Education Law

Is Federal Probe of Former Penn State Football Coach Sandusky Focusing on Possible Cover-Up?


A federal investigation of a former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach appears to be taking a different tack than the state probe that has already resulted in a long list of criminal charges against Jerry Sandusky.

Apparently leaving the child sex-abuse case to the state to pursue, the feds seem to be probing if there was any cover-up at Penn State or misuse of federal money, CNN reports.

A subpoena received by the university earlier this month seeks information about complaints or out-of-settlements concerning Sandusky and records of payments to third parties by members of the university’s governing board.

“The subpoena appears to be exploring when or whether there was any institutional awareness of Sandusky’s alleged conduct at Penn State,” says attorney James W. Spertus, a former federal prosecutor who now practices in Los Angeles. “If, for example, there were private efforts by board members to settle claims before the matter became public, or there were reports to the board about the allegations, it could change the nature of the investigation.”

A lawyer for Penn State declined to speculate on the federal investigation when contacted by CNN but said the university is cooperating.

As detailed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, two Penn State officials are facing criminal charges over accusations that they did not do enough to respond to allegations about Sandusky in 2002 and subsequently lied to a grand jury about what was said at the time.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Charged with 12 New Counts, Ex-Penn State Coach Sandusky Posts $250K Bail After Night Spent in Jail”

ABAJournal.com: “McQueary Testifies on Sandusky Shower Incident in Hearing for Two Penn State Officials”

ABAJournal.com: “Did Penn State’s Counsel Represent Witnesses in Grand Jury’s Sandusky Probe?”

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