Spanier Expected To Be Charged With Perjury, Obstruction

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier reportedly faces perjury and obstruction of justice charges. - Hunter Martin

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier is expected to be charged by Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly obfuscating his role in the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Nearly one year after the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal first broke, and just one day after Sandusky was placed in SCI Greene, a state prison in Greene County, Pennsylvania, former Penn State President Graham Spanier is expected to be charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors have also prepared new charges against former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz, who were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse last November.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that, according to several sources, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly will announce the charges at press conference today. That press conference will apparently take place at noon eastern.

Last November and December, Sandusky, the former Penn State defensive coordinator, was charged with nearly fifty counts of child sexual abuse. On June 22nd, Sandusky was convicted on forty-five counts. The Schultz and Curley trials are currently scheduled for early January 2013, although the parties have recently sought to postpone it.

That Spanier is being charged at this point is of particular interest. Last November, representatives from the Attorney General's office went to great pains to note that Spanier was not being charged "yet." These new charges come just one week before an election that will select a new Attorney General; Ms. Kelly did not run this cycle. The two candidates running to replace Ms. Kelly, Democrat Kathleen Kane and Republican David Freed, have both pledged to investigate Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's handling of the Sandusky investigation.

Unlike his former Penn State colleagues, Mr. Spanier has been very vocal against the internal investigation that the university conducted through former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh. In late-August, Spanier and his attorneys put together an all-out media blitz, with his attorneys releasing an opposition brief to the "Freeh Report." Spanier gave an extensive interview to legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin in the New Yorker, and appeared on ABC News to discuss the scandal itself.

Many commentators viewed these moves as preemptive, believing that Spanier would be charged for his alleged role in the Sandusky scandal in the coming months. That day apparently has come.

Please use this as an Open Thread for Attorney General Kelly's noon press conference.


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