Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Psu Board Told of Jury in May

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Psu Board Told of Jury in May

Article excerpt

In May, weeks after a grand jury investigation of child sex allegations involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky surfaced, Penn State University trustees met with university general counsel Cynthia Baldwin and then-president Graham Spanier.

The May 12 "seminar" session, held on the eve of that month's regular trustees meeting, was open to the full board and all but a few members attended. The board was about to get a briefing on a matter that months later would blow up into the worst scandal in the university's history.

Until now, almost nothing was known about the session and whether it contained enough information to spur board action. But details about the meeting in the Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus have begun to emerge.

In interviews this week with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Lanny Davis, a prominent Washington, D.C., lawyer hired to give legal advice to the office of Penn State President Rodney Erickson, offered a rough outline of what transpired based on discussion with university officials. He described the Sandusky session as relatively short and said it occurred after Mr. Spanier had given testimony to the grand jury.

Mr. Davis said attendees included the board's two top officials - - Chairman Steve Garban and Vice Chairman John Surma. He said trustee Kenneth Frazier, now leading an investigative committee looking into Penn State's handling of the matter, did not attend.

"Mr. Spanier and Cynthia Baldwin gave a briefing lasting under an hour regarding the status of the grand jury investigation but limited by the rules of grand jury secrecy," Mr. Davis said. "That means Cynthia Baldwin could not divulge anything about the content of individual testimony."

It's uncertain if Mr. Spanier informed trustees during the session about a 2002 campus allegation never reported to police that Mr. …

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