Sunday, December 22

Who's telling the truth: Baldwin or everyone else?

This is not a case of he said, she said, with Spanier and Baldwin; it's a case of Baldwin's word against everyone else's.

Ray Blehar

Attorney Elizabeth Ainslee, who represents former Penn State President. Graham Spanier, released a rebuttal to the grand jury testimony Cynthia Baldwin.  The embattled former PSU General Counsel was quoted in several media reports, alleging her former boss, Spanier, "was not a man of integrity" and had "lied to her."

Spanier's attorney shot back that Baldwin's testimony was "shamefully inaccurate," that she was testifying in an attempt to avoid her own prosecution (likely for obstruction of justice) and that she had signed a proffer letter with the OAG.  Ainslee included a copy of Baldwin's interview from the Office of Personnel Management for Spanier's security clearance, in which Baldwin said she trusted Spanier as a person and also trusted his judgment.  Furthermore, she stated Spanier "was a man of integrity" and "was forthcoming and open with the BOT."

Baldwin's lawyer, Charles DeMonaco, stated Baldwin's opinion changed after she read the Freeh Report and learned of the e-mail evidence and other documents.

“Much like the public at large, Justice Baldwin learned for the first time in the summer of 2012 about the conduct of the defendants as a result of documents and e-mails which were discussed for the first time with the release of the Freeh Report in July 2012."

And that is where the story breaks down.  This is not a case where Baldwin had a revelation about Spanier's honesty after the Freeh Report was issued and that her honesty should be weighed on that revelation.

It is a case where nearly all of Baldwin's grand jury testimony was refuted by practically everyone else who has testified in the case.  Everyone includes John Corro, Braden Cook, Frank Fina, Lisa Powers, the PSU Board of Trustees, Anthony Sassano, Gary Schultz, and Graham Spanier.  

And even herself.

Corro, Cook, and Fina Refute E-mail Stories

According to the testimony of John Corro, of the PSU IT Department, Baldwin approached him in March or April 2011 and showed him part of Subpoena 1179, which requested all e-mails back to 1997.   Corro made no mention of the "preservation order" Baldwin testified about on page 16, lines 13-25.

According to Baldwin, she sent the order to preserve all e-mails and documents related to the Sandusky case to  all concerned parties at PSU.  This "preservation order" did not surface in any of the e-mails or documents provided as evidence in the Freeh Report nor was it mentioned in the presentment that added charges for  Curley, Schultz, and Spanier.

The November 2012, "Conspiracy of Silence" grand jury presentment stated that Subpoena 1179 was allegedly provided to PSU/Baldwin in December 2010 -- although other evidence obtained in the investigation appears to set the date as October 2010.  Nevertheless, Baldwin had the subpoena in her possession for several months before finally deciding to request that the IT department perform e-mail searches.

Also, according to the subpoena, the e-mail evidence was to be turned over by January 10, 2011.  Baldwin missed this date without filing a motion to quash the subpoena.  It was only after Baldwin was in the judge's chambers on April 13 that she raised an oral motion to quash.  Interestingly, the OAG did not file a contempt  motion from the point that Baldwin had missed the due date until April 13, 2011.  At the same session, Baldwin then agreed to turn over the e-mails, which she said would be on a single USB key, to the OAG that Friday.

John Corro testified that the provided three USB keys to Baldwin, one containing all the e-mails and two containing information based on key word searches (e.g., Schultz, Paterno, Curley, Spanier, etc).   However, Corro's most important testimony was that Schultz had taken special effort to preserve his e-mails dating from before 2004 - the system switchover at PSU - so that they would be migrated to the new system.  As a result of Schultz's actions, the most important e-mails in the case were easily recoverable from Schultz's e-mail archive.

There is little doubt that the e-mails that Baldwin stated she didn't see until July 2012 came into her possession in March or April 2011.   Thus Baldwin appears to be claiming she never saw or examined the e-mails that the PSU IT department turned over.

 But that story just doesn't hold water based on the testimony of Braden Cook.

According to OAG computer forensic expert, Braden Cook testified that all evidence reviewed by his unit was provided back to PSU for privilege review before being admitted into evidence.   Someone at PSU saw those e-mails long before the Freeh Report was published and, as legal counsel, Baldwin would have been responsible for approving their release.

Finally, Deputy Attorney General and chief prosecutor, Frank Fina, noted during the in camera argument about Baldwin's oral motion to quash Subpoena 1179, the use of "masked comments and metaphors" in e-mails.  Louis Freeh, in his report, called it "coded" language.  Fina's comment suggests that he was privy to the e-mail evidence prior to Baldwin's official "turnover" on 15 April 2011.

Powers, BOT, and Sassano Refute Baldwin on Seriousness of Investigation

On page 61, lines 7-11 of Baldwin's grand jury testimony, she stated that  "there was no doubt in my mind, I mean, that Mr. Sandusky would be part of a presentment and the only issue was how many would be involved in that presentment.

Lisa Powers testimony from July 2013 is in direct contradiction of Baldwin and backs Spanier's story that Baldwin downplayed the seriousness of the investigation.  After receiving an inquiry from Jan Murphy of the Patriot News in October 2010, Powers reached out to Baldwin for information.  Baldwin, as she did with Spanier, told her it was the fourth grand jury that had looked into Sandusky and that the case was a "fishing expedition."  See transcript below.

A number of BOT members were quoted in a January 18, 2012 New York Times article about the May 2011 briefing on the Sandusky investigation that was provided by Spanier and Baldwin.  Surma stated the briefing was so brief no one remembered it or asked any question.  Another BOT member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Baldwin downplayed the seriousness of the investigation.  The member recalled it as "no big deal."

Finally, at the Sandusky trial, OAG Agent Anthony Sassano remarked that PSU was slow to get information to them in response to subpoenas.  Sassano specifically mentioned Subpoena 191 for the names of the Office of Physical Plant employees (janitors) that was requested in May 2011.

Schultz and the Schultz "Secret" File

If there is one piece of evidence that exonerates Penn State in this case, it is the so-called "secret file" of Gary Schultz.  While the file was irresistible to the prosecutors and Louis Freeh because it contained bombshell language such as "Pandora's Box" and "sexually inappropriate," it also contained considerable evidence that the DPW caseworkers overlooked at least a dozen signs of possible child sexual abuse during their 1998 investigation of Sandusky.

During Baldwin's grand jury testimony she made several false statements concerning Schultz and the "secret" file.  First, she stated (page 13, lines 11, 12) she could not immediately serve the subpoena to Schultz because he was "on vacation." The fact of the matter is that Schultz was retired and that the subpoena for documents could have been directed to numerous current PSU employees.  Schultz was not rehired by PSU until September 2011 and Baldwin made no statement to the effect that she reminded Schultz to look for documents after he was re-employed.

Baldwin also stated she had never heard of and that Schultz never mentioned the file to her.  Again, this is clearly refuted by the fact that Schultz testified to the grand jury that he may have had a file on Sandusky in his office -- and Baldwin was present during his testimony.  Schultz, in an affidavit, also stated that he informed Baldwin of the possible presence of the file in his old office, which was being occupied by Al Horvath.

Paterno Subpoena And Lack of Seriousness

While we're on the topic of subpoenas, Baldwin also falsely claimed (page 13, lines 10, 11) she could not provide the subpoena to Curley or Paterno because they were at a bowl game - and had asked Spanier to do so on her behalf.  However, according to Scott Paterno, Baldwin was in attendance at the Outback Bowl and was staying in the same hotel as Spanier.  When Scott Paterno went to Baldwin to obtain his father's subpoena to testify at the grand jury, Baldwin told him that he "was making too big a deal out of this."

According to another source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Baldwin was quite upset that Paterno had retained his own counsel for his Sandusky grand jury appearance.

"Yes, I represent the University, solely."

Of all the statements that Baldwin made at the grand jury, the statement that may be the most important in this case was said to Judge Feudale in his chambers, when Graham Spanier was not present.   Baldwin stated that she represented "the University solely."

That statement alone puts Baldwin's credibility in serious doubt because, as an attorney, she knew or should have known, that she should not have entered into the grand jury room when Spanier testified.  Moreover, if Baldwin believed that she was permitted to sit in on the testimony of Spanier, Curley, and Schultz, while solely representing Penn State, why didn't she enter the grand jury room when Joe Paterno testified?  Paterno testified on the same day, January 12, 2011, as Curley and Schultz.

It's a rhetorical question, of course.

Baldwin knew she could not get away with sitting in on Paterno's testimony with his counsel present.  Joshua Locke and Scott Paterno would have called her (and Judge Feudale) on it.

One thing is more than certain in this case, Cynthia Baldwin's behavior was highly unethical and dishonest when she let Spanier believe she was representing him as counsel -- when just moments before said she told the judge she was not.

Cynthia Baldwin's dishonesty appears to be a matter of public record.


  1. When you write your book, I think your readers would love to hear your methods for organizing and comparing all the data so effectively.

    Merry Christmas

    1. Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year to you.

      I'm fortunate to have been blessed with an eye for details and a pretty good memory.

    2. Ray, you are to humble & polite in your reply to HMCIV. You mention you've been blessed w/ an eye for details and a pretty good memory. I don't take exception w/ that, however I feel there is a whole lot more to your talent and abilities.

      After reading thousands of pages now related to this entire Sandusky matter, your webpage at & framing paterno w/ John Ziegler. It's my opinion that the reason your so talented at understanding the facts is your honest, a person of integrity, principle, conviction w/ a moral conscience that guides you like a compass to the truth. I picture you many nights deep in thought running facts and statements through your mind not able to rest until you can obtain the necessary pieces of the puzzle and that drives you. It's been an honor and pleasure to read your facts, gathering of info. and the way you layout the information in a professional unbiased way. I have zero doubt that you've not let your personal opinion stand in the way of the facts wherever it leads.

      Happy New Year... Jim Fike

  2. As many of you know, the entire interview of Baldwin by feds investigating Spanier (regarding his fed security clearance) is available at

    It's remarkable to me to see what CB states she knows of Spanier (like his hobbies) and what she doesn't know (like his academic affiliations). She describes their long, professional relationship while he was PSU President and she was a PSU alumna on the PSU BoT (as member, then vice-chair, then chair, and finally past-chair).

    How could someone in those positions of responsibility for her own alma mater NOT do a quick search of the university president's academic background??

    I don't give any weight at all to anything Cynthia Baldwin says. She either is completely incurious, incompetent, or untruthful. Or perhaps some combination of these things.

    1. Baldwin is an example of exactly what Freeh told Penn State they should not do. She used her insider connections from her Trustee position to get herself appointed PSU Counsel.

      Freeh recommended that Penn State do a national search for any major positions but the trustees ignored that for Athletic Director and just plugged in another Trustee, Joyner, with no experience in that kind of position.

  3. If I read this correctly it would seem to present an interesting legal issue as to the 5th amendment. It appears that the judge, the OAG, and Fina all knew that CB did NOT represent GS and then allowed him to unwittingly testify and provide what they categorize as self incriminating statements under oath. Every street cop needs to be able to validate that they properly advised a suspect yet the judge and prosecutor did not have such h an obligation? This is a bigger issue than just GS if it is allowed.

    1. Feudale, Baldwin, and Fina should all face ethics charges over what went down with the Sandusky investigation. Feudale should have never allowed Baldwin in the grand jury rooms, Baldwin dual represented, and Fina suborned perjury in the janitor incident.

      Amazing that the two most "heinous" crimes occurred on PSU's campus, but the person who came fwd in the V2 case was not used because he didn't back McQueary's story and NO ONE came fwd in the V8 case, which not only didn't have a victim, but didn't have a legitimate witness.

  4. When you fabricate evidence, concoct a hoax, tamper with witnesses, and subordinate volumes of perjury, why should violating the 5th amendment bother you? I have no doubt the Ken Frazier is the architect of this. Perhaps the 5th amendment will soon be important for them!

    BTW...Kathlene Kane was supposed to have drained the swamp by now, but things get boggier every day. Slime and mud piling up.

    1. I wouldn't be surprised to the prosecution also tries to go around the 6th Amendment and try to get Paterno's testimony in at the Spanier trial too.

    2. It's quite clear that Kane has no backbone at all. Any waves she makes are superficial and for show only.

  5. I think this pretty much sums up what has been going on in the background:

    'Finally, Deputy Attorney General and chief prosecutor, Frank Fina, noted during the in camera argument about Baldwin's oral motion to quash Subpoena 1179, the use of "masked comments and metaphors" in e-mails. Louis Freeh, in his report, called it "coded" language. Fina's comment suggests that he was privy to the e-mail evidence prior to Baldwin's official "turnover" on 15 April 2011.'

    This was in the works back in the early part of 2011 or even back into 2010. I would love to know what Fina was doing during the Fisher investigation/Sandusky abuse finding in 2010. We know what Corbett was up to.

    I wonder when they actually got on the horn to Freeh regarding his being a Liar4Hire.....

    Curley, Schultz and Paterno were sitting ducks the entire time & Spanier got tossed in for good measure. Did any of them even have a whiff of being set up?

    1. And don't forget, Cynthia Baldwin apparently moved directly from PSU BoT member (as a PSU alum) to BoT Vice-Chair to Chair to Past-Chair to PSU General Counsel (a newly created office, in 2010).

      Baldwin was in these highest-level positions at PSU during the 2000s. She's intimately involved in the Sandusky-Penn State mess. If not in awareness and complicity, then CERTAINLY in responsibilty.

  6. What do you think of the likelihood that the PSU "cover-up" was either Baldwin's idea, or her incompetence? The OAG wanted to go after "bigger fish"? Is it possible that Spanier was the target from the beginning? (And Surma just got his kicks in while the chance was there?) It just seems like one (probably oversimplified) way to connect all the dots...

    1. Baldwin was hired because she would do as told. I doubt she ever had an original thought in her life. Spanier was the target, starting in March 2011, as a result of the budget battle.

      But originally, the plan was not to arrest Sandusky, Baldwin was hired to stonewall the investigation and make sure the police didn't find anything. When PSU hired Reed/Smith, the newly hired attorneys reported her obstruction of justice to Freeh and the OAG. The BOT used it to force her resignation and the OAG then used it as leverage against her, to get her to put the blame on Spanier.

    2. Is there any chance that the Spanier/ Schultz/ Curley trials could force Freeh to testify? It'd be nice to have him account for the "secret file" fraud, among other things.

    3. At best, we'll get something out of Freeh when the discovery begins for the Spanier defamation lawsuit. However, I suspect Freeh will agree to settle with Spanier, rather than have to disclose the information.

    4. Since Spanier will settle, IYO Ray, then as I have always guessed before the Paternos are our best shot. We have already heard on record that there will be NO settlement in that case no matter what. So if we pass the standing test, it's game on. Truth, for us, for everyone, for all, no matter who goes down. If it rips PSU to the ground then so be it, we will rebuild it.

    5. Paterno lawsuit and two investigations. If that doesn't reveal it all, there are people waiting to tell the rest of the story.