A phenomenon of the post-Jerry Sandusky era at Penn State has gained new strength: Slates of candidates—resembling political parties—joining together for seats on the university’s board of trustees. The Patriot-News reports on the latest entry, Upward State:
NewsWorks reports: “A Pennsylvania judge is granting former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s request to put on hold his defamation civil lawsuit against former FBI director Louis Freeh and Freeh’s law firm. Judge Jonathan Grine on Tuesday issued a stay in the case, citing as a factor the criminal charges that Spanier faces for an alleged cover-up of complaints about retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.” Spanier’s testimony in the civil case might jeopardize his right not to testify in the criminal proceedings again him.
USA Today reports: “Florida State University president Eric Barron will take over as the head of Pennsylvania State University in May, Penn State’s trustees announced Monday.”
Barron, 62, a former Penn State professor and dean, will succeed Rodney Erickson, who replaced Graham Spanier in 2011 after a child sexual abuse scandal rocked the campus. Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of the sexual abuse of 10 boys. Spanier, who was forced out of the presidency, was charged in an alleged cover-up. A trial date for Spanier and two other former administrators who were accused of a criminal cover-up has not been scheduled. Erickson plans to retire in June.
This year’s Sundance Festival is in full swing out in Park City, Utah, where two Philly-centric films are enjoying some much-hyped screen time.
Mad Men star John Slattery makes his directorial debut in the film version of former Philadelphia Daily News columnist’s Pete Dexter’s 1983 novel God’s Pocket. The black comedy takes place in a fictional South Philly neighborhood called God’s Pocket, where a construction worker named Leon is killed in a tiff when a co-worker conks him on the head. Leon has such a miserable reputation around town that everyone involved swears it was an accident. His mother — played by Slattery’s delicious Mad Men booty call Christina Hendricks — is suspicious, so she sends her husband Mickey, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, out to search for clues.
Jerry Sandusky, like so many criminal Pennsylvanians before him, wants to collect his $59,000-a-year state pension. He appeared in court today, via video link, for the first time since appealing his conviction last year.
This week, in recently unsealed grand jury testimony from 2012, Penn State’s former counsel Cynthia Baldwin is quoted calling ex-president Graham Spanier a liar, regarding what he knew about previous investigations into Jerry Sandusky.
The Patriot-News reports that court is getting under way for former Penn State officials accused of covering Jerry Sandusky’s abuse of young boys. “Lawyers for former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former senior vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley will make their best case as to whythe second half of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse probe was so legally flawed that the cover-up charges against them should not proceed. … Spanier, Curley and Schultz are accused of failing to report an alleged 2001 assault to authorities and then, years later as the Sandusky probe intensified, attempting to cover up what they knew about that case and how they responded to it.”
Defending Jerry Sandusky was a risky career move for lawyer Joe Amendola. And the bad karma–or bad resume–that followed has now been manifested in this news.
When “Victim Number 9″ took the stand against Jerry Sandusky in 2012, a prosecutor asked him to identify his assailant, he pointed at him without looking. When the prosecutor asked him to look at him, he said, “I don’t want to look at him.” Victim Number 9, now 18, is suing Sandusky and Penn State.