PENN STATERS FOR RESPONSIBLE STEWARDSHIP BACKS ALUMNI TRUSTEES’ CONTINUED EFFORTS FOR FREEH REPORT SOURCE MATERIALS
April 20, 2015 —- Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship (PS4RS) wholeheartedly supports the efforts of the alumni-elected trustees to gain unfettered access to the source materials for the Freeh Report, specifically today’s Common Pleas Court filing of a Petition to Compel Inspection of Corporate Documents.
The University’s continual stonewalling is especially worrisome in light of this week’s revelation that during Louis Freeh’s tenure as director of the FBI, the agency was peddling faulty hair-analysis “evidence” that resulted in wrongful convictions. Freeh comes from—and ultimately was in charge of—a culture that valued convictions over justice. President Eric Barron himself has acknowledged that “Freeh steered everything as if he were a prosecutor trying to convince a court to take the case.”
“It is extremely unfortunate that Chairman Keith Masser continues to improperly hide information from Penn State’s own trustees,” said Maribeth Roman Schmidt, spokesperson for PS4RS. “If there is evidence to support Freeh’s conclusions, it must be revealed. Otherwise, the Freeh Report must be formally rejected and Penn State must seek a refund and restitution for all costs arising from Freeh’s unsubstantiated conclusions. Furthermore, we are disappointed that President Barron seems to be backpedaling on his criticism of the report,” added Schmidt. “Just a few months ago, Barron told us the ‘Freeh Report is not useful to make decisions.’ But now he is using Freeh’s reporting regime as an excuse to deny trustees information they require—and are legally entitled to as fiduciaries—to make decisions about university expenditures of millions of dollars.”
Freeh’s incendiary conclusions about a defective Penn State culture have negatively impacted more than half a million Penn State alumni around the world. Over the past three years, alumni have consistently elected trustees who have promised to examine the basis for these conclusions.
“It is time for university leadership to stop ignoring the will of the alumni,” said Schmidt.
As former US Attorney General and Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh said last week, “For a community seeking to heal and come together, I would hope [Dr.] Barron’s courageous leadership in disavowing the Freeh report would be reason enough to seize the moment of the sanctions reversal, commit to transparency, and help the public understand all the events that have profoundly impacted so many lives.”
The Freeh Report obfuscated lessons that should have been learned about how nice-guy offenders “groom” entire communities. Above all else, the Freeh smokescreen for the public agencies that were responsible for overseeing Sandusky’s charity, The Second Mile, is a grave disservice to the children of Centre County, and, indeed, children throughout Pennsylvania and the entire country. It is long past time for the smoke to be blown away.
Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, with more than 40,000 members nationwide, was formed to promote positive change within the University Board of Trustees, demanding transparent, trustworthy leadership. The organization has endorsed Anthony Lubrano (#1), Robert Tribeck (#2) and Ryan McCombie (#3) in the 2015 alumni trustee election. For further information on PS4RS, please visit http://www.PS4RS.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to http://www.facebook.com/PS4RS. Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS.