Graham Spanier, Former Penn State President, Argues Freeh Report Left Out Details: Attorneys

Ex-Penn State President Claims Freeh Report Forgot Something

Attorneys for former Penn State University president Graham Spanier insist the Freeh report doesn't tell the whole story.

Spanier's attorneys, Elizabeth K. Ainslie and Peter F. Vaira, said in a statement Monday evening that the Freeh report ignored an independent investigation of the former PSU president by federal officials:

Dr. Spanier has for some time held a top secret security clearance in connection with his work with the federal government. This clearance required a re-review when the Sandusky matter surfaced in November. Federal investigators then conducted a four-month investigation of their own in which they interviewed many of the same individuals the Freeh Group interviewed and other relevant individuals Freeh did not interview. At the conclusion of the investigation the government reaffirmed Dr. Spanier’s clearance.

Although Dr. Spanier told Mr. Freeh directly about the federal security investigation and its result, there is no mention of it anywhere in the Freeh report.

Louis Freeh, a former U.S. District Court Judge and FBI director, lead an independent investigation to find out "who knew what and when" in the scandal around Jerry Sandusky's sexual crimes. Freeh released a report on July 12 of the his findings, detailing discussions between Spanier and other top Penn State officials about what to do with allegations that Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, molested children on campus.

"Mr. Freeh unfairly offered up Dr. Spanier and others to those insisting upon a finding of culpability at the highest level of the University," the statement read, adding "Dr. Spanier looks forward to the opportunity in the future to set the record straight."

Spanier claimed he had no prior knowledge of Sandusky's crimes, but the Freeh report directly contradicted that. Spanier was president of PSU from 1995 to 2011, when the Board of Trustees ousted him shortly after Sandusky was arrested.

The family of the late, famed football coach Joe Paterno has also denied what was reported in the Freeh investigation, and said its lawyers will conduct its own investigation of the scandal.

"We are dismayed by, and vehemently disagree with, some of the conclusions and assertions and the process by which they were developed," Paterno's family said in a statement. "Mr. Freeh presented his opinions and interpretations as if they were absolute facts."

When questioned by reporters last week about Paterno's involvement specifically, Freeh declined to name an individual who was the most responsible for the cover up of Sandusky. Instead he held that Paterno, Spanier, former university vice president Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley were equally at fault.

"We're not singling [Paterno] out, we're putting him in a category of four other people," Freeh said. "The facts are the facts."

Spanier is suing Penn State for denying him access to his old emails. Spanier wanted access to work emails from 1998 through 2004 to prepare for Freeh's investigation. A hearing in that case is set for Aug. 17.

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