Penn State expects report soon on scandal internal investigation
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Penn State University president Rodney Erickson says he anticipates the release this month of a report detailing the findings of an internal investigation into the university's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal.
"I expect the release of the Freeh report before the end of July," Mr. Erickson said Monday. "Don't have a date yet." The report is being prepared by the Freeh Group, led by former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh.
A Penn State trustees panel to which the firm reports previously has said only that it hoped to conclude its work by the start of the fall academic term.
The possibility of an early summer release comes amid an outcry over leaks of selected portions of the investigation.
Over the weekend, CNN reported contents of certain emails indicating Penn State officials planned in 2001 to report to authorities child sex abuse allegations against Mr. Sandusky, a retired assistant football coach. But the university officials later reversed course after discussing the matter with late football coach Joe Paterno.
The news network cited an email, first reported on by NBC, that was sent by retired vice president Gary Schultz to athletic director Tim Curley, two weeks after graduate assistant Mike McQueary informed Paterno that he had witnessed what he believed was Mr. Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a shower.
In the Feb. 26, 2001, email, Mr. Schultz proposes relaying the allegation to Mr. Sandusky, to his charity, The Second Mile, and to the Department of Welfare. But, according to the report, Mr. Curley emailed former Penn State president Graham Spanier the next day, saying that after further consideration and speaking with Paterno, he instead wanted to try working with Mr. Sandusky before involving authorities.
CNN said Mr. Spanier responded by email that he concurred with the alternative tact, and noted: "The only downside for us is if message isn't 'heard' and acted upon and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it, but that can be assessed down the road."
Late Monday, attorney Wick Sollers issued a statement on behalf of the Paterno family criticizing the leaks and calling on the Freeh Group and state Attorney General Linda Kelly to release all emails and records.
"Releasing these emails in this way is not intended to inform the discussion but to smear former Penn State officials, including Joe Paterno," Mr. Sollers wrote. "The truth is Joe Paterno reported the 2001 incident promptly and fully. He was interviewed by the grand jury for a total of 8 minutes and told the truth to the best of his recollection."
"With the leaking of selective emails over the last few days, it is clear that someone in a position of authority is not interested in a fair or thorough investigation," the statement read. "The question that needs to be asked is why this breach of confidentiality, which seeks to preempt the Freeh report and undermine the courts, is not being objected to or otherwise addressed by those in a position of authority."
Trustee-elect Anthony Lubrano said, "If we learned anything last November from our response to incomplete and inaccurate information, it's that we should not rush to judgment." He said the leaks appear to be an attempt to discredit Penn State and the responses of certain administrators in 2001.
Meanwhile, expenses from the scandal continue to mount. Penn State said costs for legal fees, consultants and public relations firms is nearly $12 million. The $11,927,987 tally from November through April does not include settlements.
First Published July 3, 2012 12:00 am