Wednesday, April 26

Puzzling Plea Deals

The guilty pleas of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz do not provide evidence that they knowingly endangered the welfare of a child

Ray Blehar

April 26, 2017, 1:59 PM, EDT

Courtroom observers at the trial of  Dr. Graham Spanier noted that Commonwealth’s witnesses Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz appeared puzzled and at a loss for words to describe what they were guilty of when questioned by defense attorney Sam Silver.

There was a very good reason for their puzzlement because their guilty pleas did not comport with violating the child endangerment statute

Here are the relevant parts of their agreements.

Thursday, April 13

Has Fina reported Eshbach yet?

When Frank Fina got wind of grand jury leaks -- that didn't come from him -- he immediately called on a judge to investigate the matter.


Ray Blehar
April 14, 2017, 12:14 AM EDT 

The recent revelations by Mike McQueary that Jonelle Eshbach tipped him that the Sandusky charges were about to be leaked must pose a moral dilemma for Frank Fina.

Back in 2014, Fina wrote a letter to Judge William Carpenter after he learned that Philadelphia Daily News reporter Chris Brennan was in possession of (alleged) grand jury information.

Fina wrote:

" individuals who continue to be sworn to secrecy before the grand jury in question, we have an obligation to disclose this apparent breach of secrecy to the Supervising Judge."

Judge Carpenter happened to be supervising judge of all Pennsylvania grand juries and later assigned a special prosecutor and grand jury to investigate Kane.

Monday, April 10

Law & Evidence Favored the PSU 3

PSU officials could have won their cases had their attorneys stood by Schultz's testimony, the letter of the law, and a few other pieces of evidence

Ray Blehar

April 10, 2017, 10:06 PM EDT

Had former Penn State University officials, Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz not made plea agreements, it is very possible that the PSU 3 could have walked out of Dauphin County Courthouse unscathed.

For that to have happened, Gary Schultz would have taken the stand and stated that he made a report to Centre County Children and Youth Services (CC CYS) in 2001.  Given that the men were being tried together, his testimony would have cleared everyone.

Law & the evidence were on Schultz's side

The law and the evidence were on his and PSU's side -- and there was little chance of the Commonwealth producing evidence to convict any of them.

Schultz: PSU Reported 2001 Incident to CYS

Gary Schultz made numerous statements indicating he believed Centre County CYS was contacted about the 2001 incident - nothing at Spanier's trial changed that

Ray Blehar

April 10, 2017, 9:23 PM, EDT

Here is an excerpt from Gary Schultz's January 12, 2011 pre-grand jury interview memorializing that he believed a report was made to CYS:

When Schultz testified to the grand jury later that day, he repeatedly recalled that a report was made to “the child protective agency” in 2002 (sic).   The 1998 University Park police report confirms that Detective Ronald Schreffler contacted Centre County Children and Youth Services to "look into the matter."

Starting at page 212:

Sunday, April 9

The Leak That Wasn’t

Contrary to popular belief, the Sandusky grand jury presentment was NOT leaked to the media on Friday, November 4th -- but it appears that was the intent.

Ray Blehar 

April 9, 2017, 8:57 AM EDT 

When former OAG prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach called Mike McQueary on November 4th, 2011 to warn him about an impending leak of grand jury information, she likely believed he was about to be engulfed in a firestorm.  McQueary testified that Esbach informed him:

"we're going to arrest folks and we are going to leak it out."

The warning came because Eshbach likely believed the draft Sandusky grand jury presentment detailing the horrific allegations against the founder of The Second Mile was going to go live on a public web-site and that by Friday night and that McQueary would soon after be outed, then derided as the world's biggest coward (for abandoning a child who was purportedly being raped by Sandusky).

Much to Eshbach's surprise, the presentment was not leaked that evening. 

A draft presentment was attached to the 37-count Affidavit Of Probable Cause that was registered with the Centre County Prothonotary’s office at 12:21 PM on November 4,   On or about that time, the Sandusky docket (identifying the charges) from the Centre County magistrate was posted on Pennsylvania’s Unified Judicial System.  

To be clear, the Sandusky charges --not the presentment -- were the “leaked” information that the Attorney General's office attributed to a computer “glitch" (they later blamed Centre County Magistrate Leslie Dutchcot for the leak).  

Sara Ganim used the docket for her “exclusive” report that Friday night.  

The chain of events that led to Ganim's "exclusive" included the docket being posted in the afternoon, the Patriot News calling Judge Dutchot's office demanding it be taken down, its removal from the system, Ganim's story being posted, then the docket being posted again.

Somewhere in that flurry was also a heated exchange between the AG's press officer, Nils Frederiksen and Ganim.  

The presentment was released – legally – the following morning as a link in Frederiksen's press release on the Sandusky case.

Firestorm Delayed

Ganim’s column didn’t cause much of a stir that Friday night and into Saturday.

As it turned out, the PSU beat writers who were supposed to have read the highly inflammatory grand jury presentment on Friday night were instead treated to a boring court docket that didn’t mention PSU football or Joe Paterno.

Rumor has it that with the weekend of no PSU football, the writers stayed in bed all day and watched a Rudy marathon.  

There was little to no mention of the Sandusky case that Saturday in the national media.

However, by Sunday morning, the news of the presentment began to hit the sports media and by that afternoon, McQueary had been easily identified as the graduate assistant involved -- and he was being “hammered” for “running home to his daddy” as a boy was being raped by Sandusky.

Those were the “Findings of Fact” – according to AG Linda Kelly and they were being publicized as if they were irrefutable.  
The firestorm was underway – but had not yet engulfed Paterno and Penn State.  That blaze could arrive on Monday when former Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner, Frank Noonan made remarks off-camera about Paterno's "moral responsibility."


While it remains a mystery how the public came to perceive that the grand jury presentment was leaked, it is a fact that secret grand jury information was leaked (to the media) in the Sandusky and the Conspiracy of Silence cases for the purpose of influencing public opinion.

In the Sandusky case, prosecutors Frank Fina and Jonelle Eshbach requested Judge Barry Feudale's permission to investigate the leaks purportedly set a trap to catch the leaker.   The courts, on numerous occasions in 2016 and 2017,  used the Feudale endorsement of the investigation as evidence that Fina and Escbach weren't leakers because they asked a judge to oversee the investigation -- even though Feudale leaked sealed documents in 2015.

Leaks have been pervasive in other cases, such as Bonusgate, Computergate, and the DeNaples case, but the AG and its media sycophants seemingly have little interest in finding those leakers.

Shapiro (foreground) and Ferman (rear) pursued alleged leaks by Kane, but ignored leaks by many others

In the state of Pennsylvania, leakers of grand jury and/or criminal investigative information are pursued only if their leaks expose corrupt and unethical practices by prosecutors, law enforcement, and judges and undo the charade that everyone is entitled to equal justice under the law in the Commonwealth.

Thursday, April 6

Caught In Their Own Trap

Eshbach and Fina set a trap to identify the OAG leakers and it worked.

Ray Blehar  

April 6, 2017, 9:30 PM, EDT

Former OAG prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach testified that she consulted with her then supervisor, Frank Fina, to set a trap to find out who was leaking information to former Harrisburg Patriot News reporter Sara Ganim.

She then told the court, “no one took the bait.”

Of course no one did. 

But the “trap” worked.

Tuesday, April 4

Cipriano/Big Trial: McQueary Blows Whistle On AG's Office


Showers And Leaks: Mike McQueary Blows The Whistle On AG's Office

Alex Brandon/AP
By Ralph Cipriano

At the Graham Spanier trial last month, Mike McQueary, the alleged whistleblower in the Penn State sex abuse case, made a surprising disclosure from the witness stand that backfired on the prosecutors who had called him to testify.

On March 21st, Deputy Attorney General Laura Ditka asked McQueary when he first heard that Jerry Sandusky was going to get arrested. Sandusky is the retired coach that McQueary allegedly saw in the Penn State showers naked with a boy.

It was during a bye week in the 2011 football season, McQueary told Ditka.

"I was on my way to Boston for recruiting and I was going from the F terminal over to the B terminals over in Philadelphia Airport," McQueary said. "And there was one of those little trams. The AGs called," he said, referring to the state attorney general's office. And the AGs, according to McQueary, "said we're going to arrest folks and we are going to leak it out."


Fina Perjury?

It appears that former OAG Prosecutor Frank Fina lied under oath when asked about the leaking of the Sandusky charges/presentment.

Ray Blehar  
h/t Gsindy

April 4, 2017, 7:38 PM, EDT

At Jerry Sandusky's PCRA hearing on August 23, 2016, former OAG prosecutor Frank Fina blamed the leak of the Sandusky charges and presentment on Centre County District Judge Leslie Dutchcot's office.

Given Mike McQueary's revelation that Jonelle Eshbach was behind the leak, it appears that Fina lied under oath.