By Douglas Robb, from Facebook Posting
Actually, there is evidence that the unidentified “trustee” referred to in the report in regards to the board’s knowledge BEFORE Sandusky‘s arrest, references a story in the Harrisburg Patriot-News on March 16, 2011, in which news of the PA AG’s Sandusky grand jury investigation and Spanier, Curley, Schultz’s and Paterno’s testimony is revealed. It is on the basis of that article that the unidentified “trustee” asks for more information and is rebuked or stalled by Spanier.
If Freeh‘s report reveals anything, it shows Spaniers massive malfeasance in his failure to address the issue of notification of the board of the very serious legal implications both criminal and civil that Sandusky’s indictment would eventually create for Penn State. Indeed, had Spanier acted promptly and properly in advising the board about Sandusky in the spring of 2011, the BOT would not have been caught so flat-footed by the media firestorm that ensued after Sandusky’s arrest on Nov. 5th, 2011.
Be that as it may, it is clear the BOT has been caught in a massive lie about what they knew and when they knew it as regards their previous knowledge of Sandusky. I find it inconceivable that this unnamed “trustee” just went away satisfied by Spanier’s dubious explanation thinking that he had credible information. I believe that unidentified “trustee” may have been a key member of the BOT and it’s executive committee. If anyone on the executive committee had knowledge of Sandusky’s investigation prior to Nov. 5th, 2011, then the BOT are guilty of fraud and complete dereliction of their governing duties.
I believe the BOT intent, from the very beginning, was a fait accompli to not only remove Joe Paterno, but to so damage his reputation that he would ultimately be cast as the fall guy or scapegoat in this entire affair. As soon as the board knew Sandusky was indicted, then they clearly knew Spanier had at least completely deceived them about Sandusky and the crisis nature his indictment would place upon Penn State. But if you watch the YouTube video of the press conference at which Surma outlined the firings of Paterno and Spanier, they clearly made more of Paterno’s firing and their reasons for it, and Joe’s “supposed failure of leadership,” etc.
There is hardly ANY mention of Spanier’s firing aside from the fact that Surma mentions it in passing. The fact that the board retained Spanier as a tenured faculty member is beyond the pale. Knowing full well that Spanier’s failure to notify the board of Sandusky’s pending indictment and the massive criminal and civil liabilities it would create for ALL of Penn State, as well as the attending media fires-storm and public opinion nightmare it created was clearly grounds to terminate Spanier completely for cause. The fact that they treated Spanier with kid-gloves while throwing Paterno to the wolves is proof positive of the BOT complicity and knowledge of the scandal.
The report also tries to cast Paterno as the villain because of his supposed “massive power” as in the explanation of the janitor’s incident and their reluctance to report what they witnessed about Sandusky, or the ridiculous leap-of-faith of the Curley e-mail in which the confused syntax of Curley’s reply after talking to Joe is confused at best. But which the media-and Freeh-cite as “proof positive” Paterno engineered-and insisted-on the so called “humane” strategy in dealing with Sandusky. This explanation is tantamount to grown adults using the excuse that “Joe made me do it” when they knew full well the ramifications and responsibilities of their inability to step forward and report to the proper authorities their knowledge of a crime.
What bothers me most is that Freeh’s report relies on anecdotal evidence taken by Freeh’s “investigators” during their so-called “interviews.” This is an absurd investigative practice on the face of it, and is completely missed by the media in their typical “rush-to-judgment” at wanting to “catch” Joe Paterno. Unlike a court of law, these “interviews” were taken not as legal depositions with potential perjury or other criminal implications for giving false, misleading, or inaccurate testimony. They were basically conversations with the so-called 450 “witnesses” in Freeh’s Report. A highly dubious method of fact finding at best. You can, and might, say anything if you knew that you weren’t under oath in a court of law.
Any one who has spent even 5 minutes looking over the legacy of Freeh’s controversial and questionable investigations while he was the director at the FBI can see that Freeh’s investigative history is hardly impeccable. Quite the contrary. And since the leak of the e-mails from his PSU investigation by parties Freeh claims are “completely outside his organization and unknown to him” is a compelling explanation-for him. But it hardly puts to rest the possibility that Freeh’s investigation was somehow compromised.
“The 1998 investigation of Sandusky was conducted in a professional and complete manner, devoid of any undue influence by “Old Main?” Maybe, but so what? Talk about “a leap!” PS Campus Police Investigator Ronald Schreffler personally over-heard Sandusky’s tacit confession to the allegations of child sexual molestation leveled by the mother of one of the victims in her home! When he learned that Centre Co. DA Ray Gricar had failed to indict Sandusky in 1999, his EXACT words were that he was flabbergasted! He absolutely believed, based on the evidence amassed during the investigation, that Gricar had prima facie evidence of Sandusky’s guilt and would indict Sanduksy without fail. And yet, that didn’t happen.
And a few months after Tom Corbett was elected PA AG in 2004, Ray Gricar disappeared! Without a trace! And though his body was never found, and the bizarre circumstances behind Gricar’s disappearance and the attendant evidentiary oddities accompanying that disappearance are well documented, he was subsequently declared legally dead several years ago. If anything, the background and circumstances of the 1998 Sandusky investigation is one of the more murky, troubling and questionable chain of events in the whole Sandusky debacle.
What is most troubling in this whole, sordid and sorry mess is this: After 2001, regardless of who knew what when, Curley, Spanier, Schultz, Paterno, McQueary, and several others in the PSU admin. absolutely KNEW that Sandusky was a problem. How Sandusky was able to maintain access to PSU after that well-documented incident is a very troubling question that I believe ALL parties are obligated to answer. It can be argued that Gricar’s failure to indict Sandusky in 1999 may have convinced all parties that there was no credible evidence against Sandusky. And here, clearly the janitors who witnessed that assault, failed to report their direct knowledge of a felony crime being committed.
Regardless of their perception of Joe’s “power” as a football coach, in the end, grown, responsible adults who know the difference between right and wrong cannot hide behind their “perceived fear” of someone else’s power over them in the eyes of the law. They clearly failed to act-and are responsible for and definitely put other young boys in jeopardy due to their failure to report. I believe if they had done so, Gricar would have had 2 eyewitnesses of Sandusky committing felony child sexual assault-and a slam-dunk prosecution. Ask yourself how that would have changed the paradigm of the consequences which we ALL now face?