On February 27, 2013, The Associated Press obtained the order issued by Judge Barry Feudale looking into a secrecy matter surrounding the 33rd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury of Jerry Sandusky, Graham Spanier (former Penn State president), Tim Curley (former athletic director), and Gary Schultz (retired vice president).
On February 8, 2013, Judge Barry Feudale appointed attorney James M. Reeder as the special prosecutor to examine the secrecy issues. The order gives Mr. Reeder six months to look into the matter.
The 33rd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury issued reports in 2011 and 2012 that resulted in molestation charges against Jerry Sandusky and perjury charges against Spanier, Curley, and Schultz.
Because the Pennsylvania investigative grand juries often work on more than one case, it is unclear from the order if the secrecy violations were related to the Penn State cases or the other cases before the panel.
Judge Feudale has been trying to sort out the legal dispute involving whether former Penn State lawyer, Cynthia Baldwin, should have been present during the grand jury proceedings. Feudale’s order made specific reference to a section of Pennsylvania’s criminal procedure rule entitled, “Who May Be Present During Session of an Investigating Grand Jury.”
That section reads:
“All persons who are to be present while the grand jury is in session shall be identified in the record, shall be sworn to secrecy as provided in these rules, and shall not disclose any information pertaining to the grand jury except as provided by law.”
Reeder has also been charged to examine potential violations of a section entitled, “Disclosure of Testimony Before Investigating Grand Jury.” Reeder will also examine a law that criminalizes disclosure of grand jury proceedings by anyone but witnesses and another law that makes it a crime to obstruct the administration of law or other governmental functions. While Feudale was looking into the matter himself, he made note of a portion of the obstruction law that could apply, “…breach of official duty or other unlawful act.”
Attorney’s for Spanier, Curley, and Schultz have maintained their clients’ rights to legal counsel was violated by Baldwin’s actions when the men testified before the grand jury in early 2011. Their request to have Baldwin barred from testifying at their preliminary hearing on charges filed in November is currently before Feudale.
Spanier, Curley, and Schultz are accused of what former Attorney General Linda Kelly considers a conspiracy to conceal reports that Sandusky was behaving inappropriately with boys.
Sandusky was convicted last year of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and is serving 30-60 years in prison. He maintains his innocence and is pursuing an appeal.
Baldwin is a former state Supreme Court justice and former Penn State trustee. Her attorney, Charles De Monaco, stated she “at all times fulfilled her obligations to the university and its agents.”
Spanier, Curley, and Schultz face charges of perjury, obstruction, conspiracy, endangering the welfare of children, and failure to properly report suspected abuse. They all dispute the allegations and maintain their innocence.