While authorities continue to investigate whether anyone provided Penn State student Joseph Dado with alcohol, Penn State officials say the Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) fraternity is also under investigation.
Penn State spokeswoman Jill Shockey said everyone who came in contact with Dado, 18, prior to his death will be investigated -- including ATO, 321 E. Fairmount Ave.
Interfraternity Council (IFC) President Luke Pierce declined to comment on the investigation.
Wynn Smiley, CEO of Alpha Tau Omega National Fraternity, said the Penn State chapter of Alpha Tau Omega committed no misdeeds.
"The ATOs did nothing wrong that evening," he said. "It was simply a matter of the student coming over to visit the chapter house."
Police say possible penalties for offenders range from a small fine to jail time.
Dado was last seen by Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) fraternity members at about 3 a.m. Sunday, leaving the 319 N. Burrowes Road house for his East Halls dorm, police said. Before going to Fiji, Dado visited ATO and his sister's apartment at 119 S. Burrowes St., friend Eric Hayes (freshman-engineering) said.
Penn State maintenance workers found the freshman's body Monday evening at the bottom of an exterior stairwell by the Steidle Building, about
75 yards away from the fraternity, Penn State officials said.
Fiji was suspended by the IFC on Tuesday, and the Fiji International Headquarters placed an alcohol moratorium on the Penn State chapter until the investigation is closed.
Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said if someone furnished Dado with alcohol, the severity of the penalty would depend on how much alcohol factored into the 18-year-old's death.
"It depends on the facts of a case," Madeira said. "There are too many variables to answer the question in a hypothetical sense."
Madeira said he couldn't comment any further because his office is not involved with the investigation.
Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers ruled the death an accident, saying Dado sustained severe head trauma after he fell off of a wall near a Steidle Building exterior stairwell.
Now, toxicology test results expected in the coming weeks will determine whether Dado had drugs or alcohol in his system.
State College Police Department Lt. Chris Fishel said there may be harsher penalties for furnishing alcohol, but it constitutes a misdemeanor charge in most cases.
A misdemeanor furnishing alcohol to a minor charge often carries a minimum $1,000 fine and a potential jail sentence or probation, Fishel said.
In a similar case, two Penn State students were charged Sept. 3 with furnishing alcohol to a minor after a 19-year-old Bellefonte man sustained serious injuries following a fall from a third-floor balcony in August, police said.
Katherine Reese and Nicholas McClone supplied alcohol to Matthew Beck, 19, who fell 33 feet from a University Towers balcony later that night, police said.
Beck was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center and transferred to the Altoona Trauma Center before being hospitalized in Pittsburgh, police said.
Reese, 20, was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor and underage drinking. McClone, 21, was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor.
Penn State Police Deputy Director Tyrone Parham said the Dado case is still under investigation and he could not speculate on when it will end.
"The Dado case has so many angles," Parham said.