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PA Supreme Court Issues Split Ruling on Spanier, Curley, Schultz Appeals

by on May 07, 2015 10:40 AM

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has shot down an attempt by three former Penn State administrators to overturn a lower judge's ruling.

But at the same time, the supreme court also gave Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz permission to file new court documents under seal.

The three former university leaders face felony charges of perjury and child endangerment in Dauphin County Court for their roles in an alleged coverup of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover refused to dismiss the charges in a January ruling, which the three defendants promptly appealed to the supreme court.

The former administrators were also appealing another decision from the same judge. They wanted the supreme court to keep the testimony of former Penn State general counsel Cynthia Baldwin out of the courtroom.

Spanier, Curley and Schultz claim Baldwin represented them when they appeared before a grand jury to testify about Sandusky's child sexual abuse. They claim that allowing her to testify against them now would violate their right to attorney-client privilege. However, Baldwin and Hoover claim that she was actually representing the university, which is a subtle but important distinction.

Even though the supreme court refused to overturn either of Hoover's decisions, the court did not dismiss the three appeals with prejudice, meaning the three men may be able to file another appeal in the future.

The supreme court also gave Spanier, Curley and Schultz permission to file additional court documents out the public eye. The court order does not specify what kind of sealed documents the three men may file.

A trial has been pending against the three former Penn State leaders in Dauphin County Court since 2011. No trial date has been set. All three men strongly maintain their innocence.

 

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Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for StateCollege.com who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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