Here’s the Suit Former Penn State President Graham Spanier Just Filed Against Louis Freeh
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier has filed suit against former FBI director Louis Freeh, saying the latter defamed him in his famous “Freeh Report” on the Jerry Sandusky affair that ended the Joe Paterno era at the university.
The complaint was not immediately available, but an official with the Court of Common Pleas in Centre County confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the case had been filed. Spanier’s attorney, Libby Locke, did not return calls for comment, nor did any of the three offices of the Freeh Group, the company that the former FBI director now heads.
A statement from the law firm representing Spanier outlined the former president’s case against Freeh.
In the filing, Dr. Spanier alleges that Freeh and his law firm knowingly and maliciously published false and defamatory statements about him in the Freeh Report, causing significant damage to Dr. Spanier’s reputation — harm which was compounded by Freeh’s promotion of the report in a nationally televised press conference. The complaint alleges that Freeh recklessly disregarded evidence in the final report, including the results of a comprehensive federal investigation that vindicated Dr. Spanier. The complaint also alleges that the 267-page Freeh Report was virtually complete before Freeh ever interviewed Dr. Spanier, which occurred only four business days before the report was issued.
“Dr. Spanier’s complaint demonstrates that the Freeh Report was little more than a public relations product that expediently scapegoated a few individuals and was designed to knock the controversy out of the news as quickly as possible,” said Libby Locke, attorney for Dr. Spanier. “We intend to demonstrate in this suit that through misdirection and strategic omissions, the Freeh Report intentionally reached the false and defamatory conclusion that Dr. Spanier had knowledge of information and events that he did not.”
Spanier still faces criminal charges alleging he helped cover up Sandusky’s behavior, though that case has been put on hold until Spanier and his co-defendants — former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz, and former athletic director Tim Curley, can appeal a ruling allowing a former Penn State attorney to testify at their trials.
In January, the NCAA reversed most of the sanctions it imposed on Penn State in the wake of the Sandusky Affair — based on the Freeh Report — allowing the football team to return to bowl games and restoring late Paterno-era victories that had been vacated.
Read the suit below:
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