Thursday, December 26

Does Fina's in camera argument reveal earlier possession of Schultz e-mails?

Prosecutor Frank Fina's references to e-mails containing metaphors and "illusions" (sic) to Jerry Sandusky, as well as Corro's testimony, provides evidence that the OAG had versions of the 1998 and 2001 e-mails prior to April 13, 2011.

Ray Blehar

The statements of prosecutor Frank Fina on April 13, 2011 appear to negate the obstruction of justice charges filed against the three Penn State administrators in the so-called Conspiracy of Silence.

The November 2012, Conspiracy of Silence grand jury presentment (pages 38-39) stated that Spanier, Curley, and Schultz were charged with obstruction of justice for failing to turn over documents and e-mails  that would have been responsive to Subpoena 1179.  Former Attorney General, Linda Kelly, charged that "pertinent emails and other key evidence were never turned over until April 2012, after these men had left their jobs."

However, the April 2011 statements made by Frank Fina during his in camera response to Baldwin's oral motion to quash the subpoena indicate his contemporaneous knowledge of what Louis Freeh called "the most important documents in this investigation."  That reference was to the e-mails between Schultz, Spanier, and Curley that Freeh  lied about making "independent discovery" of when he grandstanded at the July 2012 press conference.

This revelation of Fina's knowledge of the 1998 and 2001 e-mail evidence appears to rip the cover off of the suspected conspiracy/collusion between the OAG and Freeh -- and perhaps PSU and the NCAA.

First and foremost, Fina argument is in support of the subpoenas from 1997 and earlier, thus you can deduce that e-mails from 1998 and forward are already in the state's possession.

In order to bolster his argument, Fina described the characteristics of "metaphors and masked comments" that were found in the e-mails from 1998 and 2001.

  • On page 15, lines 1-4 of the Spanier colloquy, Fina discusses those characteristics as follows: "they write off-hand comments, they write masked comments and metaphors may prove very worthwhile for us to review and see if there is any information related to what we are looking for."
  • On page 26, lines 6-10, Fina futher justified the request that PSU provide "any of those e-mails, subsets of those e-mails that relate in any fashion, whether they are illusions (sic) or direct statements to Mr. Sandusky, that those would be culled out by the University and provided directly to the Office of Attorney General."  

In 1998, a metaphor -- the word "Coach" -- was used on two occasions to describe an individual involved in the discussion about the Sandusky investigation.  In 2001, the metaphors "individual," "agency," and "other one" were used to describe persons and organizations involved.

It appears, based on Fina's statements, that the e-mail evidence giving rise to the obstruction of justice charges was handed over in March or April of 2011, nearly a year before the OAG and Freeh claimed they initially possessed them.

One of the unwritten rules in this investigation is not to put much stock in the dates provided by the OAG.  Dates appear to be changed in an attempt to explain away the foot-dragging that went down in the Sandusky  investigation.

Baldwin foot-dragging

While it is true that none of the three men provided any e-mail evidence to the OAG, it is anything but certain that they were told to search for the information by then-PSU General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin.  Given that Subpoena 1179 asked for e-mails about the 2002 incident, it is difficult to explain why Spanier, Curley, and Schultz all testified that the incident occurred in different years.

Someone's not telling the truth, and that person is likely Baldwin.

According to the testimony of John Corro of the PSU IT Department,  Baldwin did not approach him about searching for the e-mails requested by the Subpoena until March 2011.  The delay by Baldwin was likely part and parcel with the overall foot-dragging of the Sandusky investigation, which really was not undertaken in earnest until Spanier and Corbett sparred over PSU's budget.

Up until that point, the newly hired PSU lawyer's likely mandate was to stonewall the investigation to ensure nothing about crimes related to Jerry Sandusky were revealed.  Baldwin's history as Vice-Chair and Chair of the PSU BOT, as well as her experience working for former AG LeRoy Zimmerman, and appointment to the bench by former Governor Rendell, indicated that she understood the stakes involved in this investigation.  

Baldwin's and the OAG's best course of action was to avoid prosecuting Sandusky, but it is highly likely that Corbett eventually let his emotions get the best of him and decided to use the arrest of Sandusky to have Spanier fired.

When Corbett "threw the switch" 27 months into the investigation, everyone was put behind the 8 ball in terms of explaining why the arrest took so long.

OAG Foot-Dragging

Psychologist Mike Gillum, in the book Silent No More, stated that Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Eschbach and Trooper Scott Rossman informed him in June 2009 that had received information about a 1998 incident, but would not share details with him.

According to press reports, the police were tipped to the 1998 incident after Sara Ganim gave contact information of the investigators to the mother of Victim 6 in November or December of 2010.  After that, it took police until January 3, 2011 to get the police file from PSU.

Gillum also wrote that Eschbach told him in March 2010 that an arrest was imminent, but then reversed course and said that her boss, Tom Corbett, had nixed the arrest.  In May 2010, six months before Mike McQueary would be interviewed, Eschbach told Gillum other victims had been identified.  The public records state otherwise, considering the "unknown" victim in the McQueary incident reported in November 2010 became Victim 2.

At a June 2010 meeting, Eschbach promised an arrest in the summer - but that never came.  As Gillum had pointedly argued, Corbett was delaying the arrest until after the election.

Gillum appears to be partially right -- the delay was about election and a few more things.

Corbett and the OAG needed that time to ensure that the case against Sandusky not only resulted in a conviction, but they needed to construct a story that would (falsely) blame PSU's lack of cooperation and attempted cover as the reason behind the delay of the investigation.  The story also had to deflect attention away from DPW's and The Second Mile's failures to protect children.

As more facts are revealed, that story is falling apart under its own weight.

From the fantastic story of Agent Sassano determining the date of the McQueary incident by using TV Guides to the factually challenged testimony of janitor Ronald Petrosky, lie after lie is being revealed.

The collapse of this travesty of justice is not a matter of if, but a matter of when.


  1. Ray, sorry, I'm sure you've explained this elsewhere, but could you say again (or provide us a web link) why they would have preferred to not prosecute Sandusky*?

    Thank you for this education!

    *"Baldwin's and the OAG's best course of action was to avoid prosecuting Sandusky"

    1. Sandusky's prosecution involved several risks:
      1) Exposing the DPW's failure to stop Sandusky in 1998.
      2) Exposing Second Mile's failure to stop Sandusky when they learned about him.
      3) Exposing the financial relationships between TSM, PSU, and Corbett's campaign.

      If they kept to the original plan of letting Sandusky go free, none of those things would have been exposed.

    2. My original thought on Corbett's foot-draging was that he was allocating almost all of his investigative resources to his corruption investigations, for which he was getting constant press coverage and which got him elected governor.

      Since the board of the Second Mile had several high profile business people who were contributors to his warchest, and who used their relationship with TSM to promote their businesses, it is reasonable to assume that Corbett might have taken action to protect these people from embarrassment and lost business. TSM was one of Bush's Thousand Points of Light, was listed by US News and World Report as one of the top 50 best run charities, and brought upward of $3 million yearly into Center County from out of state, so it had some status as a Cash Cow for Corbett's cronies.

      That being said, who is Baldwin trying to protect? Certainly not PSU. Given the business entanglements of BOT members and TSM board members, they would be expected to watch each other's backs, but what is it out there that they are fighting to the death to protect? Baldwin is certainly a Frazier puppet, as are many of the BOT, and Frazier gave Freeh his marching orders and scripted the July 2012 press conference. Besides the Vioxx Fraud, for which Frazier should be doing time for negligent homicide, what else is Frazier hiding?

      Frank Fina is a crooked Cop, pure and simple. How he got so many people to commit perjury and distort their stories can probably fill a separate book.

      BTW....A report on GJ leaks was due out months ago....what happened to that?

    3. Gregory,
      You are confusing PSU with the PSU BOT. They are two different entities with, unfortunately, different interests. Baldwin, as a former BOT vice chair and chair was on the BOT inner circle for a number of years. She knew there was a lot of money flowing between PSU and Second Mile, as well as PSU and the state government -- and that PSU BOT members were very likely making money off those flows of money.

      Bonusgate was a convenient excuse for Corbett's slow investigation, but the bottom line was that even if Corbett had cops available, he was not going after Jerry -- too much risk involved in exposing corruption. Fortunately for us, Corbett let his emotions get the best of him and decided he could get Spanier fired by arresting Sandusky and putting the blame on PSU.

      Frazier. Think about this for a moment. When this all broke, there was no mention of the emeritus status of Sandusky. I suspect it was Frazier who brought that to the forefront as a means of putting the liability for the abuse on PSU.

      There are more crooked people involved in this than you can count.

    4. Mr. Vernon: I have to wonder the same thing when you say, "what is out there that they are fighting to death to protect?" You would think that maybe just one lone person caught up in enabling this absurd and false persecution of PSU and PSU football would maybe just come forward and begin admitting why this ruthless and immoral abuse of governmental power against innocent citizens has occurred.

      If it is just protecting reputations due to financial ties to Second Mile, then it would seem this could be admitted by now and punishment could be taken and we can all move on. But the way every dirty player is defending to the death makes it look as though there's something incredibly horrific like an organized pedophile ring that's desperately trying to be covered up by the corporate and state government perpetrators.

      My point is, Corbett, Baldwin, the BoT and Freeh are making it worse for themselves by not coming clean at this point. The longer they go on lying, the more perjury and obstruction of justice charges will be tacked on in the end.

    5. I can't argue that Corbett's emotions may have played a part, that's beyond my scope of knowledge. One thing I'll add is that the lid was about to blow off on this. There was nothing they could do to stop all this from coming out and they knew it. There were no other options.

    6. The short answer is "freedom." It's pretty obvious that there are white collar crimes going on that the PSU BOT and others are involved in. You could probably make a RICO case against Freeh for his phony investigation racket.

      Nobody is going to confess to anything, however, This isn't the movies.

      These guys are going to try to ride it out and will deny it all until the very end.

    7. Misder2,
      I don't think there was anything about to blow off that forced Corbett's hand. Certainly, the leaks to the media weren't effective because the P-N was in his back pocket. If Corbett didn't want to prosecute Sandusky, it wouldn't have happened. The state brought a very weak case to trial and if it weren't for the corruption of the prosecutors and judiciary, Sandusky might have been able to beat the charges.

      The Victim 4 testimony should have been thrown out due to the perjury of Rossman and Leiter. And the hearsay testimony of Victim 8 shouldn't have been permitted either.

      Without Victim 4, the state had no case. The investigators knew about V4 in November/December 2010 and didn't contact him until April. He had court dockets in the system and could have easily been tracked down. It's no coincidence that he wasn't "found" until April.

      The chart I put up tells the story. However, what's not on the chart is equally important and that is the timeline associated with Victims 11-17. Where are they? When were they found? I suspect some of those were kids at CMHS that were identified by Fisher.

      The fact that we haven't heard more about them means that a "lid" was kept on.

    8. I know that we have had differing opinions on things and that you have done extensive research on this. You have done far better than anyone else. Your chart lacks some detail. You need to understand something, I am not guessing.

    9. Thanks, Misder2. I appreciate the compliment. T

      he chart is not comprehensive and it was constructed mostly to show that the majority of victims, who were known about well in advance of March 2011, were not brought into the grand jury until after that Corbett and Spanier's budget battle.

      I put more detail into this chart on slide 6

      But that's not all the detail by any means. There was a lot more information flowing in and out of the OAG's office during that period of time. Evidence I've uncovered challenges the "official" story provided by the OAG.

      I agree we have differing opinions on the power of the government to suppress information. I'm not guessing either. ;-)

    10. Actually, I don't think we differ on that part at all, just on some details. That's to be expected. The Grand Scheme of things, I think you'd find we're almost in lock step. The power of the government to suppress this ? I am one person you don't need to convince, that you can bank on.

    11. Ray, regarding your response above (with '... The short answer is "freedom."..'), what does Dr. Jon Dranov have to lose? Friendship of a colleague, an honored pioneer of the nationwide Physician Assistants program? SHAME on BOTH of these medical professionals if they have stood by while PSU and Joe Paterno have been burned to the ground for the sake of their friendship. And ditto, if they've remained quiet thinking they were protecting Mike M. His reputation, credibility, and standing in the community is what he has made it. As it should be for a 30+ year old man.

      So... what do you think Dr. Dranov has to lose by remaining quiet?

    12. That's a good question. I'll pass on answering for now.

    13. Ray- Greg V asks above "what else is Frazier hiding". As I recall a former Merck CEO(not sure of his name, but believe first name is Leo) was actively involved with Second Mle for many years. What do you know about him- thanks

    14. Ray- Greg V asks above "What else is Frazier hiding" As I recall a former Merck CEO was actively involved with TSM for many years. I don't recall his name(first name is, I believe, Leo). What do you know about him- thx

    15. That person was Lloyd Huck, whose wife Dottie, was active on TSM's board. They were not significant donors to TSM, giving around $5K at most in any one year. He was the former CEO of Merck and also served on the Board of NOVA pharmaceuticals. IIRC, he recommended Frazier for a seat on the BOT.

      I'm not familiar with his activities on the BOT and whether or not he was on the inner circle/executive committee.

    16. rdk - On your Dranov question - I don't know what more Dranov could do than testify truthfully about 2001. Perhaps it was Dranov who leaked about his grand jury testimony in 2011 after the presentment didn't mention it.

      It usually is not a good idea for a witness in a criminal trial to spout off to the media as an advocate for defendants because then he could lose credibility. Dranov was a defense witness for Sandusky, and he likely will be for Curley, Schultz and Spanier. He is a very good defense for several reasons, especially that he is a close friend of Mike McQueary but still contradicts him.

      The Sandusky jury made a very unusual request to have the testimony of Mike McQueary and Dr. Dranov read back to them. That indicates that at least one juror had doubts given that Dranov contradicted McQueary on what McQueary saw in 2001.

  2. I'm going to have to plead thick on this argument. How did Fina get these emails? Was there another subpoena? Is there a record of Penn State turning these documents over? (probably inaccessible to us) Is there a record of OAG or someone else receiving those records?

    An email turnover seems like something Curley, Schultz and Spanier would have been privy to since it was their emails in question. Do they have a recollection of an earlier subpoena involving emails.

    1. Fina got the 1998 and later e-mails from the PSU IT Department. Corro testified he provided Baldwin with 3 USB drives. One had everything on it, which means the pre-1997 information. The other two had information from key word searches, one specifically run on Spanier (according to Spanier's letter) and the other with the 1998 and 2001 emails from Schultz. According to Baldwin, she handed over the "everything" USB to Judge Feudale on April 15, 2011. The USB with the 1998 and 2001 information was handed over earlier than April 13th, indicated by Fina's references to the masked comments and metaphors. Spanier stated his e-mails were given to Feudale on April 13th.

      Given Baldwin's denial of giving the Spanier USB to Feudale, you can surmise that Feudale is in on this too. Remember, he was also the Bonusgate judge.

      Curley, Schultz, and Spanier were never told about the subpoena for documents and emails. According to a source familiar with Spanier and Curley, neither man ever received their subpoena to testify at the grand jury, thus it is highly unlikely that Baldwin told them documents were subpoenaed. In Fall 2010, Baldwin was still in "stonewall" mode. If they were told about Subpoena 1179, then they would have been asked to search for 2002 e-mails related to the McQueary incident. As I pointed out above, all 3 men testified to that incident happening in different years. You can conclude they were never told about the subpoena based on that fact.

  3. In the big picture it appears as if the PA courts(Hoover, Fuedale) are complicit also. All of their findings support the prosecution and they are giving very little latitude to the defense. Remember Paul Newman in "The Verdict". Looks like that here.

    On the other hand, Kane has the Moulton investigation going and the prosecution of C/S/S. Do I see fence sitting until the time is right?

  4. Kane is either the world's most consummate poker player or the stupidest woman in politics, and she is playing a very dangerous game. At the beginning of the Moulton investigation, she received thinly veiled threats from both Corbett and Fina. If she waits too close to the elections, the PA GOP is going to erupt with charges of political manipulation. Corbett is going to be absolutely destroyed in the next election, but how much of the state GOP is going with him is problematic.(As a Republican, I would hope that the RNC would see that Corbett was sleeping with the fishes before this national disaster occurs).

    Sassano is a joke. He spent months reading "Touched", and didn't figure out that the kids pictured and wrote about in the book were JS"s "victims"? He could have walked over to TSM and found out who they were. Hell, he could have asked Dottie and she would have given him any info he wanted. Why did they need Sara?

    Fina is not only crooked, he is stupid. Having two victims (and their attorneys) commit perjury by changing their stories to the absolutely absurd (lunch with Paterno, abuse in Lasch building during pre-season practice) takes the blue ribbon for chutzpah.

    Out west, a story like this would have young reporters wanting to make a name for themselves knocking each other over to get the latest scoop. In PA it seems like someone planted the big seed pods in the reporter's houses, and they woke up zombies!

    1. This is still quite a story if some enterprising reporter or network wanted to raise all the discrepancies about this Sandusky case. The newspapers in PA are too small time and don't have the talent to do this story. And there are few, if any media outlets that would be willing to spend the money to put out a different story. They already made their money on the false story.

    2. Perhaps John Z. can get a national network interested in covering the discrepancies in the Sandusky case. Because the discrepancies would indicate there is still corruption in place in the PA judicial system that is denying the defendants a fair trial. I can think of many title suggestions for the news piece: "3rd World system of justice at work in PA", "Corrupt PA judge refuses to allow state wrong-doing as evidence in PSU trials", "PA judge appears to suppress evidence of state wrong-doing", "PA has own system of justice, separate from the rest of the country", PA is in the dark ages with its system of "justice", "PA appears to bypass federal guidelines for justice", "PA not subject to federal laws?", "Only in PA: Guilty until unlikely proven innocent", etc, etc.

      Kathleen Kane has a chance to clean this up now, but she does nothing. So therefore, she is a part of the problem.

      Has anyone seen "Nothing but Trouble", an old Dan Aykroyd film? This film sums up Pennsylvania to a tee! It's a comedy, but the underlying theme is one that shows the extent of judicial corruption that some provincial, backward areas of our country exhibit. If you have lived in PA, or are a native, you will see the nepotism, corruption, greed, dishonesty and cruelty as an accurate representation of PA law. But you have to have been on the receiving end of the unfairness to get it. Or, you have to at least be honest with yourself to see it.

    3. Fortunately, there are a few in the media, like Bob Costas, who are still following the story and are waiting for something to break.

      You and I have very different expectations of when something will happen. While a lot of information has been surfaced by NotPSU and FramingPaterno, it still has to be independently verified. Also, I think you underestimate the difficulty in obtaining evidence that satisfies the burden for criminal prosecution. Unless someone on the "inside" comes forward, the amount of investigative work that it takes to gather the evidence is enormous.

      I'm liking the fact that no arrests have been made. My interpretation is that as rocks are being turned over, more is being found to investigate. I'm quite certain that not every rock has been turned over.

  5. Thanks for all your analysis Ray! Are you sending it all to Spanier, Curley and Schultzes lawyers. I was wondering why Sandusky's lawyer didn't use some of the info you discovered, PS4RS's lawyers discovered in the Free report, and things John Ziegler pieced together that would have helped JS get a new trial or at least a reduced sentence. The fact you uncovered the janitor story was a hoax because the guy wasn't even hired yet was BIG but Amendola apparently didn't use it to get a new trial. What gives?

    1. I've been told that the lawyers involved read the blog, so I don't typically e-mail them.

      Amendola could not use the employment information about the janitor because it was not in his original appeal -- which was all that the Superior Court could rule on. Obviously, I didn't put out that information until well after he filed the original appeal.

      Even though Joe Amendola is a good lawyer, he and Karl Rominger didn't perform very well at the trial and missed a lot of obvious things. For one, the Victim 8 janitor case should have been thrown out had they requested the court provide judicial notice that the 2000 football schedule proved the date of the crime was incorrect. However, I think the deck was stacked against the defense because they weren't allowed a single continuance in the case. Something stinks to the high heavens.

    2. Corbett losing the election should be the catalyst for finally getting things out in the light as I'm sure a lot of this suppression is coming from him. As Governor, he can put tremendous pressure on people around him to toe the company line and manipulate the media. Also, as the former AG, he knows the PA judicial system inside and out and still has a lot of friends in it. Corbett losing his re-election bid is not a given as a good Democrat candidate still needs to be found to run against him.

      And many members of the media were very quick to dog pile on bashing Paterno and PSU without any real support. Having the truth come out could hurt a lot of these peoples supposed credibility, so they perfectly fine with keeping everything hidden.

      And Ray, while I agree the budget battle was a big event in this, Corbett getting elected was his main concern as his power and prestige are what he really cares about. He didn't want any sniff of this investigation out before the election for fear a lot of PSU alums might turn against him prior to the election. This is why McQueary did not give grand jury testimony until Dec 2010 and Schultz, Curley, and Paterno until Jan 2011. We all know the "anonymous" tip received to talk to McQueary about Sandusky was neither a lucky break nor really anonymous. If they really didn't want to arrest and prosecute Sandusky prior to the March 2011 budget battle, then that "tip" isn't made and McQueary does not testify.

    3. Rums,
      Corbett may not even get the GOP nod because his base wants a better candidate. Every Democrat who has announced is leading him. He is considered the most endangered governor in the country. I don't think things are going to get better for him.

      On one hand, it is possible that Corbett released the McQueary tip to see what was possible in terms of Spanier's guilt. On the other hand, someone else may have leaked it in an attempt to move the investigation forward, but my money is on the former.

      McQ's story wasn't good enough and wasn't backed up by a victim, as well as being contradicted by 3 other people. So the investigation remained stalled until the 1998 info got leaked to Ganim -- but there was footdragging on that too -- until March 2011.

    4. Ray, as always I appreciate your responses. Thankfully it does seems Corbett's re-election is unlikely, but a lot of things can happen in the next 10 months. His history shows him to be a very petty and vindictive person and he'll do whatever he can to get re-elected. I guess I don't want to get my hopes up too high just yet.

      And yes I think they realized how weak McQ's story really was, so by just adding more victims it seems more plausible, especially with how over the top they went with it in the GJ presentment. It also allowed them to use the "course of conduct" to make it easier to get convictions since a lot of the charges are weak on a stand alone basis. Although some (not all) of the additional footdragging could just be attributed to Corbett being busy setting up his administration. A couple months really isn't that much considering how long the investigation had been going on. I think Corbett was already targeting Spanier, as well as Paterno (for Surma), the budget battle may have just pushed it up Corbett's priority list.

    5. I think Pennsylvania should be absolutely ashamed to have a petty, vindictive criminal as their Governor. What kind of leader would do what Corbett has done to his own state's finest university? He has bribed, intimidated, lied, and falsified. All to wrongfully accuse innocent parties of his own wrong-doing. It's almost irreparable what Corbett has done to Paterno and PSU. It shows the level of self-serving greed and ruthlessness that Corbett embraces as his lifestyle.

      And why is it that we have to only hope for Corbett not to be reelected "to get things out in the light"? Why can't we have him investigated and arrested for his suppression of evidence and obstruction of justice that is occurring even now, two years after the fact? Is he really just so omnipotent that there's nothing that can be done to stop his criminal actions? If he's "the most endangered" Governor in the U.S., then why can't the PA Attorney General finish the job according to his endangerment?

      Nothing should be spared in getting this man Corbett impeached and arrested. It's the only thing that will truly express to the public that PSU is not responsible for Sandusky's crimes. Tom Corbett has made an absolute mockery of justice and he has made an absolute mess of a fine state, a fine coach, and a wonderful university.

    6. Dear Truthseeker, your outrage and frustration seem sound. And your expressions and arguments are well-stated. I hope you have other outlets from which to try to right some wrongs of this Sandusky case. may be a fruitful route for you (link below). Don't give up and don't go away!

    7. Thank you for the kind words rdk. At times, I wonder why I feel so naïve. All of this corruption that exists in PA state government seems to almost be accepted by the PA public. It's like everyone is hardened to it, and in comparison to them, I feel naïve. However, I don't really think I am naïve, I've seen a lot in my life. But it seems there was once a time when even the "bad guys" had maybe just a tad of a conscience left. And that's what I'm expecting, maybe just a tad of a conscience left in political leaders that should have prevented this tragic destruction of good people and a fine university. And this squashing of one's conscience has evolved to where there is even a white-collar racketeer available for those that pay handsomely for "damage control". Louis Freeh is for hire to present wrong as right, and right as wrong to those that need their unconscionable acts cleaned up.

      It's all very disheartening sometimes, but those of us that care can't give up. And thank you for the suggested link, I won't go away!