Feb 11, 5:55 PM EST
BY MARK SCOLFORO
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Penn State’s ex-president has sued the university, saying it reneged on an agreement they struck when he stepped down in 2011, and filed another claiming former FBI director Louis Freeh defamed him through a blisteringly critical report about how the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal was handled.
The two lawsuits by Graham Spanier were filed in the county courthouse near State College on Wednesday, about three weeks after a state appeals court dismissed several of the more serious criminal charges over his response to complaints about Sandusky and Spanier’s related grand jury testimony.
Spanier accused Penn State of violating a non-disparagement agreement made when he resigned under pressure shortly after Sandusky was first charged. Spanier’s lawsuit alleges that he has been unfairly vilified by the report and by statements critical of him by university trustees.
“The false, malicious and disparaging statements regarding Spanier impugn his well-earned reputation as an educator, university administrator, civic leader, advocate for child and family welfare, and national security expert – and they undermine public confidence in his competence, ethics and abilities in these areas,” his lawyers wrote.
Spanier also filed a 112-page complaint against former FBI director Louis Freeh, his law firm and Freeh Group International Solutions over the July 2012 report they produced for Penn State. The report concluded that Spanier, two of his top lieutenants in the Penn State administration and former head football coach Joe Paterno concealed key facts about Sandusky to avoid bad publicity.
“During his tenure as president of Penn State, Dr. Spanier never received any information that Sandusky had abused a child,” the lawsuit states. It said Freeh and his team were “determined to transform Dr. Spanier from a pre-eminent academic administrator to a conspirator who enabled a serial pedophile,” ignoring evidence to the contrary.