Tuesday, February 26

PSU's Pathetic Response to the A7 Report

The official PSU response to the release of the A7 report was pathetic and dishonest

Ray Blehar
February 26, 2019, 10:29 PM EST

As expected, the University's pathetic response to the leaked report of the alumni-elected trustees (A7) report stated it didn't reflect the position of the University or the PSU BOT. 

Of course it didn't.

The University and BOT have refused to review the Freeh Report, let alone take a position on it.

That happened to be the only true statement in the official response (below).

"The public disclosure of this unauthorized report in apparent violation of court-ordered confidentiality is reprehensible. We wish to make clear the report does not represent the position or opinions of the Penn State Board of Trustees or the University in any way. It is the expression of the personal opinions of the authorsIt is also important to understand the University obtained a confidentiality order for the Freeh materials from a court in order to protect and promote a culture that asks employees to tell the truth and to speak up and report wrongdoing when they see it, without fear of retaliation. Finding the truth is dependent on such a commitment of confidentiality. This leak undermines these values and discourages a culture of reporting at Penn State. Furthermore, it is unfair to the men and women who provided information to Judge Freeh and his team, with an understanding that what they said to the interviewer would be maintained in confidence to the extent possible." 

The release of the A7 report was reprehensible?

Not in comparison to the lies put forth in the statement, especially those about protecting and promoting a culture that asks employees to tell the truth and speak up.

Mark Dambly showed exactly how he creates such an environment when he scolded other trustees who had questions about the Brandywine construction project back in 2015.  When asked by then-trustee John Hangar and other newly sat trustees to provide details on a project of which they were unfamiliar, Dambly whined on endlessly about being asked to explain the project.  As his whining concluded, he essentially told the group that he expected a rubber stamp on the project because everyone should have confidence in him and his committee.

So everyone should have confidence in a person who said he couldn't remember being arrested for disorderly conduct in 1979?   He also didn't remember the five days he spent in jail related to that incident. Dambly had his records expunged in 2013.

When the Brandywine  project was temporarily put on hold pending further discussion, Dambly stormed out of the meeting before its conclusion.

Moving along to the remainder of the statement, it is equally pathetic that Dambly (and Barron) continue to attempt to fool the public into believing that the efforts to quash the alumni report were because they are promoting a culture of openness and not being afraid to to tell the truth.

Of course, the opposite is true.

Barron, Dambly, and the vast majority of the trustees have been playing CYA ever since the Freeh Report was published and millions were needlessly spent in its aftermath.

Cover-up, not confidentiality

The Old Guard and Old Main have conducted this cover up under the guise of protecting the identities of employees interviewed by Freeh's team -- even though they knew that confidentiality was never  guaranteed.

The alumni trustees wrecked their confidentiality argument on page 13 of the A7 report, where it makes clear that every person interviewed was given an Upjohn Warning and that there was no guarantee of confidentiality.

Confidentiality was also compromised by Freeh's shoddy work.

Shortly after the release of the Freeh Report, the media immediately figured out (from a footnote) that Vicky Triponey was the source of damaging information on Paterno and the football program. The end notes in the Freeh Report made it easy to identify that Rod Erickson, Cynthia Baldwin, janitor Ronald Petrosky, former PSU detective Ronald Schreffler, and many others who were interviewed by Freeh.

The confidentiality argument was/is completely without merit.

The Old Guard's securing of the court order to keep the alumni trustee report from seeing the light of day was yet another multi-million dollar step of a cover-up that has been going on ever since the Sandusky case landed on then-Attorney General Tom Corbett's desk in 2009.


  1. Great article, as always, Ray. I admire your commitment to finding the truth.

  2. The fact that the cover-up goes on is no surprise, but it is the real reprehensible issue in this continuing ordeal.