Saturday, August 31

Friday, August 30

Tom Harmon: The Untold Story

Gary Schultz's not so "secret file" continues to unravel the false charges of a cover-up by PSU

Ray Blehar

As I mentioned previously, seasoned analysts sometimes detect missing information -- information that should be found, but is conspicuously missing - that leads to solving a case.

In this propaganda campaign by the Attorney General, omissions and false statements have been the norm from the release of the November 2011 Grand Jury Presentment to the most recent testimony at the preliminary hearing.

The AG's accusation of a PSU cover up to avoid bad publicity or preserve the Penn State brand is held together by a web of lies and omissions, a number of which involve PSU's former police Chief, Tom Harmon.

The questions not asked of Harmon (at the preliminary hearings), his apparent false statements, missing witnesses, altered evidence, and the absence of key evidence are all part and parcel of the propaganda campaign.  When you put the pieces together, circumstantial evidence points to Tom Harmon as the person who likely reported the 2001 incident to Centre County CYS and blows up the false narrative of a cover-up by the indicted PSU officials.

I suspect the most important lie, among the suspected lies told by Harmon, is that Schultz never told him about the 2001 incident.  When you look at the evidence, Harmon's contention that he was never told about the McQueary incident just doesn't hold water.

In short, Harmon - like Cynthia Baldwin - is a very likely a cog in the wheel of the Commonwealth's false narrative that deflects the blame from the state's child protection agencies and instead places it squarely on PSU. 

Harmon's Testimony  

Here's a recap of Harmon's testimony:
-- On February 12, 2001, Schultz inquired about the 1998 case (via an e-mail that has not been released publicly).
-- Harmon responds via e-mail that the police report is in the imaged files  (Freeh Report, Exhibit 5D).
-- Harmon also testifed that he knew the file Schultz was asking about was in reference to the Sandusky 1998 child abuse investigation.
-- Harmon testified that he didn't ask why Schultz was inquiring about the file.
-- Harmon testified that he didn't recall Schultz asking for the file and he didn't recall providing it to him.
-- Harmon later testified that if Schultz would have asked him for it, he would have remembered that fact.
-- Harmon testified that Schultz didn't say there was another Sandusky incident in 2001, otherwise Harmon said he would have opened an investigation.

However, the prosecutor never asked if Harmon, himself, had retrieved the file or bothered to look at it.

Nor did they ask him if he ever discussed the contents of the 1998 police report with Schultz.  To be fair, the defense team didn't ask those questions either.

They are interesting questions because Schultz's handwritten note from his personal file says: "reviewed 1998 history."

How did Schultz do it?

Schultz's Review of the 1998 Incident

Schultz could have gotten the 1998 police report from someone else in the University Park police department.  That's possible, but not likely, considering that if someone else provided the file, they'd have been identified as a witness in the case to lock down the pejury charge.  Schultz was charged with perjury because he claimed he was not aware of the 1998 police report.  The charge was made in March 2012 - before Schultz and Belcher turned over the file formerly known as the "secret file."   Therefore, that charge was likely made based on the e-mail evidence, which was turned over in March 2011 according to OAG forensics expert Braden Cook.  The e-mail Exhibit reveals Harmon informed him of the existence of the police report.  Barring the possibility that the OAG already possessed the "secret file," the e-mail is the only evidence of Schultz's knowledge of the 1998 police report that could have substantiated the perjury charge.

Schultz also could have reviewed the 1998 history from his review of the contents of the "secret file."  The file contained at least five pages of hand written notes on the 1998 case, including  Freeh Report Exhibits 2H (2 pages), 2I (2 pages), and one page that contained five bullet points on the investigation.   In addition, Schultz also could have accessed his e-mails from 1998 rather easily.  If the e-mails and notes were the 1998 history reviewed by Schultz, then it would mean he testified truthfully about his lack of knowledge of the 1998 police report.  This scenario is highly probable, given that the Sandusky file was in a drawer in his office and the e-mails were accessible (the system turnover occurred in 2004).

A third alternative was that Harmon pulled the file and provided the information to Schultz verbally.  I find that this is a highly probable scenario, given the evasiveness of the prosecutions questioning, the evidentiary omissions, and behaviors typical of a police officer.

So, let's play this out for a moment in this hypothetical conversation.....

Schultz:  Tom, do we have a record of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky?
Harmon: "Regarding the incident in 1998 involving the former coach, I checked and the incident is documented in our imaged archives." (Actual Reponse)
Schultz:  Thanks, Tom, I just felt like checking on that today - kind of hit me out of the blue.
Harmon: Anytime, Gary.

Rather implausible, wouldn't you say?

Harmon testified that Schultz rarely involved himself in police investigations and could not recall Schultz asking to review other police files.   Schultz also testified that he didn't customarily review police reports.  So, this was not a routine question by Schultz and it was something that Harmon recalled from memory.  Harmon then testified that to his recollection, Schultz did not ask for the file nor did he provide it to Schultz, and that he (Harmon) wasn't curious about why Schultz asked about it.

But what is the reality here? 

Harmon's Inconsistent Behaviors 

The reality is that any policeman worth his or her salt would at least ask the reason for the inquiry -- and suspect something was going on with Sandusky again, given Harmon's knowledge of the 1998 case.   It is also highly likely that Harmon, who checked the imaged archives for the existence of the file and would have retrieved it, considering that his boss was asking about it.

The other curious (or should I say, false) statement by Harmon is his contention that if Schultz told him Sandusky had showered with a child that it would have caused him to immediately open up an investigation.  That statement is incongruent with his behavior in 1998, when a mother came to his police force with an allegation of a sexual assault against Sandusky. Given that Schreffler had opened up an investigation (which Harmon probably would have squelched), Harmon's alternative was to label the file as "administrative information."   It's also notable that Harmon thought it important to notify Schultz about Chambers' psychologist's report generating an incident number with DPW.   However it is unlikely that Harmon chose to label the file as "administrative information" to avoid the media finding out - rather, he did it to likely protect his fellow church goer and former neighbor, Jerry Sandusky, from public scrutiny. 

Harmon's alleged rationale of PSU avoiding bad publicity (not so ironically, the Commonwealth's story of PSU's motive in this case) is also incongruent with his behavior as the Chief of the University Park police, when his police force was arresting PSU football players one after the next from 2000 up until and after the time he retired in 2005.   It's quite an impressive record of arrests - 60 over 8 years (according to a June 11, 2008 blogpost on BlackShoeDiaries) and many of those, including the high profile Maurice Humphrey case, occurred on Harmon's watch.

The evidence indicates that Tom Harmon and the University Park police didn't give a whit about bad publicity for PSU or the football program.

The AG's rationale of a cover-up to avoid bad publicity never made sense.  Now it makes even less sense when you know the history of Tom Harmon's policing activities.

Detailed Timeline Highlights Facts About 1998, Second Mile

A detailed analysis of the 2001 timeline indicates that Schultz did not remember the 1998 report until after talking with Spanier on the afternoon of February 12, 2001 -- and likely after speaking with Harmon about the 1998 and 2001 cases.  Given all of the above, it is likely that Harmon was the person who jogged Schultz's memory about the 1998 case and who was asked by Schultz to report the incident to CYS.

The 2001 Detailed Timeline 

Bold italics indicate suspected activity
 Times in italics are approximate

2/9      McQueary witnessed incident in Lasch. Tells his father & Dr. Dranov - and possibly his girlfriend.
2/10    9:00 AM McQueary told Paterno about the incident. (AM)
2/11    9:00 AM Paterno informs Curley and Schultz of incident (AM)
2/11    Schultz consults with Wendell Courtney.  Courtney later claimed no knowledge of 1998 incident.

2/12    Schultz phones Harmon and instructs him to contact CYS regarding 2001 incident.
2/12    2:30PM Schultz and Curley meet with Spanier.  Spanier was not told about 1998 incident. 
2/12    Schultz e-mails Harmon regarding the 1998 case. (Not admitted as evidence)
2/12    4:57PM Harmon replies that the 1998 police file is in the imaged archive.  
2/12    Schultz discusses 1998 incident with Harmon.  
2/12    Schultz writes note outlining the following:  
           Met with TMC. Reviewed 1998 history. TMC to meet w/JS on Friday. Option to call DPW.
2/16    Postponed TMC meeting with Sandusky.
2/19    Schultz and Curley meet with Mike McQueary
2/22    Schultz e-mail to arrange meeting with Curely and Spanier. (Not admitted as evidence.)
2/23    Spanier sends e-mail to confirm meeting.  (Not admitted as evidence in preliminary hearing.)
2/25    Handwritten note from Schultz outlining next steps.  
2/25    Spanier meets with Curley at his residence to discuss next steps.
2/26    1:57PM Schultz e-mails Curley 
           1. Talk to subject ASAP about not using facilities with TSM.  2. Contact TSM.  3. Contact DPW.
2/27    8:10PM Curley e-mails to pitch revised plan.  10:18PM  Spanier confirms plan. 
2/28    2:13PM Schultz confirms plan.

The (Possible) Schultz/Harmon Discussion

The not so "secret file" states that Schultz "reviewed 1998 history."  I suspect that the review by Schultz included his files on the 1998 report, e-mails, and a discussion of the 1998 case (police report) with Harmon.  

One of the more interesting facts in the e-mail evidence is a passage on the e-mail (Exhibit 2C) of June 8, 1998 from Schultz to Harmon, which states:  "I recall the last time we talked you indicated that there was some aspects of this that you felt you should review with me when we had a chance to talk."

The history of the 1998 case shows that CYS punted the case to DPW after the first day of the investigation, after "realizing" they had a conflict of interest with The Second Mile.  CYS also arranged to bring in John Seasock to perform the evaluation of Victim 6.  The police report demonstrates that Detective Schreffler was critical of Seasock's interview and questioned him about his knowledge of the case.   (Note: The file also appears to have alterations on the page regarding the fateful psych interview conducted by Seasock.) 

At the July 2013 preliminary hearing, Harmon revealed that on May 27, 1998, CYS called the University Park police to request that Schreffler not interview Sandusky without DPW's Lauro being present.  

Given the above, Schultz may have gotten the impression that CYS was not operating on the up-and-up when dealing with Sandusky and that DPW may need to be called in "as an independent  agency concerned w child welfare."  Why would Schultz call out DPW's independence in the matter if it wasn't for the fact he had reservations about CYS? 

Critical Point On Timeline:  Wendell Courtney Consultation

Wendell Courtney's legal review of the incident is the critical point on the timeline that makes the scenario of Harmon as the designated reporter very likely.  While we don't know how he advised Schultz, we do know that the law on child abuse reporting requires a report to be made within 48 hours.

A fair reading of the 2001 law would have provided PSU with two options that would have required them to "make or cause a report to be made" of the incident.  The first option would be directly reporting the incident to child protection authorities and the second would be to inform The Second Mile (Sandusky's charity) with the expectation that they would file the report. 

Schultz's note makes clear that contacting The Second Mile was not the option selected.

If Courtney determined that the "time clock" started upon McQueary's report to Paterno on 9:00 AM Saturday, February 10th, the deadline for making a report would have been Monday, February 12th at 900 AM.  Thus the hypothetical of Schultz directing Harmon to report to CYS on Monday morning would fit the timeline for making the report in the legally required time.  It is also entirely logical that Harmon, as the Chief of Police, would be the individual Schultz would direct to initiate a report.

The option of reporting the incident to The Second Mile didn't arise until February 26th, according to available evidence. It is then logical to conclude, based on the available evidence, that Courtney advised that PSU contact CYS.  The contact of DPW referenced on Schultz note was outside the legal time limitthus was likely a back-up plan (as I alluded to earlier).

Follow up discussions focused on Sandusky's behavior
Note that while there was a legal requirement to report Sandusky (which appears to have been resolved by Monday, February 12th)  PSU officials still had to resolve the issue of Sandusky' inappropriate behavior as an emeritus employee.  It was clear that Schultz and Curley needed to gather facts from McQueary to know what exactly was observed, assess the situation, and determine further actions.

The evidence in the case indicates that Schultz had a greater sense of urgency about resolving the matter than did Curley, considering his actions to consult Courtney about the incident, his contacts with Harmon, and his management of the situation involving his administrative assistant, Joan Coble.

The 25 February e-mail from Schultz to Curley likely originated because of Coble's  "tickler" file.  As Coble testified, she put pending actions in the file and reminded Schultz about them at various intervals.  The March 7, 2001 e-mail from Coble to Curley would be indicative of her use of the "tickler file" to ensure that Curley closed the loop with Schultz on the matter.

Based on this information, Freeh's conclusion that Curley met with The Second Mile on March 19th would be contradicted by not only the March 7th e-mail, but by Spanier's statement (Exhibit 2J) that Curley had met with Sandusky and The Second Mile within days of their February 26th meeting.

Schultz and Courtney Recall PSU Contacted CYS

At the December 16, 2011 Preliminary Perjury Hearing, Gary Schultz made at least six references (starting on page 227) in which he recalled or referenced a report and/or investigation of the 2001 incident by the "the agency" or "the child protection agency" that handled the 1998 investigation.  At one point during the questioning, prosecutor Frank Fina lied to Schultz, telling him that the police handled the investigation in its entirety (page 228).  Here is the transcript from which it is clear that Schultz believed the incident was turned over to the "child protection agency" and that Frank Fina lied.

Wendell Courtney also recalled that Penn State had contacted CYS in 2001.  Page 84 of the Freeh Report states:  "..However, I recall that someone (I don't think it was me, since if it was I would have written documentation of the contact) contacted Children and Youth Services to advise of the situation so that they could do whatever they thought was appropriate under the circumstances, while being apprised what PSU's actions were, i.e., advising JS to no longer bring kids to PSU's football locker rooms."

The AG's press release of the Sandusky indictment and grand jury presentment, incorrectly stated that Courtney represented both The Second Mile and Penn State in 1998 and was apprised of the details of that case.  Courtney corrected the record, stating he had no knowledge of the 1998 incident, a report of a rape in 2002, and did not represent TSM as it's counsel until 2009.

The AG's (Nils Frederikson) response to Courtney's corrections (incredibly) was: "If he wants to engage in semantics, so be it."

TSM confirmed that Courtney was not hired as their legal counsel until 2009.  

In summary, two PSU officials recall a report was made to CYS in 2001.  It would be fantastic if PSU could produce a record of this contact and end this entire mess.

Unfortunately, it appears that Chief Harmon, who didn't want to have a crime log report on Sandusky in 1998, would have been the guy to make such documentation of a report to CYS.

It's likely we now know why PSU doesn't have a record of the 2001 report anywhere in its files. 

What Would Other Missing "Evidence" and Testimony Prove?

Missing E-Mail Evidence
Why has the Schultz e-mail "request" for the 1998 case information never been released or viewed as evidence?  What language does it contain that is so damaging to the state's case that neither the prosecution will introduce it as evidence at proceedings or that Louis Freeh would exclude it from his report?

Did it contain instructions for Harmon to open an investigation or contact child welfare?  Did it mention the 2001 incident?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Another piece of evidence that should be bolstering the Commonwealth's case (of a failure to report by PSU) is the testimony of a case worker or similar individual from CYS.  

But we haven't heard from those people either.

Carol Smith/CYS
The Commonwealth has relied on Agent Anthony Sassano to testify on CYS's behalf in this matter.  Sassano stated he contacted Carol Smith, the Director at Centre County CYS, who informed him that she did not recall any report nor have knowledge of a report in 2002 (sic).   Sassano stated that Smith recalled the 1998 case, but none after that.   

Of course, Carol Smith has quite an incentive to lie, as does anyone else working at CYS who may have decided not to investigate the case.  I suspect that's why she nor anyone else at CYS has been called to testify in this matter.  

There is little doubt that someone at CYS knows about PSU's 2001 report, but hasn't the courage to step forward and tell the truth.

Jerry Lauro/DPW
Similarly, the Commonwealth has not asked DPW program representative, Jerry Lauro, or anyone else to take the stand to testify to the lack of receipt of a report.  I can understand the Commonwealth's reluctance to call Lauro, considering he made statements to the press about never seeing either psychology report in 1998, yet was responsible for arranging one of the interviews.  He's not a credible witness.

Agent Anthony Sassano
 Interestingly enough, Sassano actually let slip (on page 170) that DPW had records of the report (see below)

At the July 30, 2013, Preliminary Perjury Hearing, Sassano was cross-examined about whether he rechecked for the existence of records regarding the 2001 incident.  Originally, Sassano and everyone else (except Sandusky) believed the crime occurred in 2002.   Sassano answered that he checked with CYS, but not DPW. Then he incorrectly stated that he did call DPW and they had no report (page 26).  Therefore, Sassano has yet to close the door on the issue of the 2001 report still floating around at DPW.

Sassano then made the case that the absence of a police report at the time of the 2001 incident was proof of a failure to report because investigations are always conducted jointly between police and child care caseworkers.  Sassano then stated he checked with the University Park police department and they had no report of an investigation in 2001.

And why would they?  

The person who would have opened up that investigation (and report) was none other than Tom Harmon.

Wednesday, August 28

Updates: PSU Reporting, Fencing Update, Eileen Morgan

PSU Ethics HOTLINE 800-560-1637
Call to Report BOT Conflicts of Interest

New Rules at Stalingrad, er, PSU
PSU has plastered a flyer/poster highlighting the policies that will be in effect and how to report any dissident, er, noncompliant behavior.  Amazingly, PSU included reporting conflicts of interests as one of the things to report, but conveniently made no reference to the policy covering its Board of Trustees.  Bottom line:  To report an ethical conflict call here:  800-560-1637 or lodge complaint here

Fired Fencing Coach Letters of Support
PSU axed legendary fencing coach Emik Kaidanov for violating Policy AD67 Disclosure of Wrongful Conduct and Protection From Retaliation.  The firing stemmed from his questioning of a subordinate's actions in reporting one of his athletes of suspected use of illicit drugs.  The athlete was tested and cleared.

Sandusky vs. Sandusky
Eileen Morgan writes what's wrong about the Matt Sandusky settlement and that the TRUTH should still matter.  PSU should not pay settlements for crimes in which they bear no responsibility.

Eileen Morgan: Sandusky vs. Sandusky

The following analysis clearly proves the Penn State Board of Trustees MUST uphold their fiduciary responsibility and review the claim by Matt Sandusky before the settlement is dispersed. 

VICTIM 4’s PIVOTAL ACCOUNT  In the November 2011 Grand Jury Presentment1 Victim 4 testified that abuse by Jerry Sandusky began in 1996 or 1997.  During the first day of the Sandusky Trial in June 2012, we learned that Victim 4 first went to a Second Mile camp in 1996 but did not actually meet Jerry Sandusky until the next year during the second camp he attended in July 1997.  According to Victim 4, the abuse by Sandusky began in the fall of 1997 (Day 1, p. 45).

Seated in the courtroom that day, in support of Sandusky, were his wife and their children, including 33 year old Matt Sandusky.  Matt had publicly stood by and supported his father for years.  According to a 2012 NBC News report3, defense attorney Karl Rominger confirmed Matt’s support of his father.  “You have to understand that Matt has worked with him (Jerry), Matt has helped the defense, Matt literally carried boxes in the courthouse with us,” Rominger said. “Matt has given multiple investigators from the government and our side ironclad statements of support for his father.”  

However, after listening to Victim 4’s account that first day of the trial, Matt Sandusky decided to come forth and declare that he too, was abused by Jerry as a child.  

In the NBC News report, Michael Isikoff writes:
Matt Sandusky contacted police and volunteered to testify on behalf of the prosecution. In his interview with police, Matt Sandusky was asked directly why he decided to change his previous denials of abuse and cooperate with police.
“I came forward, I mean, for different reasons,” he said. “But I mean for my family you know so that they can really have closure and see what the truth actually is. And just to right the wrong, honestly, of going to the grand jury and lying.”    
Matt Sandusky also said that he has been working with a therapist and, as a result, “more memories are coming back.”
Matt Sandusky said his father would enter his bedroom at night and “blow raspberries” on his stomach, then move his hand down his body, rubbing up against his genitals. Matt said he would sometimes cower “in a fetal position” in his bed trying to avoid his father.  

Matt told police he was molested, saying that his father would become sexually aroused by rubbing against him in the shower, during wrestling sessions and in bed.

A 2012 online ESPN article4 also details Matt’s abuse:
"If you were pretending you were asleep and you were touched or rubbed in some way, you could just act like you were rolling over in your sleep, so that you could change positions," Matt Sandusky said.
Matt said that he was undergoing therapy and that his memories of abuse were only now surfacing. He said on the tapes that he tried to flee Sandusky's house and also attempted suicide.
"I know that I really wanted to die at that point in time," he said.
On the recording, Matt Sandusky says he was sexually abused off and on between ages 8 and 15.  While being questioned, he said Jerry Sandusky would blow raspberries on his stomach and touch his genitals. The acts described were similar to accounts relayed by eight accusers who offered graphic testimony on the witness stand.

Defense attorney, Karl Rominger, declared that Matt Sandusky, on the tape, makes "allegations that directly contradict sworn testimony ... directly contradict police statements he'd given previously, directly contradict public statements and absolutely contradict everything his family knows."

NBC’s Isikoff further reports:
Matt Sandusky also said that his father’s molesting stopped when he (Jerry) started to “transition” to another young man who used to stay at the Sandusky house. That boy, now a man known in court documents as "Victim 4," was the first witness at Sandusky’s trial, testifying to years of sexual abuse.
The police detective said on the tape, “You told us that you feel (Victim 4) took over for you, and that he was your dad’s transition?”
“I believe my dad moved on from me to (Victim 4), yes,” Matt Sandusky replied.      

Matt Sandusky was born on December 26, 1978.  During Jerry Sandusky’s trial in 2012, as chronicled above, Matt came forward and told the police he was abused by his father between the ages of 8 and 15.  That means the abuse stopped around the end of 1993 into 1994.  Matt also proclaimed to police that the abuse stopped when his father ‘transitioned’ from abusing him (Matt) to abusing Victim 4.  However, according to the trial transcript, Victim 4’s abuse did not start until the Fall of 1997, making Matt Sandusky almost 19 years old when the abuse stopped.

Matt Sandusky was very clear about two things on the police recording:  1) the abuse by his father stopped when he was 15 years old and 2) it stopped when the abuse transitioned to Victim 4 in the Fall of 1997.  It is an IMPOSSIBLE for those two statements to be true. There is almost a 4 year discrepancy in Matt’s recollection. Matt was a grown man when the abuse allegedly stopped and when Jerry first abused Victim 4.

This week it was announced that Penn State University reached a financial settlement with Matt Sandusky.  This settlement was based solely on Matt’s statements against his father.  Matt never testified against Jerry in a court of law. In fact, the only sworn testimony by Matt is in total support and defense of his father.  
I have argued in another article that Penn State should NOT make settlements until the trials of Tim Curley, Graham Spanier, and Gary Schultz have concluded.  These trials will once and for all determine Penn State’s culpability.  But, it is absolutely maddening to think that the Penn State Board of Trustees would not investigate and vet these post-trial allegations of abuse by Jerry Sandusky.  How is justice being served to the true victims, who had the courage to come forward and testify, when millions of dollars are being given out to anyone merely claiming to be a victim?

In addition, does Matt Sandusky actually have any legal grounds to get a settlement?  The ESPN article also stated:
Unless he recovers memory of rape or deviate sexual intercourse, it doesn't appear Jerry Sandusky could still be charged in connection with the allegations by his son.
State Attorney General Linda Kelly said Friday after the verdict that the investigation was continuing. Matt Sandusky's abuse allegations date as far back as the late 1980s, about a decade before the allegations on which Jerry Sandusky was tried.
If the abuse ended by 1995, Matt Sandusky's deadline for pressing criminal charges appears to have expired in 2003 for rape or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and in 2000 for lesser sexual abuse, according to sex-crimes prosecutors.
On the civil side, Matt Sandusky may have missed his window for seeking damages from Penn State or others.

In Pennsylvania, accusers must now file lawsuits by age 30 in most cases, though exceptions are theoretically possible in the event of concealment or fraud.
"On the face of it, he's too late ... unless there's an exception around it," said lawyer Jeff Anderson, who filed the first lawsuit against Penn State over other Sandusky allegations. His client is not part of the criminal case because he came forward after the charges were filed.

Scores of people on the outside continue to bash the Penn State Community because we won’t accept the false narrative against Joe Paterno and our University that the Penn State Board of Trustees has willingly perpetuated by accepting 1) the falsified Freeh Report without review, 2) the illegal NCAA sanctions without a vote, and 3) victim settlements without investigating or sworn testimony.  We will not accept the lies that have plagued our community for almost two years because to us, the truth still matters.  We will not stop digging and uncovering the facts until the truth is known.

It cannot be repeated enough: The Penn State Trustees MUST uphold their fiduciary responsibility and review the claim by Matt Sandusky before the settlement is dispersed.

By: Eileen Morgan August 25, 2013        

New Reporting Rules at Stalingrad, er, PSU

A student friend of mine e-mailed me and said that posters with the following messages are plastered on the buildings all over campus.  I suggest we take PSU up on its offer of reporting conflicts of interest.  BTW, the BOT policy on COI is not mentioned on the flyer.

Conflict of Interest - Starts at Page 33 (also posted below)
Call: Penn State Ethics and Compliance Hotline at 800-560-1637 

As we welcome new and returning students to campus for the fall semester, all members of the Penn State community are asked to be mindful of their individual responsibility to help keep the University a safe and ethical institution. Members of the University community are urged to speak up if they see or suspect illegal or unethical conduct.
The following resources are available for faculty, staff, students and others to report any suspected illegal or unethical conduct, and to seek assistance:

Reporting a crime: Contact the campus police or security office. In an emergency, dial 911.
Assistance for victims of sexual violence, sexual abuse or sexual harassment:
If a child is a victim of any kind of abuse, including sexual abuse: Contact the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Services "ChildLine" at 800-932-0313.
Reporting ethical violations (including fraud, theft, conflict of interest and violations of University policy, including research compliance, discrimination and athletics-compliance issues):
Reporting a bias or discrimination incident:
There also are other ways to report acts of intolerance. For students at University Park, call the Lion Support Help Line at 814-863-2020, while students at campuses other than University Park may contact their campus Student Affairs office.
In addition, employees should be aware of Penn State's Conflict of Interest policy:
The following University offices also are available:
  • The Employee Relations Division of the Office of Human Resources at 814-865-1412.
  • Office of University Ethics and Compliance at 814-865-8353
  • The Office of Internal Audit at 814-865-9596.
  • College and administrative unit Human Resources Representatives listing at online.
If it is not clear where to turn for assistance, any of these offices will guide the individual to someone who can help.
Training is available on many of the above topics. Please contact the Office of Human Resources' Center for Workplace Learning and Performance at 814-865-8216.
The University does not condone wrongful conduct by any member of the Penn State community no matter what position he or she may hold. Members of the University community are urged to speak up if they see or suspect illegal or unethical conduct, and to be assured that the University will protect them from retaliation.

- selected passages-

Note: Most legitimate organizatons have conflict of interest policies that prohibit ANY transactions or dealings that could be perceived as a conflict of interest.  The PSU BOT's policy allows board members to conduct business with PSU up to certain dollar or shareholder levels.  Not so ironically, this is one of the few policies recommended by the Freeh Report that is LAGGING in implementation.


(d) Related Entity. A “related entity” means a corporation, partnership, 
association or other entity where the Trustee or family member serves as an officer, director, 
partner or employee; expects to receive $5,000 or more in compensation for services in a 
calendar year; holds any equity in a non-publicly traded entity; or holds an interest of 5% or 
more in a publicly traded entity. 

(e) Known. “Known” means that the Trustee has actual knowledge of the 
conflict of interest. 

Section 8.04 Recusal. If a matter in which a Trustee has a known conflict of 
interest comes before the Board for discussion or decision, the interested Trustee shall leave the Board meeting while the matter is discussed and voted upon. The Trustee’s interest and recusal shall be noted in the minutes, which shall be publicly available. 

Section 8.05 Contracts or Transactions with the University.. (a) A contract or transaction between the University and a Trustee, family member or an entity in which a Trustee or family member has a beneficial interest of ten percent (10%) or more and the
contract or transaction is valued at $10,000 or more must be approved by the Board of Trustees 
in accordance with this Section. The University official responsible for the matter must first 
conclude that it is in the best interests of the University to consider entering into such a contract 
or transaction. In circumstances where the Trustee, family member or related entity is 
purchasing goods or services from the University, as opposed to selling such goods or services, 
the matter is presumptively in the University’s interests if the price is fair and reasonable and the 
contract or transaction does not foreclose a similar transaction with another individual or entity. 

In other circumstances where the University is purchasing goods or services, the officer must 
first explore alternatives that do not involve an interest of the Trustee, family member or entity in
which the Trustee or family member owns a beneficial interest of ten percent (10%) or more. If, 
after exercising such due diligence, the official determines that it is in the best interests of the 
University to proceed, the matter must be submitted to the Board for approval. The written 
materials submitted to the Board shall include a description of the contracting process, including 
the use of open and public bidding if possible and practical, and the official’s analysis of why it 
is in the best interests of the University to proceed with the agreement or relationship. The 
interested Trustee shall leave the meeting during the discussion and voting. The Board shall 
determine by a majority vote of the disinterested Trustees whether the transaction or arrangement 
is in the University’s best interests, the price and value provided are fair and reasonable to the 
University and whether to approve the transaction or arrangement. Any such decision shall be 
recorded in the minutes, which shall be publicly available. 

(b) Contracts or transactions of less than $10,000 between the University and a Trustee, 
family member or an entity in which the Trustee or a family member has a beneficial interest of 
ten percent (10%) or more will be disclosed to the Board of Trustees annually in a written report
which shall be available to the public. The report shall include a certification by the appropriate 
officers of the University that such contracts or transactions were made in the normal course of 
business and were fair to the University. 

Section 8.06 Annual Statements. Each Trustee shall annually sign a 
statement that affirms that such Trustee (a) has received a copy of the Board’s conflict of interest
policy as expressed in this Article VIII, (b) has read and understands the policy, and (c) has 
agreed to comply with the policy. 

Section 8.07 Fiduciary Duty. Members of the Board of Trustees stand in a 
fiduciary relationship to the University which reposes special confidence in each member. 
Members of the Board of Trustees shall act in good faith, with due regard to the interests of the 
University, and shall comply with the fiduciary principles of conduct in addition to any other 
state or federal requirements. Trustees bring to their roles varied backgrounds and expertise, and 
they are selected in different ways, but they must keep the welfare of the entire University, not 
just a particular constituency, at all times paramount. 

Section 8.08 Misuse of Information. No member of the Board of Trustees 
shall for personal gain or benefit or for the gain or benefit of others use any information not 
available to the public at large and obtained as a result of service to the University. 

Section 8.09 Gifts and Favors. No member of the Board of Trustees shall 
solicit or accept for personal use or for the use of others any gift, loan, gratuity, reward, promise
of future employment or any other thing of monetary value based on any understanding that the 
vote, official action or judgment of the member would be influenced thereby.

Section 8.10 Pre-Existing Contract or Transaction. A contract or 
transaction that would be required to be disclosed under this Article but which was entered into 
before the interested Trustee assumed office, or which became subject to this Article as a result
of amendments to the Article, and which remains to be performed in whole or in part, shall be 
disclosed by the Trustee pursuant to Section 8.03 but is not subject to the voting and other 
requirements of this Article. 

Section 8.11 Family Members as Employees. A record of all spouses or 
dependent children of Trustees who are employed by the University or an affiliated entity and 
where compensation exceeds $10,000 per year shall be maintained in the Office of the Board of
Trustees and the names and positions but not the amount of compensation shall be posted on the 

Section 8.12 Employment of Trustees. No Trustee may be employed by the 
University in any capacity before the fifth (5th) anniversary of the date on which such person l
served as a Trustee, except as approved by action of the Board of Trustees. 

Section 8.13 Disclosure of Potential Conflict of Interest by Employees of 
the University. Employees of the University shall exercise the utmost good faith in all 
transactions touching upon their duties to the University and its property. In their dealings with 
and on behalf of the University, they shall be held to a strict rule of honest and fair dealings 
between themselves and the University. They shall not use their positions, or knowledge gained
therefrom, in such a way that a conflict of interest might arise between the interest of the 
University and that of the individual. Employees shall disclose to the administrative head of the 
college or other unit in which they are employed, or other appropriate superior officer, any 
potential conflict of interest which they are aware before a contract or transaction is 
consummated. This bylaw shall be published to the University community at least once 

Section 8.14 Consultation. Any Trustee or University official may consult 
with the Secretary of the Board or the University General Counsel concerning the interpretation
or application of any of the provisions of Article VIII

PSU Ethics HOTLINE 800-560-1637
Call to Report BOT Conflicts of Interest