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


  1. And to think - all of this and it was Joe Paterno's fault...the football program...the very people who should be held accountable to allow this thing to fester like a tick on a dog... and this is why the politicians - a program like the Second mile and all of its elite donors and executives remain unscathed for the most part... and then you bring in Corbett who is buddy buddy with his old pal Freeh to solidify public opinion this was a Penn State Football Coverup... good chronology of timelines -- what happened to the lead investigator from initial investigation?

    1. If you're referring to Jerry Lauro from the 1998 investigation, he is now employed as a CONSULTANT and TRAINER for DPW caseworkers.

      God help PA's children....because PA's government won't.

  2. Good thing PA's kids aren't in LA county, where they have about 5X greater probability of ending up dead.

    This whole case is sadly reminiscent of the USS Iowa explosion in 1989 where 47 sailors died. I was the NAVAIR rep on the Joint Army, Navy, NASA, AF Propulsion System Safety Subcommittee when the incident happened. After talking to several other energetic materials scientists, we concurred that it was a classic case of over-ramming. Hell, the double base propellant they were using was manufactured at least 35 years prior (It's shelf life is nominally 20 years), and who knows what environmental conditions it was exposed to.
    In a short time, I'm reading an article in the LA Times that the cause of the explosion was sabotage by two gay sailors. I called a colleague at White Oak, Md., and asked him what the hell was going on. He told me to keep my mouth shut. I told him that he was going to get his ears pinned back because too many people in the business had a good idea of what happened and the gay sailor story didn't wash. He then said that Captain Masselli at Dahlgren told them that two sailors were responsible and that he wanted the scientists at White Oak and Indian Head to produce data to prove that. He got NCIS all hyped up and leaked a bunch of stuff to the press. The press went wild with it.

    You can probably read the nearly complete account of the incident on the web. We spent nearly $4 million testing the gun propellant and pretty much concluded that it was an over-ramming. NCIS looked like the Keystone Kops and have really never recovered. And after the final report (we had the DOE guys at Sandia write that to avoid political fallout), one of the scientists at White Oak who wrote the original report committed suicide.

  3. Wouldn't Gary Schultz have his own copy of the "Schultz file" that was given over to prosecutors (and not magically found by Freeh) that could be used to compare to the emails and other information used by Freeh to see if anything was altered?
    While it's possible, I find it unlikely that Schultz would have just provided the original file to the Attorney General's office with retaining a copy for himself of what he provided to them. Although he may not have thought at the time it wasn't a big deal and wouldn't need a copy.

    1. Rums,
      Gary got the "original" file from Kimberly Belcher in November 2011 -- after he was re-retired. It is not known whether the "original" file contained everything because PSU had access to it from Jan 5, 2011 until Gary's departure. Baldwin or PSU could have removed evidence from it.

      Also, it is not known if it contained paper copies of the e-mails. We do know that all of the e-mails turned over to the AG were from Gary's Outlook.pst folder, which he had transferred over to the new system during the 2004 transition. However, I would bet that NO paper copies of the e-mails were in the "Schultz" file at the time Belcher removed it.

      In summary, the "original" file Schultz provided to the OAG in April 2012 was probably did not contain everything. I wrote about that here:

      and here

    2. Thanks Ray, I thought that due to the 2004 PSU system conversion, the 1998 and 2001 emails would have been paper copies printed by Schultz which he then placed in the file. I didn't realize they still had computer access to those emails, that makes it more understandable.

      Also, from your 5/14/13 post that you linked about the "missing" Schultz documents, you include Ex 5E, a note from Schultz dated 2/25/01. Point #2 of the note says to "Report to Dept of Welfare". Given the note date, this would have been well beyond the 48-hour window. Why would he note to report this 2 weeks after they first found out, if it can only be reported in the first 48 hours?

      And one other note from the 5/14 post. You mention that e-mail evidence in the Commonwealth's Answer to Defendent's Motion to Sever is in Greenwich mean time, while PSU's system was on Eastern Time. The times of the emails in the Freeh report seem to be odd, would it because they represent Greenwich Mean time? If so, isn't that is direct proof Freeh got evidence from the Attorney General's office? If he got them from PSU, they would be Eastern time. That would then mean there is hard evidence the NCAA, which used only the Freeh report in determining the sanctions, used evidence from the Attorney General's office and a criminal investigation?

    3. As I explained in the post, contacting DPW is an optional/fall-back position if Sandusky and Second Mile don't comply with PSU's directive about facilities use (not about child abuse reporting).

      Good catch on the time stamps. I'll go back and look, but I recall some were on GMT (unless Schultz worked until 2AM).

    4. Ray, I really appreciate your responses. I'm just trying to understand your view. So your saying that it's possible someone contacted DPW or CYS with 48 hours of the 2/9/01 incident to report the abuse, but then Schultz/Curley considered contacting the DPW possibly again to report that Sandusky and TSM were not complying with their instructions about the facilities use? If so, what could the DPW do about that anyway?

    5. Rums,
      Yes that's my position. I believe that Gary Schultz, after talking with Harmon about 1998 ("reviewed 1998 history") realized that CYS had a conflict of interest with Second Mile. Schultz believed a report was made to CYS and that they would investigate the suspected child abuse. This all done within the first 48.

      Schultz, Curley, and Spanier then moved on to the facilities issue and Schultz recommended that if Sandusky and Second Mile were uncooperative, they would call in DPW to be the "bad cop" and get tough with Second Mile.

      DPW actually had the responsibility to investigate the 2001 case because of Sandusky's status as an agent of the county, so they were the "right" people all along. However, I suspect it was Harrisburg DPW in 1998 that scuttled that investigation.

      The argument over a failure to report the 2001 case is moot. PSU, Second Mile, and the President of the United States could have reported the incident and we'd have wound up with the same result.

      PA DPW was not going to take Sandusky off the streets. The PA OAG almost let him go in 2008. Had it not been for Spanier getting into it with Corbett about the PSU budget, Sandusky would be a free man today.

  4. With Kane's professional background on child abuse cases, surely she's focusing at least a part of her Corbett-Sandusky investigation on processes within CYS and DPW.

    Ray, what does your insider info say about this?

    1. I have heard that a number of individuals involved in the 1998 case were interviewed about what happened in that investigation. I don't think her investigation will look at the child protection program as it is today, but if there was a failure in 1999 (there was), I suspect that will be documented in Moulton's report.