Lawyer: Defense attorney helped Penn State edit release
BELLEFONTE >> Penn State’s former general counsel testified Tuesday that several days before two highranking administrators were charged over their handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, the school’s thenpresident let the men’s defense lawyers review and suggest changes to a statement he later issued that voiced his full support for them.
Cynthia Baldwin told jurors about email exchanges that ensued with defense attorneys Tom Farrell and Caroline Roberto shortly before their clients were charged with perjury, failure to properly report suspected abuse and other offenses in November 2011.
Baldwin said someone at the attorney general’s office had told her the charges were coming against Gary Schultz, then the school’s vice president for business and finance, and Tom Curley, then the athletic director. That led to an internal meeting with high-ranking members of the school’s public relations staff, the thenchairman of the board of trustees Steve Garban and president Graham Spanier.
Spanier wanted help with a statement in support of Curley and Schultz that he had drafted, and his aides suggested changes. He also directed Baldwin to provide it to the defense attorneys.
“He said to send it to (Roberto),” Baldwin testified. “That’s what I did.”
It was published on Nov. 5, the day that the attorney general’s office announced charges against the two administrators and Sandusky, news that sent the campus reeling and soon led the board of trustees to force out Spanier. It was also later revised to include direct quotes from Farrell and Roberto.