Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Spanier's attorney blasts Freeh report
By Brian Bennett
Former Penn State president Graham Spanier hasn't been charged in connection to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, but Spanier may have already been convicted in the court of public opinion thanks to the Freeh Report.
Not surprisingly, Spanier is fighting back. His attorney, Timothy Lewis, held a news conference on Wednesday in which he blasted the findings of the report and called former FBI director Louis Freeh, who led the investigation at the school's behest, a "biased investigator" who produced a "blundering and indefensible indictment."
"There is nothing 'full or complete' about the Freeh Report," Lewis said. "Nor am I aware of any court in the land that would accept such unsupported and outrageous conclusions as 'independent,' or any judge who would put his or her name behind them. It is now apparent that Judge Freeh was not an 'independent investigator,' but a self-anointed accuser who, in his zeal to protect victims of wrongdoing from a monster, recklessly and without justification created victims of his own. ...
"The Freeh Report, as it pertains to Dr. Spanier, is a myth. And that myth, along with the free pass its author has enjoyed thus far, ends today."
Among other things, Lewis said Spanier was never told that Mike McQueary witnessed anything of a sexual manner involving Sandusky and a young boy in the infamous 2001 shower incident. Lewis also said Spanier received only two e-mails about the 1998 investigation into Sandusky that did not result in any criminal charges.
Lewis also claims that Freeh's staff was sloppy in its fact-gathering, did not interview key witnesses and failed to identify those witnesses it said it interviewed.
Spanier himself was not present at the news conference, and his attorneys took only a few questions. Spanier is scheduled to be interviewed on ABC News Wednesday night in his first public comments since the scandal.
A key question he'll need to answer relates to an e-mail uncovered by the Free Report in which Spanier says that not reporting the 2001 shower incident could leave Penn State "vulnerable." And maybe he can answer the most pressing question I have: if Spanier was unfairly blamed for the scandal, why hasn't he spoken about it until now? He has, after all, not been charged with a crime and has been free to try and clear his name.