BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) – A former Penn State executive accused of covering up child sexual abuse complaints about ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky made a civil court filing Wednesday suggesting a lawsuit is being readied against the university’s former chief counsel.
Former vice president Gary Schultz filed a writ of summons in Centre County court against Cynthia Baldwin, who accompanied him to a grand jury appearance two years ago, before he was charged.
The one-page document is not a civil complaint that would lay out allegations against Baldwin, a former state Supreme Court justice whose role in leading the university’s response to the Sandusky investigation has come under scrutiny.
In the cover sheet, Schultz’s lawyer Thomas Sprague checked off “legal professional liability” as the category of the case. Sprague did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Wednesday.
Baldwin’s lawyer, Charles De Monaco, said he had not seen the filing. But he said Baldwin has had a distinguished career and has an impeccable reputation.
“The suggestion by anyone that Ms. Baldwin did not fulfill her ethical and professional duties to the Pennsylvania State University and its agents and administrators is untrue,” De Monaco said. “Cynthia Baldwin knows the importance of due process and how legal issues need to play out in courts of law and not in the media.”
He said she does not intend to make public comments about the filing or other pending legal issues.
Schultz, who was the university’s vice president for business and finance, retired after the Sandusky scandal erupted. He was charged a year ago with perjury before a grand jury and failure to properly report suspected abuse. Last month, state prosecutors added new charges of endangering the welfare of children, obstruction and conspiracy against him and co-defendant Tim Curley, the school’s former athletic director.
Former Penn State president Graham Spanier also was charged last month. All three men deny the allegations against them.
Schultz and Curley three weeks ago filed a motion that seeks to prevent Baldwin from testifying at their pending preliminary hearing on the new set of charges.
That motion said that the new charges were based largely on Baldwin’s testimony about conversations she had with Curley, Schultz and Spanier while she represented them and that those conversations were subject to lawyer-client privilege.
“In the absence of a waiver by the client, an attorney is barred from testifying, in a criminal matter, regarding statements that the client made to the attorney in confidence,” lawyers for Curley and Schultz wrote.
The preliminary hearing has been postponed, in part to give the judge time to rule on that matter.
Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator, was convicted in June on charges he sexually abused 10 boys, some on campus. The 68-year-old was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in state prison.
Eight young men testified against him, describing a range of abuse they said went from grooming and manipulation to fondling, oral sex and anal rape when they were boys.
Sandusky didn’t testify at his trial but has maintained his innocence, acknowledging he showered with boys but insisting he never molested them.