Ex-Penn St. president drops lawsuit
Penn State University’s former president Graham Spanier is dropping a lawsuit that sought the release of his university emails involving convicted predator Jerry Sandusky.
Spanier moved Wednesday to dismiss the case he had filed in May, according to online court records.
He had sought the emails to refresh his memory before being interviewed by ex-FBI chief Louis Freeh as part of an investigation on behalf of the school’s board of trustees, according to his complaint.
The issue now appears moot because Freeh issued his report last week.
The report accused Spanier, former football coach Joe Paterno and others of burying child sex abuse allegations against Sandusky more than a decade ago to avoid bad publicity, allowing the former assistant football coach to prey on other boys for years.
Sandusky was convicted last month of sexually abusing 10 boys, sometimes on Penn State’s campus.
The trustees said they were kept in the dark about the abuse complaints and the grand jury investigation that spawned last year’s criminal charges against Sandusky and two school administrators.
Former Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley are charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse. They deny the allegations and are awaiting trial.
Spanier isn’t charged, but the 267-page report offered withering criticism of his leadership.
”By not promptly and fully advising the board of trustees about the 1998 and 2001 child sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky and the subsequent grand jury investigation of him, Spanier failed in his duties as president,” the report concluded.
Spanier’s lawyers have criticized the Freeh report, saying it contains inaccuracies. They didn’t return phone messages Wednesday from The Associated Press.
Paterno’s family denies that he participated in any attempt at a cover-up. Paterno died in January.
The Centre Daily Times first reported Wednesday on Spanier’s motion to dismiss the case.
Under Spanier, Penn State waged various legal and legislative battles to keep email, salary and other information private. The state’s open records law has an exemption that lets Penn State and three other state-related universities keep their operations private despite the substantial taxpayer subsidies they receive.