Hours after former Penn State President Graham Spanier was charged for his involvement in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case, his successor spoke informally to students and commented on the additional charges.
Attorney General Linda Kelly announced in a press conference Thursday that Spanier has been charged with perjury, child endangerment, conspiracy and obstruction of justice- former administrators Gary Schultz and Tim Curley are also facing additional charges in connection with the Sandusky case.
President Rodney Erickson said he was not made aware of the details of the attorney general’s report before the press conference.
“We received word last evening there would be a press conference,” Erickson said.
Erickson also said he participated in the Board of Trustees conference call Thursday afternoon. The call was a briefing of the additional charges, he said. He also said he encouraged trustees to read the report of the charges if they hadn’t already.
According to a press release on Penn State Live, the university “learned of the charges” announced by Kelly at the press conference.
The release states that Spanier was placed on “sabbatical leave” after he was removed as president and continued to be a tenured professor at the university.
“In light of the charges brought against him, Spanier will be placed on leave, effective immediately,” according to the release.
Instead of further commenting on additional charges, Erickson said the statement issued by the university was the extent of what they could say at this time due to the “ongoing legal process.”
Erickson said he still plans to speak to the National Press Club this afternoon in Washington D.C. He was originally scheduled to speak on Wednesday, but due to weather conditions this week, it was delayed until Friday.
Erickson also spoke to students and answered questions last night to members of the Blue and White Society at the Hintz Family Alumni Center.
“It seems like every week, almost, there’s something out of the ordinary,” he said referring to the effect of the hurricane this week.
He also said one of his greatest frustrations over the past year has been dealing with the media, including the overreaction to the riot by Penn State students almost a year ago.
“In reality, it was 35 to 40 people that got out of hand,” he said.
The people who have had the most difficult time dealing with the events of the past year have been the alumni and the staff at the university, he said.
Erickson acknowledged the criticism of alumni regarding the way the administration and the board handled the events following the grand jury presentment last year. He also said the staff has also had a difficult time because they have been the ones answering phones and dealing with problems firsthand. Several sessions to discuss the emotions and feelings of the staff were held in August and September, he said.