The Times-Tribune

PSU sues ex-President Spanier for breaching contract


HARRISBURG — Penn State has countersue­d its former president, claiming he violated his employment agreement by not disclosing what he knew about Jerry Sandusky before the former assistant football coach’s arrest on child molestatio­n charges in 2011.

The university’s legal counteratt­ack filed Monday was made public by the court on Tuesday, along with Penn State’s response to a revised breach-of-contract lawsuit Graham Spanier filed in the courthouse near State College last month.

The school said Mr. Spanier violated a 2010 employment contract and wants back the millions it has paid him over the past five years.

The countercla­im said Mr. Spanier did not fully disclose what he knew about the Sandusky grand jury investigat­ion in 2011, or informatio­n he purportedl­y had about complaints regarding Mr. Sandusky showering with boys in 1998 and 2001.

Spanier attorney Tom Clare called it “a last-ditch effort by Penn State to escape liability for its multiple clear breaches” of the separation agreement.

Mr. Spanier was forced out as president by university trustees days after Mr. Sandusky was first charged five years ago, along with two high-ranking university administra­tors accused of covering up complaints about Mr. Sandusky.

He and Penn State entered into a separation agreement that granted him 18 months’ salary, a $1.5 million retirement payment, a $700,000 post-presidency sabbatical payment, and five years of tenured faculty service at $600,000 annually, ending in November 2017.

The agreement also called for the school not to make negative comments about him, an element of the deal that Mr. Spanier claims the school has violated.

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