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Former assistant coach McQueary files whistleblower suit against Penn State

| Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 12:40 a.m.

Mike McQueary, the former Penn State assistant football coach who reported seeing Jerry Sandusky naked in a shower with a young boy in 2001, filed a whistleblower suit Tuesday against the university claiming he was terminated because he cooperated with prosecutors from the Attorney General's Office.

His suit, which includes claims of defamation and misrepresentation, seeks a minimum of $4 million.

Sandusky, 68, Penn State's former defensive coordinator, is awaiting sentencing on his conviction for abusing 10 boys in and around the Penn State campus over 15 years.

He is scheduled for sentencing Tuesday in Bellefonte and is expected to receive a sentence that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life.

McQueary's testimony before a grand jury was key not only to charges against Sandusky but also to the attorney general's charges against former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and retired Vice President Gary Schultz.

The two, who maintain their innocence, are awaiting trial for perjury and failure to report McQueary's charges against Sandusky.

In a complaint filed in Centre County Court, McQueary complained that former Penn State President Graham Spanier's comments supporting Schultz and Curley defamed him because they suggested he lied to authorities.

McQueary, who collected a base salary of $140,400 a year as an assistant coach, was placed on administrative leave in November shortly after Sandusky was arrested. He claims he was the only assistant coach not interviewed to keep his job when Bill O'Brien took over as head coach in January.

He said Penn State's order barring him from all football facilities during his leave left him “ostracized and isolated” from colleagues and friends who had been part of his life for 20 years.

McQueary said he learned he was terminated when Penn State President Rodney Erickson announced it at a televised news conference on July 5.

University officials declined to comment on the lawsuit, but in the summer they said McQueary's employment ended on June 30 when his contract expired.

Neither McQueary nor his attorney Elliot Strokoff could be reached for comment.

Testifying at Sandusky's criminal trial, McQueary recounted how he told Curley and Schultz he had seen Sandusky naked in a sexual position with a child in a shower, assuming they would act on his report.

“I don't think I've done anything to not have that job,” he testified, when asked about his position at the school.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

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