Penn St. subpoena seeks payment info

Updated: February 27, 2012, 12:39 PM ET
Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A federal subpoena related to the child sex abuse scandal involving a former Penn State assistant football coach, sent to the university's top lawyer earlier this month, sought records of payments made by trustees to the school, or to third parties on the school's behalf, the university said Friday.

A copy of the Feb. 2 subpoena for general counsel Cynthia Baldwin, posted on the school's website Friday evening, listed eight categories of records, including "reporting requirements on the part of employers and staff relating to misconduct" by staff and others associated with Penn State.

It directed Baldwin, a former state Supreme Court justice, to bring the documents with her to a federal grand jury meeting in Harrisburg on Wednesday, but the school said that deadline had been extended by U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith because of the volume of records.

Penn State said it was fully cooperating with the request.

The reference to the Board of Trustees represents a potential new direction for the scandal, which has so far been largely focused on the allegations against Jerry Sandusky and the actions of university administrators in response to complaints about the former top assistant to longtime head football coach Joe Paterno.

Heidi Havens, a spokeswoman for Smith, declined to comment Friday on the subpoena.

The letter to Baldwin from prosecutors asked her to preserve all university records and emails, including board and executive session minutes, disclosure reports and computer hard drives. They asked for records related to Sandusky, and his hard drive, along with those of former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley.

The request covered the university's computer servers, emails, subscriber data and account information.

"Finally, please preserve all source documents related to dealings with The Second Mile and any issue concerning allegations against or actions involving Jerry Sandusky," wrote Smith and two assistant prosecutors, Gordon A.D. Zumbrod and Francis P. Sempa.

The chairwoman of the Board of Trustees said in a statement that it was cooperating with the federal investigation, as well as the state attorney general's probe and a review launched by the board's Special Investigations Task Force.

"The victims, the Penn State community and the public deserve to know the facts and see that justice is done," said the chairwoman, Karen B. Peetz. "We are committed to these goals."

Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a charity for at-risk children, where state prosecutors allege he met victims. The Second Mile's acting chief executive, David Woodle, released a statement saying the organization has cooperated and intends to continue fully cooperating with all investigations by all authorities.

Federal prosecutors' request from information goes back to 1998, the year university police investigated a mother's complaint that Sandusky, then the football team's defensive coordinator, had showered with her 11-year-old son in a school locker room.

Sandusky, 68, is confined to his State College home as he awaits trial on 52 sex abuse charges. He denies the allegations.

The eight categories listed in an attachment to the letter to Baldwin broadly sought records related to Sandusky, The Second Mile and "allegations of misconduct and inappropriate relationships with minors."

Spanier has not been charged with any crime, and he remains a faculty member after being forced out by the trustees in November. He has not responded to messages seeking comment. Curley is on leave while he fights the charges, while Schultz has stepped down.

Curley and Schultz await trial in Harrisburg on charges that they lied to a grand jury investigating Sandusky and failed to properly report suspected child abuse after a football team assistant told them of a 2002 incident involving Sandusky and a boy inside the team's showers. Curley and Schultz, who are free on bail, are seeking dismissal of the charges.

A spokeswoman for the lawyers who represent Curley and Schultz declined to comment.

Sandusky could face trial as early as May in the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte. A spokesman for the state attorney general's office, which is prosecuting the three men, said Friday the criminal investigation remains active.

The scandal led the trustees in November to dismiss Paterno, despite his legendary status as major college football's winningest coach and a living symbol of the university. Paterno, who testified before the grand jury looking into the matter, was not charged with any crime and state prosecutors said he was not a target. He died of lung cancer last month.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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