Former Penn State President Spanier's defense team says ex-general counsel Baldwin's testimony inadmissible
By Centre Daily Times
Published: Sunday, May 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
STATE COLLEGE — The lawyers defending Graham Spanier have asked a judge to dismiss the charges against the former Penn State president, arguing that prosecutors' evidence in the obstruction and perjury case is based on illegally obtained grand jury testimony from the university's ex-general counsel.
The defense lawyers' latest salvo to dismantle the long-stalled case came by way of a motion last week to quash the criminal complaint, which accuses the former university president of conspiring to hide abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago.
The lawyers for Spanier accused ex-Penn State general counsel Cynthia Baldwin of violating attorney-client privilege when she testified about her confidential discussions with Spanier when she went to the grand jury sometime last fall. She accompanied Spanier in 2011 when he went to the grand jury and even heard him testify.
Furthermore, Spanier's lawyers said Baldwin never alerted him that his colleagues Tim Curley, then the athletic director, and Gary Schultz, then an administrator, were targets of the investigation.
The lawyers for Spanier, Curley and Schultz have maintained that their clients are innocent. The men are awaiting a preliminary hearing on obstruction of justice and related charges.
“I believed that Ms. Baldwin was representing me during and in connection with the grand jury proceedings and that she was acting in my best interests,” Spanier said in a signed affidavit that accompanied his lawyer's legal motions.
Baldwin's lawyer, Charles De Monaco, has said Baldwin did nothing wrong.
According to the motion from Spanier's lawyers, Baldwin never told Spanier that he had been subpoenaed to the grand jury, and he went voluntarily to Harrisburg to testify in April 2011.
The lawyers said Baldwin should have discerned that because she sat through their testimonies — an issue Curley's and Schultz's lawyers are challenging in court as well.
Spanier's legal team also asked for the dismissal of the failure to report abuse and child endangerment counts, arguing that the statute of limitations had expired.
University of Pennsylvania law professor David Rudovsky said Baldwin should have known there was a conflict of interest by representing Penn State and Spanier. Rudovsky said Baldwin was “absolutely prohibited” from disclosing privileged conversations, regardless if she thought there was a crime involved.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pa. to vie for Boeing plant
- Grants aren’t the same old payouts, Corbett says
- Corbett seeks approval for Medicaid alternative
- Township takes title to British POW camp land
- Older volunteers leave big shoes to fill
- Former postmaster pleads guilty
- Pa. higher ed chief Brogan poised to reinvent system
- Lawmakers propose removing state judges from Pennsylvania ballots
- Time short to approve transit bill, experts say
- Pa. state senators to introduce marijuana bill