Senior Judge Thomas Gavin was chosen Thursday to preside over the civil suit filed against Penn State by former assistant football coach Mike McQueary .
University spokesman David La Torre said the university cannot comment on the matter.
Gavin currently presides in Chester County. Jim Koval, Communications Manager of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, said the judges from Centre County recused themselves and petitioned the administrative office of courts for an out-of-county judge.
The court administration of Pennsylvania then conducted a search for “appropriate and available” judges to rule on the case.
Following the search, the court administration submitted recommendations to the Chief Justice, who ultimately decided which judge will hear the case.
The same situation occurred in former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse case.
After arraigning Sandusky and setting bail, it was found that Judge Leslie Dutchcot of Centre County, had ties to The Second Mile.
Senior Judge John Cleland, an out-of-county judge, was then selected to oversee Sandusky’s case.
Gavin began practicing in Chester County in 1972 specializing in civil and criminal litigation, according to a press release issued by the Centre County Courthouse. He was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas in November of 1985 and has remained a commissioned judge who presides over both civil and criminal cases. In January of 2011, Gavin was appointed Senior Judge.
McQueary filed a whistleblower suit against the university for “ostracizing and isolating” him from a community he spent most of his life in, according to court documents.
According to court documents — among other things — McQueary is suing for more than $4 million citing defamation and misrepresentation, an amount he could have earned at least, according to court documents, he said, had he been a football coach for the next 25 years.
He could have also earned a bowl bonus had he not been placed on administrative leave, reimbursement for legal fees and full “back pay” or money he would have received as a full-time employee.
McQueary testified for the prosecution during the Sandusky trial that he witnessed Sandusky engaging in something of a “sexual nature” with a boy in the showers of the Lasch Football Building in 2001.
Elliot Strokoff, McQueary’s attorney, could not be reached by press time Thursday.