Judge postpones hearing for 3 PSU officials

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The preliminary hearing for three Penn State administrators accused of covering up the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal has been delayed indefinitely while a judge decides whether the university's former general counsel may testify against the three men.

According to an order issued Wednesday by Magisterial District Judge William C. Wenner, the hearing, originally scheduled for Dec. 13, is postponed "until after resolution of pending motions."

Former athletic director Tim Curley, retired vice president of business and finance Gary Schultz and former university president Graham Spanier are charged with conspiracy, endangering the welfare of children and obstruction of justice.

Among the motions pending is one filed with Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge Todd Hoover by defense attorneys for Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz on Nov. 20.

In it, they allege that testimony before the grand jury by former Penn State general counsel Cynthia Baldwin should not have been permitted because the information she shared was privileged since their clients believed she represented them.

"Baldwin's testimony about her privileged conversations with Schultz, Curley and Spanier is in fact the sole support for the existence of a conspiracy to commit perjury," they wrote.

The defense has asked that Ms. Baldwin be precluded from testifying and that the charges be dismissed because Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz were not adequately represented by counsel when they gave their grand jury testimony in January 2011.

However, the state attorney general's office disagrees with that position. Further, prosecutors claim that the motion relating to Ms. Baldwin's testimony should have been filed with the supervising judge of the statewide grand jury, Barry Feudale, not in Common Pleas Court. Under Pennsylvania law, grand jury matters are secret.

In its response regarding the motion, the AG's office quoted from an order that read, "All applications and motions relating to the work of the Thirty-Third Statewide Investigating Grand Jury -- including motions for disclosure of grand jury transcripts and evidence -- shall be presented to said supervising judge."

Judge Feudale could not be reached for comment.


Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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