PSU president, accused of Sandusky cover-up, asks judge to delay suit
In Centre County Court papers posted online Monday, Spanier's attorneys contend that proceeding with the civil case now might undercut it. They wrote that people who are potential witnesses in both cases might assert their right against self-incrimination and refuse to testify if the still-unscheduled criminal trial is pending.
"There is no reason not to stay this action pending the resolution of the criminal trial," the attorneys wrote in the court papers, filed in Bellefonte.
Penn State's trustees hired Freeh to conduct an internal investigation of the Sandusky matter. In a highly critical July 2012 report, Freeh concluded that Spanier, the late football coach Joe Paterno, and other high-ranking university administrators had failed to protect children from Sandusky, a former assistant football coach who is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term.
Spanier has provided few details about the planned lawsuit. He has yet to file a complaint and is asking the court to defer any requirement that he do so until after the criminal proceeding is concluded.
In the latest filing, Spanier's attorneys disputed Freeh's finding that Spanier and the other administrators repeatedly withheld critical facts from authorities.
Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz, and former athletic director Tim Curley are charged in what prosecutors say was a criminal cover-up of complaints about Sandusky. Paterno died of lung cancer in January 2012.
Lawyers for Freeh and Spanier did not respond immediately to phone messages and e-mails seeking comment.