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Former Police Chief Harmon Concludes Morning Testimony

by and on July 29, 2013 1:25 PM

The preliminary hearing for three former Penn State administrators continued Monday morning with the former director of the university police on the stand. Thomas Harmon was questioned about the correspondence between administrators and law enforcement about Jerry Sandusky.

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and retired senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz are charged with perjury, failure to report, endangering the welfare of children, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors accuse the men of trying to cover-up the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. All three maintain their innocence.

Harmon was asked to read aloud notes handwritten by Vice President of Finance and Business Gary Schultz in May of 1998. The notes included information relayed by Harmon about two boys who claim Sandusky hugged them from behind and kissed them on their heads.

In the note, Schultz called Sandusky’s ‘behavior at best inappropriate — at worst sexual improprieties.” Schultz asked in the well-publicized note if this could be the opening of a “Pandora’s box,” meaning there are other children with similar allegations. Harmon mentioned that he “could have” used that term and Schultz was merely copying it down, but he wasn’t sure.

After some objection from defense attorneys, Harmon was asked whether he operated under the belief that Schultz told President Graham Spanier and Athletic Director Tim Curley about the boys’ claims about Sandusky.

“I would have believed at the time that Mr. Schultz was keeping the president and the athletic director apprised to the nature of the incident and the status of the investigation,” Harmon said.

Schultz’s attorney Tom Farrell questioned Harmon about why no charges were filed against Sandusky in 1998. Harmon testified it was the decision of then-district attorney Ray Gricar.

After an investigation concluded and the Department of Public Welfare was informed, an officer went to Sandusky’s home to tell him that no criminal offense had occurred, Harmon testified.

Harmon said he then conveyed to Schultz that the district attorney had concluded that no crime had occurred.

Curley’s attorney Caroline Roberto asked Harmon if there was any record of her client being aware of the decision to not file charges against Sandusky in 1998.

Although he cannot say for sure, Harmon said he assumes the information was provided to Curley.

“I knew from experience that standard practice was that Schultz would keep Curley informed,” Harmon said. “I don’t know what details he provided in respect to this incident, but I suspect that he provided them with some detail.”

Although her questioning only lasted a few minutes, Spanier’s attorney Elizabeth Ainslie focused on highlighting all of the responsibilities of the president of Penn State and high volume of emails he received. She made sure to point out that Spanier was only copied on one of the emails between the administrators about the 1998 incident involving Sandusky.

Additional Coverage from Today:

Schultz’s Secretary Testifies About Confidential Sandusky File

 



This post was originally published by the staff at Onward State. Follow Onward State on Twitter @OnwardState.


Jessica Tully recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in journalism and political science. She is a frequent contributor to StateCollege.com and has also reported for USA TODAY, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Onward State and The Daily Collegian.
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