Spanier, Curley and Schultz received good news Friday regarding their criminal case.
Former Penn State administrators had some charges dropped against them in regards to their alleged involvement in covering up events in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.
After a court decision made on Friday, former Penn State President Graham Spanier and former Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz have had the charges of perjury, obstruction and related conspiracy counts against them dismissed by Judge Mary Jane Bowes in the Superior Court. Former Athletic Director Tim Curley has also had his charges of obstruction and related conspiracy counts quashed.
However, all three men still await trial on charges of suspected abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
Amid the sexual abuse case broken in 2011, emails once thought to be gone for good uncovered conversations between the administrators that led to the belief of an alleged cover-up in the case.
Spanier was removed from his position as president in November 2011 after Sandusky, Penn State’s former assistant football coach, was first charged. The emails allegedly showed that Spanier was allegedly involved in not telling police of an accusation made against Sandusky back in 2001. The failure to report the same accusation from 2001 is what also led to the charges of perjury against Curley and Schultz.
Following the child sexual abuse allegations against him, Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and is now serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence.
Back in August, the three administrators appealed their case together. The former Penn State administrators claimed their rights to legal representation were violated during secret grand jury proceedings.
The Superior Court ruled Cynthia Baldwin violated attorney-client privilege when she testified against Shultz, Curley and Spanier. At the time of her testimony, Baldwin served as Penn State’s general counsel. She is also a former justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Baldwin agreed to represent Spanier, Curley and Shultz after the university was brought in to the matter as a subpoena. According to court documents, it was not until after discussions regarding the university subpoena that Baldwin went on record—outside the presence of Spanier—saying she represented the university.
“Ms. Baldwin did not advise Schultz regarding his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination,” Bowes said. “Ms. Baldwin also did not explain the difference between her representation of Shultz in his individual capacity or as an agent of his former employer, Penn State.”
Elizabeth Ainslie, an attorney for Spanier, said the legal team is pleased with the decision released Friday.
“We are obviously very happy with today’s decision,” Ainslie said. “Like Dr. Spanier has said and we have said, he is innocent.”
Members of Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship released a statement in agreement with the decision made by the court. In the statement, PS4RS said since November 2011 they have wanted the same thing—due process for all involved.
PS4RS has more than 40,000 members nationwide and was formed to promote changes within the University Board of Trustees, demanding transparent, trustworthy leadership.
“As we have contended from day one, this was never a Penn State problem,” PS4RS said. “It was, and still very much is, a state of Pennsylvania problem."