The former FBI director assigned to investigate the potential cover-up of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case could release a report of his findings by the end of summer.
In November, when the charges were filed against former assistant coach Sandusky and two top Penn State administrators, former FBI director Louis Freeh was hired by the Board of Trustees to internally investigate the situation at the university.
With the creation of the investigation came a Special Committee that Freeh has led throughout the case, which included board members. On November 21, 2011, when the committee was formed, Freeh’s was charged with researching events involving Sandusky that date back to 1975.
During a press conference, Special Committee Chairman Ken Frazier said the information gained from the investigation will help reform university policy, focusing heavily on how to report criminal behavior to law enforcement.
When the investigation has concluded, it will be released simultaneously to the Board of Trustees and the public. Initially, the trustees thought they might have been able to view the report before it was released.
Special Committee member Rodney Hughes, a graduate student and former student trustee, said regarding the release of the report, “there hasn't been a date determined, as far as I’m aware.”
Including Freeh, Frazier and Hughes, there are nine members in the committee. The other six are:
- Board Vice Chairman Ron Tomalis, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education
- Mark Dambly, trustee and president of Pennrose Properties, LLC
- Jesse Arnelle, trustee and attorney
- Keith Eckel, trustee and sole proprietor and president of Fred W. Eckel and Sons Farms, Inc., and board chairman of Nationwide Insurance
- Karen Peetz, board chairwoman and vice chairwoman/ CEO of Financial Markets and Treasury Services, Bank of New York Mellon
- Dan Hagen, chairman of Faculty Senate and a professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences
During the investigation, there were emails found, which have since been obtained by NBC News, regarding former university president Graham Spanier and his knowledge of a 2001 incident involving Sandusky and a young boy in the showers of the Lasch Football Building over a decade ago.
The university had told Spanier that emails sent before 2004 didn’t exist.
Spanier filed litigation on May 25 to attempt to force the university to release the emails to Spanier. On June 14, university attorneys requested authorities discharge the lawsuit filed by the former university president.
Spanier’s lawyers stated that Penn State attorneys were willing to give Spanier copies of the emails until the attorney general’s office requested the university withhold the information.
According to documents filed by Penn State, the university cannot reveal the emails because of the ongoing investigation into the matter, and Spanier should have acted under the state’s Right To Know Law. The emails are now in possession of the attorney general and, according to court documents, the university said the lawsuit is “properly directed toward the Attorney General — not the University.”
Penn State Spokesman David LaTorre wrote in an email that “the University believes it has done nothing that would prevent Dr. Spanier from meeting with the Freeh Group, which has already met with hundreds of university officials.”
LaTorre wrote that currently the university cannot give comment on details related to the pending lawsuit.
“[The university] has cooperated fully with the Office of Attorney General and the Freeh Group and expects all of its faculty, staff and administrators, including Dr. Spanier, to cooperate to the fullest extent,” LaTorre wrote.
Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Keith Masser told the Associated Press that to him, it looks as if top administration and athletic officials “were involved in making the decision to not inform the proper authorities.”
Masser made it clear that he was speaking for himself and not for the board as a whole, but later apologized to the trustees for what he said.
Masser released a letter on the Board of Trustees website on June 19 saying it was “inappropriate” to make the comments that he did and that he regrets “saying the things that were reported in the media.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.