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Freeh Again Ordered to Turn Over Documents in Paterno Suit

by on July 20, 2015 8:20 PM

A judge is once again ordering Louis Freeh's law firm to turn over documents used to compile the controversial Freeh Report.

The ruling comes as part of a superior court appeal filed by Freeh's firm, Pepper Hamilton.

The appeal was filed after Judge John Leete, who's presiding over the Paterno estate's lawsuit against the NCAA and Penn State in the common pleas court, ruled that Pepper Hamilton had 30 days to turn over Freeh Report documents.

The superior court granted a stay on the subpoena, essentially pausing the countdown clock on the order to turn over those documents, but that stay was officially vacated on July 17.

Freeh was hired by Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal to investigate the university's handling of allegations against the former football coach that arose years earlier. His group's report was used by the NCAA to levy unprecedented and sweeping sanctions against the university's football program, which have since been voided.

The battle to uncover Freeh Report documents has been fought in a number of venues, ranging from this Paterno lawsuit to a group of seven alumni-elected trustees suing the university in an attempt to uncover Freeh Report materials. Those trustees will argue their case in a hearing Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte.

Pepper Hamilton now has the option to again appeal the subpoena to the state supreme court, though it is unclear at this time if the firm intends to do so. The supreme court has discretion on whether or not it would hear an appeal.

Pepper Hamilton attorney Thomas Zemaitis says the firm has no comment on the vacated stay at this time.

The Paterno family estate, and former football coaches Jay Paterno and William Kenney are suing the NCAA, its president Mark Emmert, its former chairman Edward Ray, and Penn State. Kenney and Jay Paterno allege that the defendants' actions wrongfully damaged their careers and job prospects. Pepper Hamilton was not initially involved in the Freeh Report. That law firm acquired Freeh, Sporkin, and Sullivan, the group that was hired by Penn State in 2011.

Attorneys for Paterno and Kenney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this latest court ruling.


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Zach Berger is the managing editor of He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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