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The Philadelphia Inquirer

Pennsylvania State University waived its attorney-client privilege last year so its former attorney could testify against three top university officials under investigation in the alleged cover-up of reports of child sex abuse by Jerry Sandusky, according to newly unsealed court records.

Cynthia Baldwin, who has emerged as a central witness in the case against former president Graham B. Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz, and former athletic director Tim Curley, was present in 2011 when the men testified to a grand jury investigating Sandusky.

They told the grand jury that Baldwin was their lawyer, but she later testified against them before another grand jury, saying she believed the men had withheld information from authorities and at times lied about what they knew.

"He's not a person of integrity," Baldwin told the grand jury about Spanier, the transcripts show. "He lied to me."

Dauphin County Court Judge Todd A. Hoover ordered the records unsealed this week after meeting with lawyers in the case.

The records also include testimony from a closed-door meeting in October 2012, days before Baldwin testified, in which prosecutors and defense lawyers huddled with her and the grand jury judge to discuss her potential conflict of interest.

Penn State lawyer Michael Mustokoff told the judge, Barry F. Feudale, that Baldwin had been representing the university, not the men as individuals, when she listened to their testimony, the transcripts show. Therefore, he said, it was the school's right to waive attorney-client privilege that would allow Baldwin to tell a jury what she knew.

Baldwin's attorney, Charles De Monaco, contended that she represented the school and its administrators "as agents conducting university business so long as their interests were aligned with the university."

The state Attorney General's Office anticipated that Baldwin's role would be disputed, but said the state was willing to take the risk.

Feudale said he was satisfied that her testimony could proceed.

Lawyers for the three former administrators, who face charges of perjury, child endangerment, and obstruction of justice, have accused Baldwin of breaching attorney-client privilege. They have asked Hoover to throw out her testimony.

asteele@phillynews.com

610-313-8113 @AESteele

 

December 19, 2013

 

 
 

 

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