Thursday, October 31

Does 2001 Timeline Reveal DPW/CYS Was Called and Failed to Act?

The delay in PSU officials speaking with Sandusky in 2001 is very similar to the delay in 1998.  Does the delay suggest that DPW/CYS was asked to investigate?

Ray Blehar

Some of the most important information in an investigation can be learned from thoroughly examining timelines, dates, and times to determine what exactly happened.

In Report 2, I criticized Louis Freeh's report because it contained only one somewhat comprehensive timeline in the beginning of the report.  As readers of my reports and blogposts know, the specific timelines of various incidents in the Sandusky scandal have revealed some very critical information.

A few examples follow:

-- That Mike McQueary had to tell Joe Paterno that the 2001 incident happened around a corner to enable Curley and Schultz to inform Spanier of the same information;

-- That DPW official, Jerry Lauro, lied to Sara Ganim of the Patriot News regarding his lack of knowledge of the psychology reports in the 1998 case; and,

-- That Ray Gricar did not close the 1998 case on June 1, 1998 because there was no time for him to review the police report, which was completed on June 3, 1998.

1998 - 2001 Timelines

The timelines in the 1998 and 2001 cases have a few things in common that indicate PSU was the more diligent party in terms of investigating Sandusky and that perhaps indicate DPW/CYS intervened in the 2001 case.

First Scheduled Interviews With Sandusky
According  to the 1998 University Park Police Report, ADA Karen Arnold instructed Detective Ronald Schreffler to interview everyone involved as soon as possible (see page 5).  DPW's Jerry Lauro contacted Detective Schreffler and stated that Sandusky was scheduled to be interviewed on the morning of May 7, 1998 (see page 8).  On May 7, 1998, Lauro met with University Park police but there was no interview of Sandusky.  No explanation is available regarding why the interview did not occur.

According to Gary Schultz's handwritten note of 12 February 2001, Tim Curley was supposed to meet with Jerry Sandusky on Friday, February 16.  This interview was also postponed and no one - not even crack investigator Louis Freeh - has provided a reason for the postponement.

Based on the timeline comparison, it is uncanny that both initial meetings with Sandusky were planned for the first week of the investigation, but both were postponed (with no reason given).

Interviews with Sandusky Delayed By Weeks
In both the 1998 and 2001 cases, the interview of Sandusky eventually takes place, but only after several weeks pass.  In 1998, three and a half weeks (25 days) go by before the police and DPW talk to Sandusky.  According the the testimony of former police Chief Tom Harmon, the police had scheduled another interview with Sandusky on May 27, 1998 - only to have CYS call it off because DPW could not attend.

In 2001, Tim Curley eventually met with Sandusky on March 1 or 2 according to the e-mail records and Spanier's notes referencing the case.  Therefore, about three weeks pass (22/23 days)before PSU  speak with Sandusky.  On March 7, 2001, Curley closed the loop with Joan Coble informing her that he informed Gary Schultz he had met with Sandusky/Second Mile.  (Note:  The Freeh Report incorrectly stated that Curley met with Second Mile on March 19, 2001).

The Middle
What happened between the initial scheduling of the Sandusky interview and the actual interview was also somewhat similar.   After May 7, 1998, there was little to no involvement of DPW and CYS in the investigation, aside from bringing in John Seasock to do an evaluation of Victim 6.  Conversely, the University Park police ran two different stings (May 13 and May 19) as well as fielded a call from the Mother of Victim 6 about Sandusky's contact with her son on May 11.

The only activity in the investigation in 2001 was the Schultz/Curley interview of McQueary, occurring on or about February 19, 2001 and the activities on 25 to 27 February to reschedule the interview with Sandusky. So it is interesting that there is some evidence of a possible report, but no specific information on the public record about an investigation.

I submit that the timelines, specifically the delays in interviewing Sandusky, provide an indication that DPW or CYS had  likely been contacted and intervened - at least temporarily - in the 2001 case.  Their intervention delayed PSU's interview with Sandusky.  The timelines also indicate the PSU officials were more diligent about addressing the Sandusky allegations than were state officials.

Penn State Deliberations About Sandusky

The Schultz note of 12 February 2001 reflects a plan that was developed on or about the time PSU would have been required by law to report the incident to DPW/CYS (i.e., 48 hours from first report on the morning of 10 February).  Therefore, it makes absolutely no sense for Schultz to make a plan of contacting DPW outside of the 48 hour window required by law.

So, why the reference to DPW in the note?

Two Issues To Resolve
There are two issues at play in this case, not just one.  One issue is completely within DPW's control, while the other is in PSU's control.

The first issue is that PSU must deal with a report of suspected child abuse.  According to the evidence, research on "suspected child abuse" and conferences with Gary Schultz were conducted between Courtney and Schultz about that issue.  Both men believe the end result was a report to local child welfare authorities.   Also remember there was the slip-up by Agent Sassano stating that a record of the 2002 (sic) report was in the possession of DPW (Sassano has yet to correct the record).

The second issue at play is Sandusky's inappropriate use, as an emeritus faculty member, of PSU's facilities with youths from The Second Mile (TSM).  This issue is such that it could be addressed almost immediately by the PSU administrators.  It is probable that the Schultz note of 12 February 2001 was the plan for dealing with the facilities use issue -- not the plan for dealing with suspected child abuse.

The reference for calling in DPW "as an independent agency concerned with child welfare" is likely a result of Schultz's review of the 1998 case and his discussions with Harmon over the conflicts of interest between TSM and Centre County CYS in 1998.

It is likely that Schultz did not believe that he could go to Centre County CYS if Sandusky and Second Mile "pushed back" on PSU's directive for Sandusky to not use the facilities with TSM youths.  If the "push back" from TSM and Sandusky occurred, Schultz believed he would get a better result if he raised the issue to DPW.

E-mail Authenticity (or lack thereof)
While Freeh, Frazier, the majority of the media point to the e-mail of February 27-28 (Freeh Report, Exhbit 5G) as evidence of Curley, Schultz, and Spanier's decision not to inform DPW, the testimony of Braden Cook proved that this e-mail was not authentic.  According to Cook, his team was provided the Schultz e-mails for a second time on July 2, 2012 (page 70).

The e-mails were first provided in March 2011 (page 69)  on a DVD after it was discovered that the Schultz data was not in their inventory provided to them PSU's John Corro.   John Corro testified to providing three USB keys of data to Cynthia Baldwin.   That means none of the "incriminating" e-mails in this case was pulled from a forensic hard drive or a copy of a forensic drive.  Cook did not say who provided him with the Schultz e-mails in July 2012, however he testified that he was providing e-mail information to Freeh's team and the PSU lawyers for attorney-client privilege review (beginning in late Fall 2011).

Government and private sector document and computer forensics experts who were consulted regarding the authenticity of the e-mails agree that the evidence is suspicious, but that tampering can only be determined through comparison with data from the hard drives. Freeh's history with evidence tampering, as well as Ken Frazier's insistence that the documents in this case provided the information the Board needed to come to make decisions in the case, provide valid reasons to believe the Schultz e-mails may have been altered.

Keep reading and you will discover that the stakes in this case were high enough for Freeh  - who was identified and recommended for the job by Governor Tom Corbett - to make the evidence fit a pre-determined conclusion.

The Inconvenient Truth of the Sandusky Case

The inconvenient truth that the Commonwealth does not want the public to learn, is that DPW and CYS routinely fall short when it comes to protecting children and indicating child abusers.  The grand jury presentment of November 2011 did its best to hide the failures of DPW and CYS to take Sandusky off the streets in 1998.  And I suspect it has done the same in the case of the 2001 incident.

The record of failures of CYS and DPW to properly intervene in child abuse cases and protect PA's children is staggering.  Based on a 2008- Health and Human Services review of DPW, children continue to be harmed in 43% of the cases after abuse is reported.  Mathematically, this computes to an estimated 11,000 abuse cases and approximately 200 deaths since 2002 (the original date of the McQueary report).

Those are just numbers, however.  The stories behind the numbers are quite interesting.

Many of you might recall the story of Aleta Bailey.  Aleta was a little girl in York County who was reported to have been beaten by her mother's live in boy friend, Larry Hake.  The York County caseworker on that case, Beverly Mackereth, requested a police escort for herself because she felt unsafe to investigate the case because of Hake's reputation as a violent man.  After taking Aleta to the hospital to be examined, Mackereth sent the little girl back into that environment - requiring that there be another adult present when Hake was near Aleta.  Five weeks after that order, Aleta was raped, tortured, and murdered by Hake.  The hospital nurses found bruises and swelling on all parts of her body, including her feet.

Most rational people would question how Mackereth retained her employment after this incident, thus it is truly mind blowing that she not only kept her job, but is now the Secretary of DPW.  From 2011 to her promotion in March 2013, she was the Deputy Director of Children and Youth Services -- the agency with the mission to protect children.

In another case I investigated, a child lodged complaints to Clearfield County CYS officials about the abuse suffered at the hands of the parent over and over again.  CYS refused to investigate the case because they had previously investigated and cleared the parent.   The child attempted suicide, but before doing so had vandalized the home.  The child survived, but afterwards was charged with vandalism and had to make restitution. No action was taken against the parent.  The child remains emotionally damaged.

One of the more interesting cases is that of former psychologist Jim Singer, again in Clearfield County.  Dr. Singer saved a young girl's life by reporting her abuse and taking the extra step of hiring his own attorney to approach a judge to get a protective order for the child.  The judge issued the order. A state police investigation of the case revealed that Clearfield County CYS never investigated or even filed a formal report of the abuse incident.  Instead, CYS and other entities retaliated against Singer for reporting the abuse resulting in the loss of his license to practice psychology.  There have been other retaliatory cases in Centre County, though not as extreme as what happened to Jim Singer.

What becomes apparent after studying the issue of child abuse is that the failure to report child abuse is not a problem in Pennsylvania.

The problem is what happens AFTER a report of child abuse is made.  I suspect that the 2001 case is another example of DPW failing to protect Pennsylvania's children.

Coming Soon:  The Failure to Report Child Abuse "Dog and Pony" Shows

UPON FURTHER REVIEW, How It All Began, Sat. November 9, 2013, 7:30PM, Days Inn, State College, PA


Hosted by Franco Harris
November 9, 2013  @ 7:30pm
Days Inn- 240 S Pugh St, State College, PA 16801


    Eileen Morgan
    Ray Blehar
    John Ziegler

Special Guests:
    Anthony Lubrano
    Rob Tribeck

SPECIAL SESSION just for STUDENTS - Toward the end of the presentation, students will be invited to stay for a special Q & A segment.  Alumni will be taking on your questions to discuss the Sandusky scandal and how the PSU Board of Trustees handled it over the past 2 years.

Please join our Facebook group and let us know you will be joining us!  

Sunday, October 27

Spencer Niles: Revealing Penn State’s “Culture Problem”

PSU's culture remains unchanged - among the best at combining athletics and academics 

Spencer Niles

There is clearly a serious “culture problem” at Penn State, but don’t take my word for it, according to a recent report from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania (Harper, Williams, Jr., & Blackman, 2013), Penn State’s “culture problem” lands them in the questionable company of universities such as Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Stanford, Duke, and Georgetown.

10 Universities with the Highest Black Male Student-Athlete Graduation Rates

Rank               University                               Graduation Rate
1                      Northwestern                                        83%
2                      Notre Dame                                          81%
3                      Villanova University                              78%
3                      Penn State University                       78%
5                      Vanderbilt University                             74%
6                      Duke University                                     73%
7                      Wake Forest University                         70%
7                      Georgetown University                          70%
9                      Boston College                                      68%
9                      Stanford University                                68%

Moreover, according to the same study, the graduation rate of Black male student-athletes at Penn State is 13% higher than the overall graduation rate for Black male students at PSU.  The travesty! But wait, it gets worse! The graduation rate of Black male student-athletes at Penn State is the highest in the Big Ten.  Throw in all student-athletes at Penn State and the graduation rate becomes an embarrassing 79%- also the highest in the Big Ten.  A very serious culture problem to say the least!

Let’s put this “culture problem” in perspective.  

For comparison sake, let’s pick at random (not) a couple of other universities such as the University of Washington and LSU.   The graduation rate of black male student-athletes at the University of Washington is 59%.  The graduation rate for all student-athletes at UW is 73%- a 14% difference.  The graduation rate for Black male student-athletes at LSU is 41%.  The overall graduation rate for student-athletes at LSU is 54%- a 13% difference.   As you probably know, a past–president of those two universities is current NCAA President, Mark Emmert.  

Here is the real culture problem that the NCAA needs to address: What sort of university culture allows these racial inequities in graduation rates to persist? 

Let’s take another comparison; the graduation rate for Black male student-athletes at Michigan State University is 45%.  The graduation rate for all student-athletes at Michigan State is 68%-- a 23% difference.  Again, a significant racial inequity.  Yet, according to recent posts by MSU President Lou Anna Simon, ‘it will take some time for Penn State to correct its culture problem.’  


Perhaps Dr. Simon should consider the racial difference in graduation rates at Penn State (1%) versus her own university (23%) before she claims that Penn State has a culture problem.  Again, I would ask President Simon: What sort of academic culture tolerates this racial disparity?  President Simon is either ignorant of the facts or disingenuous in her comments.   

Which is it President Simon?  Neither position is defensible for a university president. 

Those espousing the “culture problem” claim may also want to consider the following.  In 2012, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) recognized the Penn State football program for its Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for the 22nd time in the AFCA's annual Academic Achievement Award survey.  Only Notre Dame has been recognized more frequently (23) for their GSR.  
The AFCA also recognized Penn State for having a graduation rate of 91% using data available in 2012.  According to the website, Penn State received recognition for their graduation rates in 1998-1999, 2001-2003, 2005-2011 as well as 1985-87-88-89-91-92-93=94-95 when PSU was a member of the College Football Association.  In 2002-2005, Penn State’s football program was ranked 7th among 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams for its Graduation Success Rate. 
In short, the culture problem that Penn State seems to have created is that other institutions have trouble equaling the success that PSU has experienced with regarding to blending excellence in academics and athletics.  
As the lead author from the University of Pennsylvania study referenced above noted, “Penn State has one of the most sophisticated athletic academic support systems that I ever seen.”   
So the NCAA can continue to claim that Penn State has a culture problem but their claims do not mesh with the facts.  
Come to think of it, I guess that makes sense.  
The NCAA hasn’t allowed the facts to influence their actions against Penn State so far, why should anyone expect them to really do so now?

Monday, October 21

Frazier and Tomalis High-jacked The Special Investigations Task Force

Review of press reports and RTK e-mail lists indicate Frazier andTomalis (with guidance from Corbett) high-jacked the Special Investigations Task Force.


Ray Blehar

 Acknowledgment:  The Pennsylvania Department of Education provided e-mails and lists of exempted e-mails in response to their requests for information under the Right To Know requests filed by Ryan Bagwell and Bill Cluck.   It is only through Ryan's and Bill's diligent efforts and their willingness to share this information that I can provide the following analysis. 

 An on-going analysis of the Right To Know (RTK) e-mails that were released, information about e-mails that were exempt from RTK, and press releases/reports indicate that PSU Board of Trustee members Kenneth Frazier (Business and Industry) and Ronald Tomalis (Education Secretary), with likely influence from Governor Tom Corbett (Ex-Officio) narrowed the scope of Louis Freeh's inquiry about the Sandusky Scandal.

What began as an investigation of broad scope about the incidents that gave rise to the Grand Jury report became limited scope investigation targeting only a few PSU employees who were part of a larger group of employees that received a contemporaneous report of the 2001 incident.  The upcoming trials or the investigation of Kathleen Kane undoubtedly will reveal some of the others who knew and when they knew it.   However, this report focuses specifically on the changes in the scope of Louis Freeh's inquiry and the likely reasons for the change.

 Original Special Investigations Task Force Plan - November 7, 2011

Shortly after midnight on November 7th, then-President Graham Spanier and then Board Co-Chair Steve Garban made a joint statement following up on the original November 6th release about the Sandusky allegations and impending scandal.  The statement was crafted during an hours long meeting of the Board (reference Lisa Powers Preliminary Hearing Testimony) in which various members of the BOT had provided drafts of their ideas on the scope of the statement.  Spanier, Garban, Powers, and others exchanged e-mails to craft the statement from the drafts into a single message for release to the press.   The release would address the status of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, as well as the plans of the BOT to address the scandal.

 The key points of the message were attributed to Steve Garban, as follows:

 The appointment of a task force that will seek external legal counsel and an independent review of policies and procedures for the protection of children.The public announcement of findings generated by the independent reviewA review, with administrators, of police reporting protocols. An enhancement of "educational programming around such topics. 

 Members of the Board of Trustees reinforced that Penn State is committed to honesty, integrity and upholding the highest ideals."

 Some members of the board, including Garban, expressed disappointment with the statement and said it did not reflect the "sense of the Board."  Specifically, the Board was upset that the statement reflected that Curley requested and was granted administrative leave and that Gary Schultz had re-retired.  According the the Freeh Report (page 93), the Board recalled it was their decision to place Curley and Schultz on administrative leave (Note the inaccuracy of the Schultz decision reflected in the Freeh Report, as Schultz re-retired and was not place in administrative leave status by the BOT).

  PSU Board of Trustees Expansion of Scope - November 8, 2011

On November 8th, Garban announced he was turning over the "leadership" of the Board to John Surma.  According to a factually challenged statement in the Freeh Report, Surma then told the Board that he intended to form a special committee to deliberate on Spanier and Paterno's leadership.   As the facts (not the Freeh Report) show, this task force had a much more extensive mission than deliberating on the status of Paterno and Spanier and the November 8 press release proves that the announcement was an expansion on the themes reflected in the November 7 press release by Spanier and Garban.  I have added emphasis on the passage reflecting the BOT's proposed scope of the investigation.  The press release of November 8, 2011 follows:

 "The Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University is outraged by the horrifying details contained in the Grand Jury Report. As parents, alumni and members of the Penn State Community, our hearts go out to all of those impacted by these terrible events, especially the tragedies involving children and their families. We cannot begin to express the combination of sorrow and anger that we feel about the allegations surrounding Jerry Sandusky. We hear those of you who feel betrayed and we want to assure all of you that the Board will take swift, decisive action.  At its regular meeting on Friday, November 11, 2011, the Board will appoint a Special Committee, members of which are currently being identified, to undertake a full and complete investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the Grand Jury Report. This Special Committee will be commissioned to determine what failures occurred, who is responsible and what measures are necessary to insure that this never happens at our University again and that those responsible are held fully accountable. The Special Committee will have whatever resources are necessary to thoroughly fulfill its charge, including independent counsel and investigative teams, and there will be no restrictions placed on its scope or activitiesUpon the completion of this investigation, a complete report will be presented at a future public session of the Board of Trustees.  Penn State has always strived for honesty, integrity and the highest moral standards in all of its programs. We will not tolerate any violation of these principles. We educate over 95,000 students every year and we take this responsibility very seriously. We are dedicated to protecting those who are placed in our care. We promise you that we are committed to restoring public trust in the University."

 PSU Board of Trustees Meeting (same scope as 11/8) - November 11, 2011

There is no mention of this meeting in the Freeh Report, likely because it provides significant understanding of why the Freeh Report only focused on the acts of PSU officials and did not consider the failures of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Office of Children and Youth Services (Centre County) and The Second Mile.   According to the minutes of the meeting, Paula Ammerman repeated the statement of November 8, 2011, as follows:

 "A statement was released on Tuesday, November 8, noting that the task force will undertake a full and complete investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the Grand Jury Report. It will be commissioned to determine what failures occurred, who is responsible, and what  measures are necessary to insure that this never happens again.  There will be full accountability to those found responsible. All resources will be made available for the committee to fulfill its chargeThere will be full accountability for and there will be no restrictions placed on its scope or activities. Upon the completion of this  investigation, a complete report will be presented at a future public session of the Board of Trustees."

 At that point, Ammerman turned the floor over to Kenneth Frazier for his remarks and that's when the high-jacking took place.

 The Frazier/Tomalis High-Jacking 

"Thank you, Mr. Chair. I would just start by saying that the special committee will take very seriously its charge of conducting a complete and independent and separate investigation which will be viewed as rigorous, objective, and impartial into the matters that you just discussed. I would also say that the Board has made it clear that sexual abuse, and in particular, child sexual abuse is completely unacceptable in any setting, but it has absolutely no place at Penn State University, and because of that, the special task force will bring all of its resources, including independent counsel to determining whether or not officers and employees of the University acted responsibly in connection with these allegations and whether, going forward, we need any changes to the University's policies or procedures to ensure the protection of children in the future. So, I will only say that, along with Secretary Tomalis, we will do everything in our power to ensure that we give the community, our students, their parents, and our alums the best indication that we've looked at everything, talked to everyone, looked at all the documents that we can, with the help of outside counsel, and that we are going to get to the bottom of all of these matters. I appreciate your support and I look forward to reporting back in the future."

 First, it should be noted that at the time Frazier made this announcement, PSU had yet to name the members of the task force and, as e-mails show, deliberated on who its members would be until November 17th.  Therefore, the narrowing of the scope from a full investigation to just on PSU officials was decided not by the full task force, but by Frazier and Tomalis.  It is also notable that a public announcement of the report's result also appeared to be taken off the table. 

It is also important to note that at the time that Frazier and Tomalis made this decision, they would have had access to the 1998 University Park Police Report, which then PSU Counsel, Cynthia Baldwin obtained in January 2011.  As most readers of this blog know, the 1998 police report indicates the lackadaisical nature of the DPW investigation on one hand, and the diligence of the University Park police, particularly Detective Ronald Schreffler, on the other.  Also, as most readers of this blog know, the 1998 police report was also noticeably absent from the Appendices of the Freeh Report. 

Clearly, the November 2011 Grand Jury Presentment diminished DPW's and CYS's roles in the 1998 investigation, essentially laying the blame for not bringing Sandusky to justice on the University Park Police and then-District Attorney, Ray Gricar.   It seems quite obvious that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, represented by Tomalis, as well as the Governor, pursued a similar strategy in ensuring that the PSU inquiry focused just on PSU and not the Commonwealth's agencies (or The Second Mile). 

The question to many is why would Frazier go along with this and not pursue a full investigation, as originally planned?  And how did we end up with Louis Freeh, the disgraced former FBI Director, headlining the investigation?

RTK E-mails and Exempted Lists Provide Insights
The earliest e-mails involving Tomalis are on November 5, 2011, when he was informed the BOT would meet in Executive Session that day.  Since Tomalis was not a member of the Executive Committee, it is unknown why Paula Ammerman informed him of the meeting.  However, on November 8, shortly after the BOT announced the formation of the Special Investigations Task Force (SITF), Tomalis sent an e-mail to Steven Aichele, Pennsylvania's General Counsel,  and J. Schultz, subject RE: Attorney Recommendations.   Apparently, this was for the special counsel attorney position because PSU had already gotten its legal representation for the Sandusky scandal in place by November 6th.

One of the attorneys considered for the job was Philadelphia suburbs Congressman Pat Meehan.  Tomalis and Frazier exchanged e-mails about Meehan on the afternoon of November 11th.  Later that evening, four more e-mails were exchanged with the subject "Re: Gov." between Frazier and Tomalis.   While we know that Louis Freeh eventually got the position - with Corbett's effusive praise - the story of why Meehan was not selected is easily answered by an internet search or two.   

While Meehan was the U.S. Attorney operating from Philadelphia, he utilized the FBI to assist in wiretapping of a city official suspected of dealing drugs.  However, the wiretap evidence revealed widespread municiple corruption, as well as tax evasion, embezzlement, and extortion, which were then prosecuted by Meehan.  Apparently, Frazier, Tomalis, and Corbett didn't want anything to do with a lawyer who might end up following the evidence that could have/would have led to arrests for similar crimes. 

It is highly probable that Meehan's history disqualified him for the investigation at PSU.  Corbett likely preferred a hired gun like Freeh, who had more than a little history with manipulating evidence.

On November 14th, Frazier's administrator notified him that Governor Corbett wanted a conference with him the following day (the 15th) at 2:45PM.  Frazier forwarded an e-mail of the meeting notice to Garban, Surma, and Tomalis.  Later that evening, Frazier and Tomalis exchanged e-mail, very likely regarding participation of "Distinguished Alumni" on the SITF.

November 15th brought more deliberation on Alumni Representation on the SITF between Ammerman, Garban, Surma, Frazier, and Tomalis.  These deliberations would continue for most of the day on the 17th, until they arrived at a decision to invite former astronaut Guion "Guy" Bluford to represent alumni on the panel.  Also on the 17th, Frazier and Tomalis discussed bringing in a "PR Pro" and the firm Kekst was considered.   It is not clear if Kekst was hired or that if Ketchum supported the PR effort that would ensue on November 21.

On November 18, Frazier and Tomalis exchanged two e-mails titled "Re: Monday Press Briefing Memo," and forwarded "FW: Monday Press Briefing Memo" to Garban and Surma. This memo was apparently for the announcement of the selection of Louis Freeh.  The Freeh engagement letter is dated November 18, confirming the purpose of the e-mails.

The next afternoon (19th), Paula Ammerman sent an e-mail to all trustees announcing a briefing call for Sunday, November 20th.  

The hiring of Louis Freeh was announced with much fanfare on November 21st. 

Corbett Responds to SITF and Freeh Hire

Governor Corbett's responses to a November 22, 2011, Question and Answer session on the investigation appear to be quite transparent in light on the RTK information:

 Q: If it is necessary, will your administration support extra money for Penn State's internal investigation, and do you worry that the investigation will obstruct or get in the way of the attorney general's investigation?

Corbett:   Ah, let me talk about the Penn State investigation first.
 I'm very pleased with Ken Frazier leading that.  Ken – I've only known him a short time – but I'm very impressed with his leadershipI'm very impressed that he has put together some people, including Ron Tomalis, on behalf of the administration and also as [state] secretary of education, on that team, and the selection of Louis Freeh is I think a very good one. I'm sure most of you by now know the former director of the FBI and former federal judge Louis Freeh was appointed.

 And I think one of the reasons that someone like Mr. Freeh was appointed is because he understands the role of a grand jury investigation, the role of the prosecutors and will work well with the attorney general's office and Attorney General Linda Kelly so that [obstruction of the attorney general's investigation] does not happen.When it comes to the financial side of it, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. 

Q: Can any investigation of Penn State be truly credible if it is not truly independent? Why should the board of trustees be allowed to investigate itself?

 Corbett: "Well I think the board of trustees has to investigate on their own what was done and what wasn't done, and this is an investigation done according to them.

 I'm not sure who would have the authority to do an independent investigation.

I'm sure that the General Assembly will ask the questions. I'm sure the attorney general's investigation continues to look into what happened.

But I think it's the responsibility of the board of trustees, from their perspective, to determine what they were told, when they were told, why they were told, who told them, who knew what – you all can ask the questions – but it's their responsibilitythe fiduciary responsibility to, as the board of directors for want of a better description, deal with Penn State. They're the ones who have to authorize the investigation. 

Next question."

And there you have it. 

Penn State decided to investigate Penn State because they're the only ones who can authorize it -- so said Governor Corbett - whose fingerprints are all over it.

Friday, October 18

EILEEN MORGAN: Fina (and Math) Blow Holes In Freeh Report: JVP Not Part of Cover Up

Fina’s Amazing Revelation

Eileen Morgan

We all know by now that Louis Freeh was hired by Penn State to ‘conduct a full, fair, and completely independent investigation’1 regarding the criminal charges that had been brought against Jerry Sandusky in 2011.  I have written extensively, along with my colleagues, that Freeh’s investigation was anything but full, fair, or independent (or factual for that matter).

Athough the mainstream media may not be interested or aware of what we have to say, it should pay close attention when former PA state Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina states that he found ‘no evidence’ that Joe Paterno was involved in covering-up Sandusky’s child abuse.  Fina was one of the former prosecutors who conducted the probe into child abuse allegations against Sandusky and ultimately convinced the jury to convict Sandusky on 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse.

This bears repeating.  

On September 4, 2013, former Sandusky prosecutor Frank Fina claimed, “I do not” believe Coach Paterno was a part of the conspiracy to conceal -- to cover-up the crimes at Penn State by Jerry Sandusky. “And, I’m viewing this strictly on the evidence, not any kind of fealty to anybody. I did not find that evidence.”2

Except for a few local media outlets mentioning this incredible information, Fina’s declaration was not widely disseminated on the newswire 24/7 like those egregious Findings and Conclusions by Louis Freeh on July 12, 2012.  However, had Fina said the opposite, that during his investigation he indeed found evidence that would implicate Paterno and that he would be charged if alive today, you know, without a doubt, that radio, tv, and message boards would have been lighting up and buzzing 24/7 with this astonishing revelation. 

It’s unfortunate that society loves to take part of tearing someone down but wants no part of the truth that vindicates that someone they had so much fun destroying. 

Not only was that a startling announcement, but Fina also maintained that Penn State President Graham Spanier, Senior Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley were putting the school's brand above the repeated sexual abuse of young boys on its campus.  Fina said, “They had been [obstructing justice] for many years.”2

I previously asked if Fina’s extrajudicial statements regarding Spanier, Schultz, and Curley, violated any Rules of Conduct, but now I ask: Does Fina’s statement regarding Joe Paterno in conjunction with Freeh’s Findings actually exonerate all four men?

Freeh Refresher Course
On the morning of July 12, 2012, Freeh conducted a press conference in which he read his 7 page summary statement1 and announced the release of his 267 page Freeh Report.3

Pages 4-6 of his statement contained an overview of his Findings.  Those three pages alone contained at least 10 specific references to Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, and Curley of allegedly knowing about Sandusky’s crimes, showing no regard for the child victims, and covering up the crimes.

In summary, according to Freeh, Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, and Curley allegedly:
  •           Had a total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims.
  •           Failed to take steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.
  •           Did not demonstrate any concern for the victims.
  •           Exposed the child (2001) to additional harm.
  •           Repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities.
  •           Knew about a 1998 criminal investigation and showed no concern about that victim.
  •           Failed to alert the Board of Trustees in 1998 or take action against Sandusky.
  •           Had callous and shocking disregard for child victims.
  •           Took no responsible action after February 2001.
  •           Showed inaction and concealment.

Freeh claims the ‘most important evidence of this investigation’ were critical 1998 and 2001 emails among Spanier, Schultz, and Curley relating to Sandusky’s crimes.

Freeh also alleges that Joe Paterno was the mastermind behind the cover-up of Sandusky’s crimes and that Paterno changed the plan of Spanier, Schultz, and Curley going to the authorities.  Freeh bases this solely on one email, ‘the most important evidence of the investigation.’

Paterno Did Not Change Plan

I thoroughly explain on pp. 50-57 of my Freeh Report Analysis how Freeh’s own evidence proves this allegation is completely false.  Here is the summary.  (It is important to note that Spanier, Schultz, and Curley have not had their day in court and are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Based on their testimony, Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, and Curley did not believe, based on the information reported to them, that the 2001 shower incident was criminal in nature, but rather inappropriate behavior by Sandusky horsing around with a minor.)

Freeh states a handwritten note by Schultz on Feb. 25, 2001, discusses reporting the Sandusky incident to Department of Public Welfare (DPW).  On Feb. 26, 2001, Schultz emailed Curley to confirm the plan, including reporting to DPW. On Feb. 27, 2001, Curley emailed Schultz and Spanier saying that after discussing the matter with Paterno the day before, Curley wanted to change the plan and possibly not inform DPW if Sandusky was cooperative.

Freeh alleges, “After Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno, however, they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities.”

“Based on the evidence, the only known, intervening factor between the decision made on February 25, 2001 by Spanier, Curley, and Schultz, to report the incident to the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), and then agreeing not to do so on February 27th , was Mr. Paterno’s February 26th conversation with Mr. Curley.”

Freeh further solidified Paterno as the orchestrator of the cover-up by alleging that Paterno’s words carried a lot of weight with Curley, who would run big decisions by Paterno. And, that Curley would follow his instructions regardless of consequences.

Thus, Freeh claims that Paterno changed the plan and led the other three men away from reporting to DPW by stating that the only ‘intervening factor to report the incident’ was Paterno’s conversation with Curley on Feb. 26, 2001.

However, Freeh writes in a previous section of his report, ‘A contemporaneous “confidential” note (Exhibit 5C) of a February 12, 2001 meeting between Schultz and Curley reflects that the men “reviewed 1998 history.” The note states that Schultz and Curley “agreed [Curley] will discuss with JVP [Paterno] & advise we think Curley should meet with JS [Sandusky] on Friday. Unless he confesses to having a problem, [Curley] will indicate we need to have DPW review the matter as an independent agency concerned with child welfare.” 

Without ever speaking to McQueary, Schultz and Curley had already decided that not reporting Sandusky’s conduct to authorities may be an option.’

Freeh confirms by his own admission that Schultz and Curley had already decided (2 weeks earlier) that NOT reporting Sandusky’s conduct to authorities may be an option before even talking to McQueary (or Paterno the second time). The men also state they want to go meet Jerry on Friday (in 4 days) February 16, 2001 (before Curley even talks with Joe on Feb 26), which means the plan Schultz & Curley ultimately decided to follow contained the ORIGINAL options. It had NOTHING to do with Joe changing the plan or intervening.

Even though I prove, based on Freeh’s own evidence, that Paterno did not orchestrate a cover-up, it is clear from his press release and his full report that Freeh emphatically concludes that the four most senior leaders at Penn State – Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, and Curley, conspired to conceal the truth about Sandusky and that Paterno was the leader of the cover-up.  This so-called Finding was the most crucial to Freeh’s probe and was based on one email-‘the most critical evidence of the investigation.’

Math 101
Based on Freeh’s conclusions we can write the following formulas:

Spanier + Schultz + Paterno + Curley = Cover-Up      And      Spanier + Schultz + Paterno + Curley = 4. 

Based on the transitive property:  4 = Cover-Up

Now take into consideration Frank Fina’s statement.

“I did not find evidence” that Coach Paterno was a part of the conspiracy to conceal -- to cover-up the crimes at Penn State by Jerry Sandusky.

Considering Fina’s statement, the formula now becomes:

Spanier + Schultz + Curley = 3.   We already know: 4 = Cover-Up. 

Since 3 ≠ 4   then   Spanier + Schultz + Curley ≠ Cover-Up.

Fina Exposes Freeh’s Baseless Findings
This momentous proclamation by Fina takes Paterno, the central player, out of the formula of Freeh’s crucial Finding and therefore, that Finding falls flat on its face.  In fact, if the most damning conclusion based on the most critical piece of evidence falls flat on its face, then the entire Freeh Report loses all credibility and must be publicly rejected by the Penn State Board of Trustees.

Fina Nor Freeh Prove Cover-Up
 Also, consider this.  How can you possibly have a cover-up without Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary?  I have previously written how a cover-up is impossible without the key witness, McQueary, being a conspirator.  But, now, add the fact that the central Penn State figure, previously accused of covering-up, is no longer a conspirator, and you cannot remotely have a cover-up.  It is absolutely impossible.  If the key witness, McQueary, is not involved in a cover-up but is free to talk about the incident to anyone he pleases, and if Paterno is not involved in covering up Sandusky’s behavior, then how can a cover-up be plausible with only Spanier, Schultz, and Curley?  And oh, by the way, Curley did not keep Sandusky’s behavior quiet and only between the three of them. Curley went outside of Penn State and informed the Director of The Second Mile, who then told two Second Mile board members of Sandusky’s behavior.  

Again I ask: How can there logically be a concealment of Sandusky’s behavior by only 3 out of 11 men (i.e., Mike McQueary, John McQueary, Dr. Dranov, Joe Paterno, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, Graham Spanier, Wendell Courtney, Jack Raykovitz, Bruce Heim, & Bob Poole) who all knew about the February 2001 Sandusky incident witnessed by McQueary?    

In addition, if Paterno was not the mastermind behind the cover-up, then who was?  

No Flipping
If it was Spanier, then Curley and Schultz would have turned on him and pled to a lesser charge.  If Curley and Schultz were behind the cover-up, then Spanier would have turned on them and made a deal with the Attorney General.

The answer to all these questions is very simple.  

There was no cover-up.  

There is no evidence of a cover-up.  

There is no logical explanation of a cover-up given all the facts above.  

And finally, there was no need for a cover-up because the former Penn State leaders - Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, and Curley - did not know back in 2001 that the reported horseplay was actually child sex abuse as we all have come to now know.  It really is that simple.


Monday, October 14

Central Mountain High School Probe Not Just About Aaron Fisher

USAToday's report of the AG's probe at CMHS should do more than re-plow old ground

Ray Blehar

An e-mail alerted me to the USAToday story that went to press on October 7th regarding the Pennsylvania Attorney General's probe into the actions of Central Mountain High School in the Sandusky case.

As I read the story, it was surprising to find out that CMHS Principal Karen Probst's call to Clinton County Children and Youth Services was to not just alert officials about an incoming complaint about Sandusky, but an attempt to diminish the credibility of Aaron Fisher and his mother, Dawn Hennessy.

This is the first new information in the case since we heard Frank Fina state there was no evidence to support Joe Paterno's role in a cover-up.  However, the probe at CMHS could reveal more new information than the USAToday article reported.

While the article went on to not only detail the foot-dragging by CMHS regarding Fisher's complaint, it also highlighted some of the other well-known unusual activities of Sandusky that the school ignored, including:

-- Sandusky devoted unusual attention to boys at school who were involved with The Second Mile;
-- Sandusky removed children from class to counsel them;
-- Vice-Principal Turchetta retrieved children from school activities to see Sandusky;
-- Truchetta testified Sandusky acted "clingy and needy" when students broke off relationships with Sandusky and that Sandusky's behavior was suspicious.

The stories of the other children at CMHS may likely provide one of the keys to understanding why the investigation took so long.

Most people familiar with the case are aware of one other boy, F.A., who was referenced in the grand jury presentment as being subject to the unwanted non-sexual touching and tickling by Sandusky.  F.A. reportedly stayed at Sandusky's home one time and at the same time as Fisher.

But who were the other boys that Sandusky took out of class and what happened to them?

The Police Investigation

According to public records, the police investigation into Fisher's complaint was first undertaken by Troopers Cavanaugh and Akers in December 2008.  Neither man testified at the trial nor did their names appear as potential witnesses for the prosecution.   Allegedly, they did not identify any victims from CMHS who knew Aaron Fisher.

In February 2009, Cavanaugh and Akers were replaced by Trooper Lear.  Lear did not testify at the trial nor did his name appear on the list of potential witnesses for the prosecution.  Allegedly, Lear did not identify any victims from CMHS who knew Fisher.

In June 2009, Trooper Scott Rossman replaced Lear.  Rossman testified at the trial and was caught making false statements under oath.  Allegedly, like the other officers who interviewed Aaron Fisher, he did not identify any other victims from CMHS who knew Fisher.

One of the reasons that the police failed to identify possible victims is that they relied on Fisher to point out the other children.  According to Fisher's book, Silent No More, the police did not obtain any records from The Second Mile regarding participants in their program until January 2011 - 25 months into the investigation.

But there is more to the story.

According to Mike Gillum, the state trooper who typically investigated sexual abuse incidents was officer Patterson.  Gillum was surprised when Akers and Cavanaugh showed up to interview Fisher and he suspected something was not quite right about their assignment to the case.  While they may be fine law enforcement officers, it is highly likely that they were not trained to recognize the signs of possible sexual abuse and did not recognize that some of Fisher's friends may have been victims.

Inconsistency of Testimony and Peer Pressure

In 1998, there was as group of about six to eight boys who were frequently seen with Sandusky and five of them testified to varying levels of abuse at the trial.  The inconsistency of testimony is easily explained by the research on compliant victim behavior, which states that compliant victims will deny, downplay, or exaggerate the abuse they suffered, often in an attempt to satisfy the investigator's or evaluator's expectations.   More often that not, however, when a group of children have been abused, the offender uses bonding, competition, and peer pressure from within the group to keep the children from disclosing abuse.  To wit:

The offender may use peer pressure to control his victims, and the children will enforce the rules on each other. No victim wants to be the one to ruin it for anyone  else or embarrass others, and each victim may think he or she is the offender’s “favorite.” All these techniques simply capitalize on the developmental needs of children of different ages. 

I suspect, just as in 1998, there appears to have been a similar group of children/minors at CMHS who were in contact with Sandusky in the 2003 to 2008 time frame.  Sandusky became a volunteer assistant football coach at CMHS in 2003, which was a least a year prior to him meeting Aaron Fisher through The Second Mile camp in 2004.  Fisher also testified that he was with Sandusky and a group of boys at the Blanchard Dam and other places.

Missing the Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

This passage from page 73 of the NCMEC & DOJ Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis provides some valuable insights on child molestation that I suspect were not known to the police investigators:

It is easy to be judgmental toward victims when you look at only the end product of their seduction. 
At the beginning of the relationship the child is looking for friendship, emotional support, a job, or just some fun. The lowering of sexual inhibitions is usually done so gradually and skillfully the victim does not realize he or she is a victim until it is too late. It may begin with simple affection such as a pat, hug, or kiss on the cheek.  In addition to being part of the seduction process, such activity can also be sexual acts themselves. Sexual activity can begin with conversation about sex. This might include “dirty” jokes and encouraging children to share their sexual attitudes and feelings. The activity can progress to fondling while wrestling, playing hide-and seek in the dark, playing strip poker, swimming nude in the pool, drying the child with a towel, massaging an injury, giving a back rub, tickling, playing a physical game, or cuddling in bed. Some offenders may have no interest in progressing beyond such acts. They are not a means to an end, but an end in themselves as their preferred sexual activity.

This passage contained many of the behaviors that the victims of Sandusky testified about at the trial and grand jury.  It cannot be understated that those behaviors were mentioned to trained DPW and CYS caseworkers in the 1998 case and were somehow not considered signs of sexual abuse.  It appears those signs may also have missed with F.A. and possibly others in 2008 and 2009 during the initial stages of the investigation.

There is no question that the Kane/Moulton investigation needs to review the records of the police interviews of the CMHS children (if the records still exist) to determine if signs were missed or if there were simply no disclosures from the children involved.

Finally, the investigation needs to determine if any later abuse could have been prevented.

Fisher, Others Not Protected

The November 2011 grand jury presentment reported that Sandusky had called Fisher 61 times from January 2008 to July 2009.   If there were any calls between January 2009 and July 2009, those calls would provide evidence that the Clinton County CYS was not diligent in ensuring that The Second Mile put a plan in place to prohibit Sandusky from having contact with Fisher and other children.

According to the Public Welfare Code, Pa. 055§ 3490.56 (b) and (e), Clinton County CYS should have required the The Second Mile to put a protection plan in place during the investigation and after Sandusky had been indicated.  This plan should have prevented Sandusky's access to all children, not just Aaron Fisher from November 20, 2008 forward.

Given that Sandusky did not retire officially from The Second Mile until September 2010 - nearly two years after he was indicated for abusing Aaron Fisher, this was a clear violation of the Public Welfare Code and also requires follow-up investigation by the Attorney General.

If there were others abused after November 2008, and it appears that was the case with Victim 9, whose dates of abuse on the original Bill of Particulars were 2005 to 2009 and the amended Bill of Particulars confirm that abuse continued into December 2008, then Clinton County CYS and The Second Mile could be charged with endangering the welfare of children.