Wednesday, October 22

Corman v. NCAA: Validity of NCAA Consent Decree Will Expose Collusion By All Involved

Judge Anne Covey's ruling for discovery to be completed by November 7, 2014, to add PSU as a defendant, and to depose NCAA officials will ultimately result in exposing the collusion between the NCAA, the Big Ten, PSU, Freeh, and the OAG.  Trial date has been set for January 6, 2015.

By
Ray Blehar

Judge Ann Covey's ruling that the validity of the NCAA Consent Decree was to be decided by the Pennsylvania court will likely expose the collusion between the entities involved and put an end to the lie that PSU was forced to sign off on the NCAA Sanctions under the threat of the Death Penalty.

While Mark Emmert has publicly stated that the Death Penalty was on the table, will Emmert stick to that story under oath and risk being held in contempt of court (as famously happened to President Clinton when he lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky when deposed in the Paula Jones case)?  


Emmert and the NCAA are attempting
to weasel their way out of defending the
validity of the NCAA Consent Decree
Clinton was hit with a $90,686 fine and disbarred  over the matter. One has to wonder whether Emmert would suffer an even greater penalty, such as removal as President of the NCAA, if his story doesn't match up with the seventeen others who will be deposed in the case.

It seems that Emmert and the NCAA are attempting to weasel their way out of the case by appealing to the Federal Court for an expedited decision on Covey's ruling. 

 As Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord argued, the NCAA has shown no evidence of an exigency requiring an expedited hearing and that the NCAA was attempting to "moot the controversy" that they believe emanated from Covey's decision.

While the depositions may tell the tale of whether or not the Death Penalty was on the table, discovery in the case is likely to reveal collusion.   The NCAA has already admitted to their own and the Big Ten's involvement in the not so "independent" investigation conducted by Freeh, Sporkin, and Sullivan (FSS).  From Covey's April 9, 2014 ruling, page 20:


In December 2011, Big Ten legal counsel, along with NCAA counsel, engaged in the independent investigation undertaken by Louis Freeh and his law firm, Freeh, Sporkin, & Sullivan, LLP. . . .

The term "engaged in the independent investigation" connotes active involvement in the investigative process.  

Alumnus Ryan Bagwell's RTK effort resulted in PSU legal representative Frank Guadagnino producing an affidavit stating the NCAA and Big Ten only received progress updates and had discussions about publicly available information from Freeh's team.

Evidence reveals that statement may be false, depending on the NCAA's source.

  

Documents and Testimony Reveal OAG Shared Evidence Outside Law Enforcement Channels

Documents obtained from Old Main reveal that around January 2012, the NCAA was provided with information regarding potential/alleged NCAA minor rules violations that were uncovered during the OAG's investigation.  

It is not clear whether the OAG, Freeh, or Penn State provided this information to the NCAA.

What is clear, however, is that evidence related to a secret grand jury investigation should not have been shared outside law enforcement channels.

After receipt of the information, the NCAA informed Penn State of its intentions regarding the alleged violations, which was to "wait for Freeh Report."

It has also been well documented that FSS was the recipient - and not the provider - of evidence related to the emails and the so-called "secret file" of Gary Schultz.  The only question appears to be whether PSU or the OAG provided it to Freeh's team.


We know from Moulton's report (page 158) that the Penn State emails were turned over the the Pennsylvania State Police on July 7, 2011 -- over 8 months prior to Freeh's claim of his "independent discovery" on 20 March 2012 and that Freeh's claim of establishing the correct date of the McQueary incident does not mesh with the testimony of OAG Agent Tony "TV Guide" Sassano.

"Our investigative team made independent discovery of critical 1998 and 2001 emails – the most important evidence in this investigation. We also confirmed, through our separate forensic review, that the correct year of the Sandusky sexual assault witnessed by Michael McQueary was 2001, and not 2002 as set forth in the original Grand Jury presentment."

And...

"In critical written correspondence that we uncovered on March 20th of this year, we see evidence of their proposed plan of action in February 2001 that included reporting allegations about Sandusky to the authorities."

We also know that Schultz and Belcher turned over the so-called secret files in April 2012, which pre-dates Freeh's 5-1-2012 notations for Freeh Report references to the Schultz file.

Again, this appears to be a case of secret grand jury evidence being shared outside law enforcement channels.  

While the current PA Attorney General's Office would not confirm or deny that there was an ongoing investigation related to leaks in the Sandusky and Conspiracy of Silence cases, OAG official James Barker provided this statement:

" I cannot comment on whether we are conducting an investigation, Grand Jury related or otherwise.  However, if you have information concerning a possible compromise of Grand Jury secrecy, we certainly are interested in obtaining that information.  The Office of Attorney General always has an interest in maintaining the security of matters before a Grand Jury regardless of whether we have an ongoing investigation or not."


Collusion, not "Cram Down"

While Rodney Erickson has maintained that he was forced into signing the Consent Decree and that his decision was endorsed by a small group of unnamed Trustees, there has always been questions surrounding whether the threat of the "Death Penalty" was really on the table.  

According to Dr. Ed Ray, the suspension of play was immediately dismissed by the NCAA Executive Committee, who then went on to discuss other options.  However, his answer to the preceding question reveals the NCAA's involvement during Freeh's investigation.


Q: How have the past few days and weeks been for you, knowing the enormity of the Sandusky scandal and its consequences?

A: This has been a rolling process of discovery of just how tragic the circumstances were at Penn State University. It began back in November 2011, and we learned more over time, through the Sandusky investigation and trial. I think it culminated with the Freeh Report that was commissioned and accepted without exception by the university. It was the release of that report and the acceptance of the findings by the university itself and the concurrence with the NCAA that led us to move forward with deliberations over whether or not it would be appropriate to create a set of punitive and corrective actions by the NCAA to be imposed on Penn State University – hopefully in a consent decree, where the university accepts proposed actions we put forward, and that’s what happened. 

Q: Is it true that had Penn State not consented, there was a possibility that the so-called death penalty would be enacted?

A: Well, let me tell you what I can tell you. We actually had our own internal discussion and a discussion with President Emmert. We told him to go out and put together a package of actions, both punitive and corrective, and come back to us. We want to discuss them, and we want to declare what we think are appropriate actions. As part of that, we talked about whether suspension of play ought to be one of the actions that we would call for. People honestly disagree. … I mean, this is horrific, it’s pretty hard not to want to make harsh judgments. … But the overwhelming vote – we took a vote – in both the executive committee and the Division I board was not to include a suspension of play or death penalty, and then we quickly moved to the menu of actions that you heard about today, and we voted unanimously to support that package. At no time did we ever have a discussion about, “If they don’t do this, we’re going to do that.’’ That is a conversation that never occurred.



As I posted a few months ago, Erickson's five-point promise (that was likely drafted by the BOT) established a template of sorts for the NCAA Consent Decree.  In the days after the Freeh Report was issued, Erickson stated in this video that "PSU would continue in dialog with them [the NCAA] about what are appropriate sanctions."

The NCAA, in its September 23, 2013,  Answer and New Matter with respect to the Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint, wrote  that PSU opted for the NCAA Consent Decree in order to avoid an investigation.  


"In part to avoid a prolonged NCAA investigation and NCAA hearings, [PSU] entered into the Consent Decree, which constitutes a binding contract between the NCAA and [PSU]."

It certainly appears that the NCAA has willfully admitted that PSU opted for the Consent Decree, while Erickson may have inadvertently admitted that the Consent Decree was a result of negotiation between PSU and the NCAA -- and not a cram down.


Conclusion


Penn State not only wanted to avoid an NCAA Investigation, but appears to be committed to fighting along with the NCAA to ensure that the behind the scenes negotiations regarding the NCAA Consent Decree never see the light of day.

Many people have asked, what is the PSU Administration and the 11/9/11 Trustees hiding?

The answer is that it isn't just one thing, it's many things....starting with the truth.








HONOR JOE - Restore the Wins Rally Oct 24-25, 2014 at SBS, State College


HONOR JOE - Restore the Wins Rally  Oct 24-25, 2014

The Student Bookstore, State College, PA

Click here for more info

 

“SIGN THE 409”

The time has come to restore the wins. The time has come and the PEOPLE shall be heard. PEOPLESJOE.com is hosting the Honor Joe – Restore The Wins Rally (October 24 – 25, 2014) in State College, PA and at various satellite locations across the country.  Events are currently being organized in Florida, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Virginia, and Las Vegas with many more to come.

In State College a giant “409” is being constructed and PEOPLE shall come from near and far to demonstrate their support and “SIGN THE 409”. We anticipate more than 10,000 people, including many “special guests,” will “SIGN THE 409.” Invitations are being extended to numerous dignitaries, former players, coaches and celebrities.

Satellite locations will participate in the HONOR JOE – RESTORE THE WINS RALLY by preparing “409” signs and banners. The satellite “409” displays will be collected by Peoplesjoe.com and attached to the giant State College “409”.

Representatives of PEOPLESJOE.com will travel to Indianapolis, IN and officially present the signed “409” to NCAA President, Mark Emmert along with a formal request from the PEOPLE to RESTORE THE WINS. Mr. Emmert will also receive an advance copy of the critically acclaimed THE PEOPLE’S JOE – A TRUE STORY.


Thursday, October 16

Feather's Resignation Breaks Media Blackout of Porn Perps' Roles in Sandusky Case

Up until today's resignation of Feathers, the media avoided mentioning any of the porn perpetrator's roles in the Sandusky case.

By Ray Blehar


Feathers: Looking at porn while
children were being abused?
Former OAG Supervisory Agent, Randy Feathers, who supervised the Sandusky investigation, resigned his position on the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and parole.  Feathers' resignation letter clearly identified his role in the Sandusky investigation, which up until this point had rarely, if ever, been mentioned by the media.

Until yesterday.

Both PennLive and the Pittsburgh Tribune reported Feathers role in the Sandusky case, however philly.com, the Inquirer, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette continued their media black outs.

Apparently, the media does not want the public to know that OAG officials involved in the Sandusky case were spending time ogling porn, while children were being abused.

Richard Sheetz, who the media referred to as a former OAG official and member of the Lancaster County DA's office, was in the approval chain of the Sandusky grand jury presentment. The press has also neglected to mention his role in the delay in the arrest of Sandusky.


Glenn Parno, referred to in the press as the Deputy Chief Counsel with the Department of Environmental Protection, was also in the approval chain of the Sandusky presentment.


One truly has to wonder why the media would be so unwilling to reveal that those who were exchanging porn emails at work also had a role in the  "inexcusable" delays in bringing Sandusky to justice.

Feathers' Factually Challenged Retirement Letter

None of the aforementioned media outlets bothered to post or link Feathers' retirement letter to their articles,  nor have any challenged Feathers' accusations of Kane (which has been par for the course so far).  Feathers'  factually challenged resignation letter follows (my emphasis added):


HARRISBURG (Oct. 15) –This morning I have submitted my retirement letter to Governor Corbett as a Board Member of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) effective October 30, 2014.

It is essential to note that my retirement should not be taken as an acknowledgment of the degree of wrong-doing of which I have been accused by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane.  In fact, I have been denied basic due process by not being allowed to observe or be provided details as to the content of the emails upon which General Kane has attributed to me.

To give a complete understanding of my difficult relationship with General Kane, one must understand that I met, at her request, with General Kane’s representatives during her probe into the Sandusky investigation.  I was the supervisor of the Sandusky investigation during my tenure with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. I gave General Kane my utmost cooperation, which yielded, to her disappointment, no findings that the Sandusky investigation was conducted in any manner other than totally professional and in accordance with the highest law enforcement protocol.  My interaction during General Kane’s investigation created substantial conflict between myself and her office, as I would not agree with her erroneous presumptions regarding this investigation.  I became certain that General Kane's priority was not an objective overview of our years of hard work, but rather a politically motivated effort to smear reputations during an election year.

General Kane's accusations, particularly the timing in relation to Governor Tom Corbett's re-election, and subsequent to my hostile interaction during her Sandusky probe are further proof the current accusations are politically motivated.

I never initiated any of the referenced pornography nor did I ever view any pornographic videos.  These accusations date back more than five (5) years and my efforts to hire an independent forensic expert to exonerate myself have not been answered. 

My decision to retire is primarily motivated by my knowledge that I can no longer be effective in my current position with the PBPP.   I hold the PBPP and its employees in the highest regard, and I will not allow their important essential service of protecting the citizens of Pennsylvania to be further compromised.

I have spent my entire career in law enforcement, initially as a police officer in the District of Columbia, then in my hometown of Altoona and then as an Agent, promoted to Supervisor with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.  I have received numerous accolades and honors throughout my career.

If this current matter is the personal cost I must pay for putting Jerry Sandusky, a convicted pedophile who operated undetected for over twenty years, in prison for the remainder of his life, then I say the protection of the public is worth this personal ordeal.

I thank the citizens of Pennsylvania for the honor I have been provided to serve them.
###   


Separating Fact from Fiction

Feathers (fiction):   I gave General Kane my utmost cooperation, which yielded, to her disappointment, no findings that the Sandusky investigation was conducted in any manner other than totally professional and in accordance with the highest law enforcement protocol.

Fact:  The Moulton investigation (and my Report 3) found that the Sandusky investigation had numerous failings with regard to protocols for child abuse investigations and any other routine criminal investigation. First and foremost, the investigation did not use a multi-disciplinary investigative team, as required by statute (23 Pa.C.S. § 6365. (c) Investigative team).  In addition, the Sandusky investigators did not obtain timely search warrants and failed to follow up on investigative leads.


Feathers (fiction): If this current matter is the personal cost I must pay for putting JerrySandusky, a convicted pedophile who operated undetected for over twenty years, in prison for the remainder of his life, then I say the protection of the public is worth this personal ordeal.


Fact:  Victims 9 testified that he was abused through his sixteenth birthday, which occurred in July 2009 during the Sandusky investigation.  In addition, another victim (D.F.) has come forward alleging that he too was abused during the time frame of the Sandusky investigation.  Agent Feathers' supervision of the case and the investigative failures, especially the failure to form a multi-disciplinary team, contributed to the delay in arresting Sandusky.  


From the statute:


"The investigative team shall consist of those individuals and agencies responsible for investigating the abuse or for providing services to the child and shall at a minimum include a health care provider, county caseworker and law enforcement official."


Including a child-care caseworker from Centre County would have likely uncovered the existence of the 1998 Sandusky investigation and police report, which was the key evidence that broke the case.


Feathers Questions Veracity of E-mail Evidence

One of the more interesting aspects of Feathers' reluctant retirement was his request to have an independent forensic expert examine the e-mail evidence, as stated in the letter below.


Oct 3, 2014

Honorable Kathleen Kane
Pennsylvania Attorney General
16th Floor,  Strawberry Square
Harrisburg PA 17104

Dear General Kane:

This is in response to your allegations regarding inappropriate emails during my employment with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office.

I am requesting the opportunity to have an independent forensic expert review the information which form the basis of your allegations against me.  


              Respectfully,


              Randy P. Feathers
              1101 S Front Street
              Harrisburg PA 17104


While this is a perfectly reasonable request, one has to wonder if Feathers motivation for the independent review has anything to do with the processing and handling of email evidence in the Sandusky case. 

According to the independent report of Geoffrey Moulton, the Penn State emails were turned over to the Pennsylvania State Police on 7 July 2011 (see page 158).  However, PSU IT employeee, John Corro, testified (see pages 89-90) that he turned over the emails in April 2011.  

OAG forensic expert Braden Cook testified (see page 67) that the Penn State (Schultz) emails were missing from the inventory of items and were provided to him in March 2011 (later corrected to March 2012).  Cook never testified to the date they were originally received by the OAG. In all, no less than six dates were provided for the turning over of the emails, which were considered the most important evidence in the Conspiracy of Silence case.

Braden Cook was praised by Geoffrey Moulton for his role in reconstructing the e-mail evidence that had been deleted by OAG officials and is now at the center of the "porn gate" scandal.  

 Given the above, Feathers should be granted his request for an independent forensic examination.

The Rest

Porn gate has claimed three individuals who had a role in the Sandusky case, however at least two others have escaped unscathed -- so far.

Frank "Moral Obligation" Noonan, the Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner, has been spared from being forced out of his office for the flimsy reason that he didn't open, respond, or forward any emails.  Pennsylvania NOW rightfully called for his resignation for his failure to put a stop the email exchanges.  One has to wonder what Noonan has as leverage to keep him from being removed.  The Edwin Edwards quote is apropos..."either a dead girl or a live boy."

Frank Fina has only escaped the publicity of porn gate because of his maneuver to have a Montgomery County judge bar Kane from mentioning his name publicly.  

Rest assured, these men have only won temporary victories.  

Porn gate is just a warm-up for the feature act that will come later.





Thursday, October 9

UPUA Votes Pave Path for Future Tuition Increases

UPUA voted down Al Lord's resolution to complete the Freeh investigation and supported proposal A+ on board reform.  Those decisions ultimately will result in future tuition increases.

By
Ray Blehar

This morning upon learning that the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) had voted down Al Lord's resolution to complete the Freeh investigation (under the false pretense that the resolution called for a   re-investigation) and supporting BOT reform proposal A+, I made the following comment on a report by OnwardState.

Their vote to support A+ -- which is nothing more than the OGP ensuring that they stay in control of the BOT - shows that the UPUA didn't look beyond the carrot it was offered when it voted on the resolution. In other words, they didn't look at the "stick."

The "stick" I was talking about was the future tuition increases students will face as a result of a stacked BOT membership that will do nothing to change the status quo.  In short, future tuition increases were the cost the UPUA was willing to "pay" for a seat at the table.

Neither the OnwardState or The Collegian reports made any mention of any debates about how these two resolutions will impact tuition.    As it turns out, the resulting tuition increases will fall under the "law of unintended consequences" and perhaps can be used as a learning experience by the UPUA.

The Hows And Whys of the 2013 Tuition Increase

Between 2012 and 2013, tuition and fee payments by students rose by approximately $40 million dollars, from $1.508 billion in 2012 to $1.549 billion in 2013.  After the vote by the BOT to increase tuition, then-President Rodney Erickson stated (my emphasis added):

Erickson: "unavoidable cost increases" ??
mandated higher tuition fees
“Before considering an increase to tuition and fees, we identified expense reductions of $35.9 million and delayed planned budget increases for the capital improvement plan and deferred maintenance. The unavoidable cost increases that could not be funded by internal budget reductions and reallocations are what constitute this increase” 

At this point, I hope that most have already figured out those "unavoidable costs" that couldn't be funded happen to be costs "assumed" by PSU for the fallout of the Sandusky scandal.  These costs were not "unavoidable" as Erickson stated.

Expenses
Obviously, the best example of an avoidable cost in 2013 was the $59.7 million that PSU volunteered to pay the Sandusky victims despite the fact that civil liability for the abuse had never been established.   Also, the $12 million in fines that PSU agreed to pay that year also was an avoidable cost.  As were many of the legal fees had the Administration and Board decided to defend its employees, rather than throw them under the bus.


Revenues
On the other side of the coin, tuition had to be increased due to  losses in revenues as a result of the BOT's decisions.  Ad Age estimated revenue losses over $1 million in advertising.  An athletic department that once funded all of PSU's sports is now in the red due to severe revenue losses since 2012.

And despite what the Old Guard Plus (OGP) tells the public about donations and giving, that took a major hit too.


In short, tuition was increased because funds from the institutional support budget were used  to pay the "unavoidable costs" of the scandal -- instead of being used to make up the shortfall between the projected revenues and  expenses for instruction, academic support, and student services in 2013.  PSU went from a positive total cash flow for the year ending June 30, 2012 to a negative total cash flow for the year ending June 30, 2013.

Future Tuition Increases

In late mid August, the PSU BOT voted to accept the the conditions of a proposed settlement in the Corman v. NCAA lawsuit which would result in the University's payment of $60 million in fines over five years (which commenced in 2012).  In addition, the PSU BOT decision not to reject the Consent Decree resulted in the continued punishment by the Big Ten Conference, which will keep any bowl revenues earned by PSU.

Additionally, at least three victim lawsuits are pending that could result in even greater payouts.  The notes to the PSU financial statements also reveal that the lawsuits "could have a material adverse effect on our current and future financial position, results of operations and cash flows."   In each of the pending cases, attorneys are utilizing the language of the Freeh Report to make their cases against PSU.  In summary, the continued expenses of those items and other litigation related to the Sandusky scandal will eat up future funds that could have been used to defray tuition costs.

Conclusion

The best way for Penn State to regain its financial health is for the Board to publicly reject the Freeh Report on the grounds that it is 1) erroneous, 2) incomplete, and 3) an embarrassment to higher education.  Any student who would have turned in a paper as sloppy and structurally deficient as the Freeh Report most assuredly would have received an "Incomplete" grade or an "F."

Conversely, the decision to accept proposal A+ will lock PSU into the future expenses noted earlier, as the voting power will remain with the OGP, who have no intention of admitting they made poor decisions in the aftermath of the scandal, that the Freeh investigation was a sham, and that Freeh's resulting report was worthless.

Tuesday, October 7

Barry Fenchak: CDT LTE: Stand Up, Penn Staters

In a Letter to the Editor of the CDT, Barry Fenchak writes about the disgraceful power grab by the OGP -- proposal A+ should be called F-

Board reform? Or board manipulation and control?
Later this fall, the “leadership” of the Penn State board of trustees will be cramming down the A+ board reform proposal (hereinafter referred to by the more appropriate moniker of F- board manipulation and control proposal).
Fearing the impending ouster of Tom Corbett from the governor’s office, the board’s leaders know that — barring this cram down — they will lose their majority control of the board.
With the current structure in place, the leaders know they will gradually see Corbett’s proxies removed from the governor-appointed seats as Tom Wolf fills those seats (presumably with trustees who actually seek to serve the university’s interests).
Nine elected trustees plus the nine voting seats held by governor appointees eventually will result in the board leaders holding control of only 12 of 30 voting seats.
This fear led to the leaders’ attempts to reduce the number of elected trustees through the proposal put forward by Richard Dandrea.
After failing in that attempt, the board resorted to plan F-, eliminating voting privileges for three of the governor appointments, while adding six leadership-appointed sycophants to the board and allowing them to maintain control of 18 of 33 voting seats on the “new” board.
Are Penn Staters that naïve? That gullible? That disinterested? At what point do Penn Staters stand up and demand an end to this?
BARRY FENCHAK
STATE COLLEGE

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/10/07/4391638/letter-to-the-editor-stand-up.html?sp=/99/145/330/#storylink=cpy

Saturday, October 4

PA NOW calls for Resignation of Frank Noonan


Hat tip: Wendy Silverwood

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Pennsylvania NOW Calls For Resignation of State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan

PHILADELPHIA, October 3, 2014- It's been a week since Attorney General Kathleen Kane disclosed that hundreds of sexually explicit materials had been shared via email in the Attorney General's office under Tom Corbett's leadership. It is appropriate that Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo has resigned in the wake of the scandal, and that he accepts responsibility for the “lack of judgement” allowing such a practice to continue demonstrates. The Pennsylvania state chapter of the National Organization for Women (PA NOW) calls on Governor Corbett to take swifter action addressing the issue and to answer questions about his own leadership of the office during the time this widespread practice occurred. State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan and others currently serving in leadership positions within the Corbett administration should be asked to resign.

According to Kane, Commissioner Frank Noonan received 338 emails with explicit content, pornographic images depicting women in workplace settings, and violent porn, none of which have any place in an office setting nor in the halls of government, and which contribute to a hostile work environment. After having received 338 pornographic emails, it certainly doesn't reflect well on Noonan's judgement not to have stopped the circulation of such images at work.

Pornography has no place at work. It's harder for women to work in an atmosphere where sexism is tolerated, and even encouraged. It contributes to a sexist culture that's unacceptable in any workplace, in government, and most especially in our law enforcement agencies where women trust officials to evaluate cases free of the stereotypes and myths that often accompany sexual assault and harassment.

Women, as well as men, expect the state's law enforcement officers to have better judgement, to model behavior that doesn't tolerate sexism. The volume suggests that Commissioner Noonan either ignored the problem or condoned it. In either case, it's appropriate for the Governor to ask for resignations,” said PA NOW President Caryn Hunt. “Sharing pornography at work- especially sexual fantasies about workplace relationships – contributes to a hostile, sexist workplace culture. If you don't know that pornography belongs in your private life, and not at work, then at best it's fair to seriously question your judgement and your competency to lead both men and women. ”

Fostering a sexist work atmosphere undermines the public's trust of our top law enforcement officials. We call on the Governor to act now so that every member of state government knows this practice will not be tolerated.

Contact:
Caryn Hunt
President, Pennsylvania NOW





###

Pennsylvania NOW, Inc. | P. O. Box 4 Ft. Washington, PA 19034 | 814-280-8571 PennsylvaniaNOW@gmail.com

Thursday, October 2

Barron and "Old Guard Plus" continue the incivility toward alumni

Barron's and Board's recent actions continue to show a lack of respect for the intelligence and the opinions of Penn State alumni

by
Ray Blehar

When President Barron sent out his now infamous "civility" email and video, both he and I agreed that civility and respect go hand in hand.

The recent decisions by Board chair Keith Masser to disallow public comment on Board reform demonstrated that President Barron's plea for civil discussion of issues has gone unheeded.

In addition, proposal A+ that was accepted by the governance committee (minus Anthony Lubrano) was nothing more than a power play to keep the "Old Guard Plus" (OGP) in control.  It was quite a show of disrespect for the intelligence of PSU alumni for Richard Dandrea and the rest of the sponsors to think that alumni wouldn't immediately recognize this proposal for what it was.

Finally, President Barron's discussion with Barry Fenchak, the alumnus who was denied a chance to speak at the September 19th meeting, revealed that Barron has been co-opted by the OGP when he made a number of disingenuous statements in an attempt to justify the existence of the unaccountable members -- which happens to be the majority - of the Board.


Comments on Board Reform Unwelcome, Silenced

Barry Fenchak has been working for over two years on his proposal for BOT reform.  Along the way, he has met with a number of officials, including Senator Jake Corman, to discuss why the reforms are so badly needed.  Given that Board reform was a topic of high interest inside and outside of Penn State, Fenchak requested to provide public comments about his proposal at the Friday, September 19th meeting.  In fact, when he logged in to sign up on September 12th, he was too early and the web-site was not yet up.  When it eventually came on line, he was the first to sign up.

On September 17th, he received a notification from Jeanie Andrews stating that "we are unable to accommodate your request" to speak at the meeting.  Fenchak was incredulous that he wasn't chosen, given his topic AND that he was the first to sign up.


Civility: Barry Fenchak denied opportunity
 to speak then forcibly removed from meeting
In addition to his attempt to speak at the Board meeting, Fenchak had arranged to meet just prior to the Board meeting with President Barron.  At that point, he again broached the topic of being turned down to speak and asked Barron if he could be afforded a spot, since there were two or three "no show" speakers.

Even more incredibly, Barron told Fenchak that he could not speak because he had already had his chance.  Fenchak, who had never spoken at a Board meeting, alerted Barron to that fact.  To which Barron responded, you're written plenty of letters and emails over the past two years. 

At the close of Friday's meeting when the last scheduled speaker finished, Fenchak approached the microphone stand to speak.  The microphone had been removed, but he went on with his presentation, only to be cut off by Keith Masser and told that he could sign up for another time.  Masser stated we are "moving on" as he moved to adjourn the meeting.  He was then approached by a rather large individual who confronted him and apparently motioned for others to come and assist in the removal of Fenchak.

Fenchak also noted that it was very "uncivil" for many of the Board members to leave the meeting at the start of the public comment session.  As you will see on the video, there are many empty chairs around the table and most are occupied by the alumni elected trustees.


Barron's Disingenuous Justifications for Unaccountable Board Members

After Fenchak had been denied the chance to speak at the meeting, he followed up with President Barron in a series of emails, one which specifically asked:

"Do you believe that the governance board of Penn State should be an accountable, democratically elected body......or do you support the current non-accountable unauthorized factional structure?"

Barron response stated that he would not answer the question because it presupposes only one answer (which of course, is the right answer).

However, Barron's disingenuous answers began shortly thereafter when he tried to justify the unaccountable, non-elected members (my emphasis added).

First, Barron stated:  "We receive considerable state-support.  A part of the accountability for receiving that support is to have board members appointed by the state if you are a public or public-related institution.  This may be direct appointments by the Governor, or appointments by a Board of Regents (appointed by elected officials) or both.  They expect accountability because universities operate partially on taxpayer dollars.  This is the common practice.   We are accountable to elected officials who are the distributor of taxpayer dollars.

Separating fact from fiction:  
1.  The Commonwealth provided $272 million of a $4.9 billion budget for 2013.  That's only 5.6% -- hardly considerable.  It's about the same amount of money that PSU got in donations (private gifts, grants, and contracts).  

2. The only elected government official on the Board is Governor Tom Corbett, who has attended just one meeting during his tenure as governor.

Next, Barron attempted to justify the Business and Industry trustees.  "Most boards dearly love to have business and industry representatives.  They create connectivity, open doors, often donate significantly. They have wisdom from operating large institutions.  Most are alumni and, as such, add even greater value.   I know of no public or private institution that doesn’t work very hard to have business and industry leaders on their boards if state laws don’t get in the way. 


Separating fact from fiction:  
1.  If the B&I trustees were so connected, one might expect that a considerable amount of PSU's research grants would come from industries represented by this group.  That is not the case.  PSU's 2013 OMB Circular A-133 audit of Federal grants reveals none of the companies associated with the B&I members among the grantees.  Typically, private sector companies like Boeing, SAIC, Northrup Grumman, and many others provide research funding via "pass throughs" (see page 43 of the audit report).    

The fact of the matter is our B&I trustees are mostly in banking, investing, and finance -- which provide little in the way of grants.  

2.  Those of us who have been watching since 11-9-11 are hard pressed to see any wisdom coming from the direction of the B&I trustees.  Consider that almost every benchmarking activity related to Board reform showed that PSU's Board was exceptionally large and that a smaller Board would be more in line with other Universities.  Yet, Richard Dandrea and others offered AND PASSED a proposal to increase the size of the board.  This brought more negative comments from Senator Yudichak, who went as far as to state that the BOT's attempt to change the structure of the Board may be illegal.

Barron closed with another  false statement about PSU's funding:  "We also have to remember that this institution operates almost solely on dollars from students and the taxpayer."


Separating fact from fiction:  
1.  Less than half of the University's revenues are from tuition and the state appropriation
About $1.82B of $4.9B (37%) is from those sources and  -- the state appropriation is rather minuscule at $272 million.  

2.  The "institution's" other major sources of revenues include Hershey Medical center at $1.3B (28%), government and other grants about $620M (12%), and the rest are cats and dogs, none contributing more than 8%.

It is very hard to give President Barron the benefit of the doubt at this point, given that he has been in place since May and seems to be of the mindset that he can "snow" the alumni about the operations of PSU.

Conclusion

On September 19th, over 1500 alumni signed a letter, which was run as a 2 1/2 page ad in the Centre Daily Times asking President Barron to bring Louis Freeh back to campus for a civil discussion of the Freeh Report.

To date, the authors of the letter (Eileen Morgan and I) have not received a response.

It appears that when it comes to having a meaningful and civil discussion on the issues, President Barron has opted to stand with the OGP and shut out those who disagree with the University's positions.

Thursday, September 25

Frazier, Tomalis Received Updates About OAG Investigation of Spanier, Curley, and Schultz

Email reveals that Frazier and Tomalis were privy to PA OAG's "flip" strategy for Curley, Schultz, and Spanier.

By
Ray Blehar

In a document dated 31 January 2012, which was obtained via my investigation in November 2012, lead prosecutor Frank Fina had informed PSU officials that he "expected C & S to flip."  As my blog post on 18 August revealed, the Sandusky trial transcripts indicated that the ultimate target of the OAG was Graham Spanier.

E-mails obtained by Ryan Bagwell through his RTKL efforts, provide more evidence that members of the PSU Board of Trustees -- and specifically Special Investigations Task Force Co-chairs -- Kenneth Frazier and Ronald Tomalis were included in the group who were being updated by the OAG.   E-mails also reveal that the Freeh group received an update on the OAG's impending announcement of the Spanier charges.

The June 3, 2012 e-mail below indicates that Schultz had decided not to "cooperate."  In other words, he had turned down a deal to "flip" on Spanier.




While some may argue that this email is discussing participation in the Freeh (fake) investigation, logic and evidence proves that was not the case.  With Curley and Schultz facing charges, it was well established that they could not speak about anything pertaining to the case, thus wouldn't be considered as individuals to be interviewed by the Freeh group.  Spanier, on the other hand, had reached out to the Freeh group at the beginning of the "investigation" and offered to meet with them several times.

From ESPN:

"Since November of last year, when he resigned his presidency, he has wanted the Freeh Group to create an accurate report and has been determined to assist in any way he can," said the statement from Spanier's lawyers. They ended their four-paragraph statement by saying they remained "hopeful that truth and reason prevail."

This email erases any thought that the investigation conducted at Penn State was conducted "independently" and "in parallel" to the OAG's.  Clearly, the SITF co-chairs were being kept informed of the progress of the OAG investigation.

But what about the Freeh group?  Were they too being kept abreast of the OAG investigation's progress?

Freeh Group Informed of Pending Spanier Charges

On October 31, 2012, the day before the Conspiracy of Silence presentment was released, Frank Fina called Greg Paw of the Freeh group to inform him of the pending charges.  Paw emailed Fina back and asked if it could wait until the next day (Thursday, November 1st) or Friday?

Obviously, it couldn't wait because by the next day, the information that Fina was going to tell Paw would have been all over the news.  Thus, Fina requested that he "call quick now?"


The Conspiracy of Silence presentment is referred to as the Freeh Report-Lite in some circles because it appears to utilize much of the same language and content from the Freeh Report. Other emails after the Sandusky conviction and the release of the Freeh Report revealed the cooperation between the Freeh group and the OAG (reported here by Ryan Bagwell).  There is little doubt that the November 1st report was a collaborative effort by the Freeh team and the OAG.

The October 31st email revealed that the OAG maintained contact with the Freeh Group at least until Spanier was charged and additional charges were filed against Curley and Schultz.  Fina's rather urgent message to Paw, as well as the other Bagwell emails,  reveal that the two entities had formed a bond of sorts during their work together.

This email also raises the possibility that the Freeh group was billing Penn State for work outside the scope of the contract.  While the final cost of the Freeh "investigation" and report was a little over $8.1 million, additional billings were received from Freeh, Sporkin, and Sullivan (FSS) after the completion of the "investigation."  One has to wonder what exactly were the nature of these billings.

Perhaps someone on the BOT might request an audit?

Emails Prove Freeh Caught In Another Lie

The evidence reveals that Louis Freeh has been caught in another lie regarding the independence of his "investigation" at Penn State.

From his press conference transcript:

While independent, our work was done in parallel with several other active investigations by agencies and governmental authorities, including the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police, United States Attorney, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Department of Education. We continuously interfaced and cooperated with those agencies and authorities. We also received assistance from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). As promised, we immediately turned over any relevant evidence we found to these authorities, such as the critical February 27, 2001 emails between Messrs. Spanier, Schultz and Curley. 

Previously, evidence from the Moulton report and judicial proceedings revealed he lied about his team's "independent discovery" of the email evidence.  Moulton's report (page 158) revealed the emails were turned over to the Pennsylvania State Police on July 7, 2011.   Thus, the situation was the exact opposite of the situation stated by Freeh -- he didn't turn over evidence to the authorities; the OAG turned evidence over to him (or used the PSU legal counsel and/or the SITF as an intermediary).

Conclusion


Louis Freeh and FSS did not conduct a full, fair, and independent "investigation" of Sandusky's crimes occurring at Penn State.  The evidence uncovered so far indicates that Freeh investigation was little more than a public relations ploy to provide the appearance of an "independent" investigation.

The majority of people, especially the media, were taken in by the ruse.  However, at least one media member was not.   Snigdha Prakash, wrote in Slate magazine, that the selection of Frazier to lead the SITF would result in a cover-up.

























Prakash was right about a cover-up, but missed on figuring out what would be covered up.  It was not PSU's role in the Sandusky scandal, but rather the Commonwealth's failure to take Sandusky off the streets in 1998.

Freeh's team was complicit in that cover-up.



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