A former Penn State official facing a perjury charge in the Jerry Sandusky scandal wants a judge to help his defense team gain access to files from a school investigation.
Lawyers for retired university vice president Gary Schultz filed a petition late Monday in county court in Harrisburg, Pa., that requested a list of 25 sets of items from the Washington, D.C., law firm led by former FBI director Louis Freeh, hired by Penn State to look into the child sex abuse scandal.
The records Schultz wants include notes of interviews with former Penn State president Graham Spanier and with Cynthia Baldwin, the university’s former chief counsel. It also seeks information related to a 1998 police investigation of Sandusky that did not result in charges at the time, and Baldwin’s notes regarding a January 2011 meeting with former football coach Joe Paterno.
Schultz’s lawyers said Freeh’s 144-page report ”has maintained grievous and potentially inaccurate information related to Mr. Schultz, reviewing in great detail his purported actions, and alleging a conspiracy among the top administrators for the university to cover up reports of sexual abuse within its football program.”
Schultz also is charged with failure to properly report suspected child abuse. The court filing said the documents would help him prepare a defense and in jury selection.
Schultz defense lawyer George Matangos said Tuesday that if Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover signs the order, it would be taken to Washington, D.C., superior court officials for their review. The filing sets a Sept. 1 deadline.
”I wouldn’t say it’s a firm timetable,” Matangos said. ”It’s a guideline we’re trying to follow.”
Schultz’s co-defendant, Penn State athletic director Tim Curley, did not immediately join the motion, and a spokeswoman for his lawyers said he did not plan to at this time. Curley, now on leave from the university, faces the same charges.
A spokesman for Freeh’s firm – Freeh, Sporkin and Sullivan – declined to comment. Pennsylvania deputy attorney general Bruce Beemer, the lead prosecutor in the Curley and Schultz cases, was sent a copy of the subpoena petition, and a message left with his office’s spokesman was not immediately returned.
Sandusky awaits sentencing after being convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.
Schultz’s lawyers wrote that if convicted of perjury, the more serious count against him, he could be sentenced to seven years.
Freeh’s report concluded that Schultz, Curley, Spanier and Paterno hid accusations against Sandusky for fear of bad publicity, and the report was cited by the NCAA as it hit the school with a multi-year bowl ban and a $60 million fine.
Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, an alumni-based organization that has been critical of the university’s board of trustees, on Tuesday said it was seeking records from Penn State about the Freeh report, specifically the names of other entities that may have been contacted before Freeh was hired and documents memorializing the deal between Penn State and the Freeh firm.