehar
August 16, 2020, 10:56 AM EDT

A thorough review of recent PA Supreme Court opinions regarding disciplinary actions against former Office of Attorney General (OAG) prosecutor Frank Fina and former Penn State University (PSU) General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin, combined with other evidence, reveals that Baldwin, former Supervisory Grand Jury Judge Barry Feudale,  Fina, and other former OAG officials were working to undermine PSU officials from the start.

The ODC v. Baldwin opinion revealed that former PSU administrators and legendary coach Joe Paterno were subpoenaed as private citizens -- not representatives of the University.   At the time of the subpoena, Gary Schultz was retired from the University.

As such, there was no legitimate reason for the subpoenas to be routed to Baldwin -- especially Schultz's.

There was an illegitimate one, however.

Wednesday, August 5

Lawyer Rebuts Baldwin's Racism Allegations

Lawyer dismantled Baldwin's argument by using her own record as a Supreme Court Justice 

Ray Blehar
August 5, 2020, 2:25 PM

Attorney Shohin Vance,  a former law clerk for PA Supreme Court Justice Thomas G. Saylor, rebutted former PSU General Counsel's Cynthia Baldwin's claim that Saylor and the PA Supreme Court punished her only because of a purported "racial agenda" when she sat as a Justice.

Racial claims unsupported by Baldwin's record
After being reprimanded by the court for her "incompetence" in representing former PSU officials Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, and Graham Spanier, Baldwin went on the offensive by attacking Saylor and the PA Supreme Court. 

She amazingly claimed that Justice Saylor -- who recused himself from ruling on her case -- had a grudge against her because of a purported "racial agenda."   She doubled down on the allegation in a KDKA interview, inferring that entire court was racist.

Vance, in an op-ed for the Legal Intelligencer, destroyed Baldwin's argument by showing that Baldwin's record didn't reflect a "racial agenda" and that Saylor's had over 3 times more dissenting opinions than Baldwin when they served on the court. 

Thursday, July 30

Analysis: Court Was Wrong. Baldwin Dishonest...AND Incompetent.

The court's determination of Baldwin's mere incompetence was based on an erroneous record of evidence.  An analysis of a more complete and correct record shows that Baldwin was dishonest on many occasions 

Ray Blehar
July 30, 2020, 9:59 AM EDT

Had the PA Supreme Court been aware of a more complete and accurate record of evidence, it would have concluded that former PSU General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin was not merely incompetent, but was purposely deceptive and/or dishonest in her representation of PSU officials, her representations to various courts, and in statements to the public.

But the court was not well informed and instead wrote (Opinion at 66):

The Disciplinary Board, having concluded that Respondent poses no danger
to the public or the profession and recognizing that her misconduct here did not reflect
any dishonesty in the practice of law, recommends that this Court neither suspend nor
disbar her. Instead, the Disciplinary Board recommends that this Court discipline Respondent by and through a public censure.

Fina, Baldwin, & others undermined the justice system
If the court had been cognizant of just the few pieces of evidence highlighted in this blog post, it would come to a very different conclusion -- and would have likely suspended her law license for life.

And the same goes for Frank Fina, who got off easy with a license suspension of one year and one day.

This pair of miscreants (along with several others) colluded to undermine the administration of justice in the cases of former PSU officials Graham Spanier, Timothy Curley, and Gary Schultz.

Even without the benefit of a more complete and accurate picture of the evidence,  the PA Supreme Court recognized that Fina wasn't serious about charging Baldwin for her purported lack of compliance with subpoenas and that he was using her testimony to implicate the three former PSU officials.