Wednesday, May 14

Paterno Subpoena Seeks to Discover What Else Freeh’s Team Covered Up

The July 2013 Preliminary hearing revealed that Louis Freeh covered up the evidence that would have exposed DPW’s failure in 1998.  The Paterno lawsuit may find out what else Freeh hid from the public.

Ray Blehar

On May 19th, please direct your attention to the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte. Paterno, Et Al will make its arguments for discovery of the 3.5 million documents allegedly used by Louis Freeh to construct his work of fiction known as the Freeh Report.

Penn State is siding with the NCAA, Freeh, and Pepper Hamilton to fight release of this information because discovery will ultimately bring us closer to the truth -- and that's something that PSU wants desperately to remain hidden.  Many suspect that "something worse" lies beneath the the surface and it is that "something worse" which will ultimately explain why the PSU Board of Trustees rolled over so easily in November 2011 and July 2012. 

Discovery should also reveal that the well-publicized story that  3.5 million documents were used to create a “thorough and comprehensive” report is a myth.  Evaluations of the Freeh Report have shown it to be of little substance, poorly constructed, and of little evidentiary value.  While the evidence to support the Freeh Report is scant, I suspect there is a lot of other valuable evidence about "something worse" in that pile of documents.

The judicial process has already revealed that Freeh lied about his independent discovery of the emails and his co-discovery of the Schultz "secret file." We have also learned that the flow of evidence was NOT from Freeh to the Office of Attorney General (OAG), but in the opposite direction. Freeh was the recipient of information gathered in response to OAG and Federal subpoenas.
Federal subpoena issued in February 2012 required PSU to provide the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District with correspondence and financial transactions between the PSU and The Second Mile.  It's a pretty safe bet to assume this is some of the information that the PSU General Counsel is attempting to preclude from discovery.

The DPW Cover Up

As many of us have learned, some of the information that didn't make it into the Freeh Report revealed that the 1998 investigation of Sandusky conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and Centre County Children and Youth Services (CYS) was not at all as the media (and Freeh) reported.

The July 2013 preliminary hearing revealed that Commonwealth’s Exhibits 1, 2, 3, 5, and 13 were documents and emails that Freeh EXCLUDED from his report.  Freeh promised to "investigate this matter fully, fairly, and completely, without fear or favor," however these omissions revealed that he failed to make good on his promise.

Three of the omitted emails and documents challenged some key (false) assertions of the case, including that CYS was replaced by DPW in the investigation (proven false by Commonwealth’s #5), that DPW's Jerry Lauro didn’t know the details of the case and wasn’t aware of counselor Seasock’s report (proven false by Commonwealth’s #3) and that DPW didn’t know about psychologist Dr. Chambers' report (proven false by Commonwealth’s #13). 

Interestingly enough, the Chambers, Seasock, and 1998 University Park police reports (allegedly documents under seal) were leaked to NBC News on March 23, 2012.  Coincidentally, the OAG claimed to receive the network file share of Schultz on the same day.   And in yet another amazing coincidence, The Patriot News preempted NBC's "exclusive" about the dueling reports of Chambers and Seasock reports with its own story about them on March 22, 2012.  

Okay, The Patriot News article probably wasn't a coincidence.

Sara Ganim, who, according to The Patriot News, had possession of the1998 police report in January 2011, knowingly accepted the lies of Jerry Lauro in that March 22nd article.  Lauro told her he didn't know about either evaluation of Victim 6, but the police report contradicted Lauro's story.  It showed that he had asked CYS to arrange the Seasock interview. 

The Patriot News printed Lauro’s lies and the rest of the media followed along....

But state welfare department investigator Jerry Lauro told AP in December that he didn't have access to the criminal investigative file. On Wednesday, he told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg that he never would have closed the case had he seen the reports from Chambers and the second psychologist, Seasock.
"The course of history could have been changed," Lauro told the newspaper, which first reported the existence of the twin psychological reports.
-- The Associated Press, March 25, 2012
Louis Freeh also repeated Lauro’s lie about not seeing Dr. Chambers' report, despite the fact that he had seen the documents and emails that contradicted Lauro’s story.   A passage on page 49 of the Freeh Report mentioned a concern that Tom Harmon made known to Gary Schultz about DPW's possible conflict of interest in the case.  The omitted document, denoted by End Note 159, contained much more information than Freeh let on, including that Chambers had provided her complaint to DPW.   In July 2013, it was admitted into evidence as Commonwealth’s 13.

Commonwealth’s 13

Commonwealth 13 was a note from the Schultz "secret" file which contained five bullet points.  The first bullet revealed that Dr. Chambers' report was provided to DPW. (see preliminary hearing transcript pages 115 and 116).   This is probably the most critical piece of evidence that was covered up. No one in the media, and certainly not The Patriot News, chose to report that DPW's lie was exposed at the preliminary hearing.

Commonwealth’s 1 and 2

The emails for the Commonwealth’s 1 and 2 were from May 5th and 6th respectively and addressed that DPW would investigate the case due to CYS’s conflict of interest.  However, the likely reason for their omission from the Freeh Report is that the emails reveal that it was not standard protocol for the Harrisburg office to be involved in the investigation.  In the May 5th email, Harmon informed Schultz that he expected the regional office from Altoona to be involved in the investigation.  The Freeh Report truncated Harmon's message, making reference to only the part about holding off on making a crime log entry.  I suspect Freeh's motivation for using just that passage was to cast aspersions on University Park police's handling of the case.

In the May 6th email  (Commonwealth's 2), Harmon informed Schultz that even though the regional office was in Cresson, the Harrisburg office of DPW was taking over the case.   The Freeh Report (page 43) stated that Lauro was called in from the Harrisburg office because of Sandusky’s high profile.  According to the End Notes, this information was provided to the Special Investigative Counsel in an interview of Lauro (not exactly a reliable source).  There are no provisions in the Public Welfare Code for child abuse investigations of “high profile” individuals, thus it remains to be explained why the Harrisburg office was called in rather than the Cresson office.

Commonwealth's 3

In an email sent by Harmon to Schultz on May 8, 1998, the police chief informed Schultz that Lauro reviewed the investigative files of University Park's Detective Schreffler and CYS's John Miller the previous day. Lauro's actions on May 7 are also confirmed by the 1998 police report.  Therefore, Lauro's statement to the Freeh group that he was not aware of details of the investigation is false.  By that point in time, Schreffler and Miller had interviewed both boys involved and the mother of Victim 6.  There were over 40 pages of the boys' transcribed interviews.

Commonwealth’s 5

An email dated 27 May 1998 disproved the false narrative that DPW had taken over the 1998 investigation from CYS.   The Freeh Report (page 43) stated that DPW took over the case on May 5, 1998 and made no mention of CYS's role after that date (despite that the police report showed CYS had helped set up Seasock’s evaluation).   

The email from Harmon to Schultz stated that the DA's office told Harmon to hold off on interviewing Sandusky until DPW could be present for the interview.  While that was proper protocol for the joint police and DPW investigation, why was Centre County CYS still involved in the case, considering their conflict-of –interest?  It was even more surprising that CYS was "running interference" for DPW with the Centre County District Attorney.  

To recap, the Freeh Report omitted documents and emails that would have revealed:
1.  The DPW Regional Office in Cresson should have been the lead investigating office on the 1998 case, but for reasons yet unknown, was replaced by the Harrisburg office;

2.  That DPW received the initial complaint from Dr. Chambers; and that Lauro had access to the details of the case.

3.  That CYS continued to stay involved in the case after Lauro was assigned and was in contact with former Centre County DA Ray Gricar.

Freeh’s omissions also extended to the appendices of his report, where appendices 1, 4, 7, 8, and 9 were missing. It is highly probable that some of the missing exhibits were the 1998 police report and the reports from Chambers and Seasock.  In combination, the omitted emails and documents would have provided a fuller picture of the investigation on the 1998 incident, which was without a doubt a colossal failure on the part of DPW.

What Else is Being Hidden?

Information pertaining to The Second Mile and Penn State.  A previous blogpost addressed the omissions Freeh made regarding the financial relationships between key board members of both The Second Mile and Penn State.  As I noted above, the Federal subpoena required Penn State to turn related information over to the U.S. Attorney.  According to PSU IT Department employee, John Corro, information gathered in conjunction with the investigation was also provided to Freeh's team.

Information pertaining to the Board of Trustees.  OAG forensic tech Braden Cook testified (page 64) that in November 2011, search requests were expanded to over 60 individuals and included searches of 108 personal devices.  It is highly probable that members of the Penn State Board of Trustees and Administration, who were briefed on the Sandusky investigation in May 2011, were on the expanded search list.

The Sandusky scandal has been characterized by many as the worst sports scandal in history -- even worse than the 1919 Black Sox scandal.  The information that has yet to be released is likely to prove this was not a sports scandal at all, but a cover-up of the government's failure, much like the Hillsborough soccer tragedy.

There is little mystery why PSU and others are fighting so hard to keep the truth from the public.


  1. Agreed. The 3.5 million documents were mainly emails that were irrelevant. They were searched by keyword and turned up the few emails from 2001.

    That Freeh's investigation was independent was a sham. His contract said he couldn't interfere with the Attorney General's investigation so he worked with them to make sure his report didn't say anything they didn't want.

    I don't think it is any surprise that the Spanier grand jury presentment was very similar to the charges in the Freeh report. I think Freeh's report was shaped by the Attorney General's office.

    1. The PSU IT department did the searches and gave the info to the PSU Counsel who at first (April 2011) gave it to the OAG. When Freeh arrived, he was the beneficiary of the PSU IT Department's work. What was given to the OAG was also given to Freeh.

      Agree that the Freeh Report, much of which was based on Baldwin's "notes," was very similar to the Conspiracy of Silence presentment. Moreover, the Freeh Report was simply a more detailed version of the November 2011 grand jury presentment. Also, note that the janitor "testimony" in the Freeh Report was essentially the same story as in the grand jury presentment -- and not what Petrosky testified to at the trial.

  2. Will there be live reporting (via twitter) of the arguments on May 19?

    1. I don't think the court allows it. One of the Freehdom Fighters will be there taking notes and will provide updates at breaks.

  3. Ray, are you presenting new info here or further analyses of what we've seen before? I've actually read all reports and transcripts from the Sandusky case, and your info here seems hauntingly familiar. For example, some reference to DPW's conflict of interest, which always puzzled me. And Lauro's seemingly outright contradictory statements about his knowledge of things. And, of course, your early recognition of suspicious omissions in the Freeh Report's Appendices.

    What you're presenting here seems to so clearly demonstrate a pattern of misrepresentation, misconstruing, and misleading.

    So, has much of this info been "out there", or are some key elements only now being revealed???

    (What a brain exercise this is! So glad notpsu continues to lay things out so that MAYBE we can keep up!)

    Congrats on BoT election successes. Best wishes for illumination in court tomorrow.

    1. Becky,
      This is the first time I've tied Freeh's omissions to the evidence exhibits in the case of the PSU Three. I've mentioned the omissions before (just not in this context).

      Also, I've previously opined that the evidence flow was from the OAG to Freeh and not vice versa.

      The only slight adjustment to the record is that PSU was a little more careful about what it released to the OAG after 11/9/11 (and Frazier asserting himself on the SITF).

      As we see today, PSU is trying to assert a/c privilege for the 3.5 million documents.

  4. The Freeh Fiction will continue to unravel if the information is released to the attorneys who lodged the complaint. The "PSU" that opposes the release of these documents must be the new general counsel for PSU who replaced Cynthia Baldwin - Stephen Dunham.

    I think we should be careful about saying that "PSU" objects to the release of these documents and should be more specific, because we need to start to define "who is PSU". This should be a good place for the NINE elected alumni trustees to act by proposing a motion for the next BoT meeting demanding that PSU counsel stop opposing the release. This is exactly the kind of situation that clearly demonstrates the fact that the best interests of Penn State are not being served by Dunham or any member of the BoT that supports Dunham and hiding the truth. PSU's best interests are served by full disclosure of the TRUTH and anything that thwarts open disclosure runs counter to that aim.
    Everyone deserves to know what Freeh used to destroy the reputation of Penn State on behalf of Corbett and Surma et al. This situation is perfect for that - one side wants open disclosure -the other wants to hide the truth. That's something anyone can understand.

  5. WHY IS THIS GUY PSU GENERAL COUNSEL? He only has a "limited in-house counsel license to practice law in PA. after teaching Law at the Univ. of Denver? This is the best PSU could do for a VP and General Counsel - the only good thing about him is he replaced Cynthia Baldwin. This man knows nothing and seems intent on not finding out. Why would Penn State oppose release of these documents? What does Penn State have to hide? NOTHING.

    Stephen S. Dunham

    Mr. Dunham received his B.A. degree from Princeton University in 1966 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1969, where he was a member of the Yale Law Journal and graduated Order of the Coif.

    Following his graduation from law school, Mr. Dunham served as a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Stanley A. Weigel in San Francisco and taught as a law professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law and in Taiwan. In 1972, Mr. Dunham joined Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco where his practice focused on commercial litigation. He became a partner in 1976. In 1979, Mr. Dunham joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School. At Minnesota, Mr. Dunham taught courses in contracts, trial practice, complex litigation, and higher education law. From 1982 to 1988, Mr. Dunham was also General Counsel of the University (Vice President and General Counsel from 1985 to 1988).

    Mr. Dunham returned to Morrison & Foerster as a litigation partner in the Denver office in 1988. In addition to his litigation and counseling practice, Mr. Dunham served as a firmwide managing Partner of Morrison & Foerster from 1990 to 1992, and as Chair of the firm from 1996 to 2000.

    He was appointed Vice President and General Counsel at Penn State in July 2012.

    Mr. Dunham is a member of the California, Minnesota, and Colorado bars (inactive), the Maryland Bar, and the Pennsylvania Bar (Limited In-House Counsel License).

  6. Transparency - the quality or state of being transparent.
    If the BoT is so set on being more "Transparent" why are they fighting ( and spending PSU $) to hide what they have said and done during this whole debacle?

  7. Good points here, Barry.

    1. Have post 11-9-11 BoT members wield their weight against the old guard to support document release;

    2. Begin to distinguish old BoT guard vs new rather than a single PSU voice/face; and

    3. Investigate how and why Mr Dunham became PSU counsel. He certainly doesn't bring in a younger perspective. Is he simply a new addition to an old guard?