Penn State officials said today that they have turned over emails discovered by an independent investigator looking into the Jerry Sandusky scandal to the state attorney general's office.
In a statement, spokesman David La Torre said: "In the course of former FBI Director Louis Freeh's independent investigation, emails were discovered and immediately turned over to the State Attorney General."
The statement came in response to a report by NBC today that investigators had uncovered an email exchange between top university officials in which they discussed whether or not to report to outside authorities that Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant for Penn State's football team, had allegedly witnessed Mr. Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a locker room shower. The exchange -- between former President Graham Spanier, former Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the former Senior Vice President for Finance and Business -- reportedly included information about legal research the university had done. One of the men concluded it would be "humane" to Mr. Sandusky to not report the matter.
Both Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz face trial on charges that they failed to report what Mr. McQueary saw and lied to a grand jury about it. Mr. Spanier was fired, but has not been charged.
The exchange raises questions about whether Mr. Spanier, whose knowledge of the Mr. McQueary's report remains unclear, will be charged.
Penn State declined to comment further, "in deference to the legal process," Mr. La Torre wrote.
But in a lawsuit, Mr. Spanier sought copies of the emails from that time period, saying he wanted to refresh his memory for when he is called to testified in Mr. Sandusky's trial. The prosecution had stopped the university from turning them over, according to the suit.
Attorneys Caroline Roberto and Tom Farrell, who are representing Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz respectively, issued this statement in response to the NBC report.
"The information confirms that as they testified at the grand jury, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz conscientiously considered Mike McQueary's reports of observing inappropriate conduct, reported it to the University President Graham Spanier, and deliberated about how to responsibly deal with the conduct and handle the situation properly," the statement said.
Moriah Balingit: email@example.com, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee.