Schultz, Curley attorneys dispute charges



HARRISBURG -- Attorneys for Penn State University athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz targeted the former legal counsel for the university Friday as they disputed new charges against their clients in the Sandusky child sex abuse case.

Neither Mr. Curley, 58, nor Mr. Schultz, 63, spoke as they left their arraignment Friday on charges including endangering the welfare of children, obstruction of justice and criminal conspiracy. Those are in addition to charges filed last year of perjury based on statements they made to a grand jury and for failure to report suspected child abuse.

But their attorneys contested the latest charges and sought to place blame on Cynthia Baldwin, former general counsel for Penn State, whose testimony was cited in a grand jury presentment released Thursday by the state attorney general's office.

Caroline Roberto, who represents Mr. Curley, said her client is innocent and said the report shows Ms. Baldwin testified against the two administrators after representing them. Thomas Farrell, who represents Mr. Schultz, went further, asserting that the new charges were based on false testimony.

"The newest charges have been based upon the testimony ... of someone who has betrayed her clients and her profession and testified falsely," he said.

The report cites Ms. Baldwin in establishing that former Penn State president Graham Spanier knew more than he acknowledged about the investigation of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The attorneys for Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz have asserted that Ms. Baldwin represented both Penn State and their clients before the grand jury and therefore acted with a conflict of interest.

Charles De Monaco, an attorney for Ms. Baldwin, disputed the allegations, saying that his client's career, which includes serving as a justice on the state Supreme Court, demonstrates her character.

"Cynthia Baldwin, as evidenced by her distinguished career and her impeccable reputation, is a person of the highest integrity," Mr. De Monaco said. "The suggestion by anyone that Ms. Baldwin betrayed her clients and her profession or testified falsely is untrue."

He said Ms. Baldwin does not plan to publicly address facts or legal issues that should be established in court.

At the arraignment, Judge William Wenner set bail at $50,000 for Mr. Schultz and Mr. Curley.

Afterward, Ms. Roberto told reporters the new charges show prosecutors are seeking another chance to convict her client, who, along with Mr. Schultz, awaits trial.

"Last year I told you all that the perjury charge was a weak case and that it would be almost impossible for the prosecution to prove that charge," she said. "The prosecution recognized that, and this year they're asking for a do-over."

In announcing the new charges against the two administrators Thursday, state Attorney General Linda Kelly also unveiled the same charges against Mr. Spanier.

Mr. Spanier is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Harrisburg. His attorneys have called the prosecution a "desperate act" by a "vindictive and politically motivated" governor seeking to conceal his own failure to more quickly stop Sandusky.

Gov. Tom Corbett, who was attorney general when the investigation began, dismissed those accusations when questioned by reporters Friday.

"Defense attorneys are paid by their client to speak on their behalf, and I hope they're getting paid well," he said. "Their comments are typical of what we've seen over the years."

He pointed to the so-called Bonusgate public corruption cases prosecuted during his tenure as attorney general.

"The attorneys said pretty much the same thing: It's politically motivated," Mr. Corbett said. "No it's not. It's a search for the truth. It's a search for justice."

One of the candidates seeking to succeed Ms. Kelly as attorney general said Friday he did not believe the announcement of new charges would impact the outcome of his race. Republican David Freed, who serves as Cumberland County district attorney, said he was confident the charges were filed solely because "the professional prosecutors in charge believed it was the right time to do it."

A spokesman for Mr. Freed's Democratic opponent, Kathleen Kane, said she was not yet commenting on the grand jury report.

Mr. Spanier, 64, resigned days after charges were filed against Sandusky in November 2011. Sandusky was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys and was sentenced last month to 30 to 60 years in prison.

state

Staff writer Laura Olson contributed. Karen Langley: klangley@post-gazette.com or 717-787-2141. First Published November 3, 2012 4:00 AM


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