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Unsealed Transcript Offers Insight into Baldwin's Controversial Testimony

by on December 18, 2013 10:45 AM

Just released court documents shed new light on former Penn State Counsel Cynthia Baldwin's testimony before a grand jury investigating the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

The judge and prosecutors were clearly aware that Baldwin's testimony before the grand jury could be seen as a conflict.

Judge Barry Feudale, Attorney General prosecutor Frank Fina, Baldwin's attorney, Charles DeMonaco, and the university's attorney, Michael Mustokoff, met in the judge's chambers on Oct. 22, 2012, to discuss concerns raised regarding Baldwin's pending grand jury testimony.

Dauphin County President Judge Todd Hoover unsealed a transcript from that meeting on Monday. Hoover is presiding over the criminal case for former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former Athletic Director Tim Curley and retired Senior Vice President for Finance Gary Schultz.

The three defendants are facing multiple charges, including perjury and failing to report child abuse related to Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator who is now serving 30-60 years in prison for sexually abusing boys.

Curley and Schultz say they believed Baldwin was representing them when they testified before the grand jury investigating the Sandusky scandal. Baldwin later testified before the same grand jury. Attorney's for Curley and Schultz say that violated attorney-client confidentiality.

The transcript unsealed on Monday, reveals how the judge and prosecutors handled those concerns, which Schultz and Curley's attorneys raised leading up to Baldwin's testimony.

"Your Honor, we just want to put this issue on the record," Fina said. "So we want to have clarity before she (Baldwin) testifies as to the parameters of her allowable testimony and hopefully having her testify in a way that does not step on or interfere with any privilege."

The Oct. 22 transcript shows Judge Feudale and Fina were aware of the concerns and expected Spanier to raise similar concerns in the near future. Fina noted a waiver of attorney-client privilege allowed Baldwin to testify.

Fina said Baldwin was able to testify before the grand jury under a waiver of attorney-client privilege rules. Specifically, he said Baldwin could talk about issues related to Sandusky, his relationship with the university and any of his conduct known to the university.

"And it extended to the contacts between the university and this grand jury and investigators, again, looking into Gerald Sandusky, his personal conduct – any alleged misconduct and indeed also the acts of the university in compliance or non-compliance with investigative efforts," Fina said. "All of those issues were opened up to us to discuss with Miss Baldwin."

At the same time, during the Oct. 22 meeting, Judge Feudale said Fina would not ask Baldwin questions about her representation related to Spanier, Curley and Schultz.

"I am satisfied based on what you placed on the record that she (Baldwin) is clearly able to proceed on testimony with the stipulation that you (Fina) communicated – that you're not going to get into an inquiry as to her representation and what it meant with regard to Mr. Curley, Mr. Schultz and perhaps, as you said, Mr. Spanier," Feudale said.

Earlier in the meeting, Fina told the judge, "We are not going to ask questions about ... Mr. Schultz, Mr. Curley, their testimony before the grand jury and any preparation or follow up they had with counsel Baldwin, University Counsel Baldwin."

Fina also stressed during the meeting that Baldwin was representing the university during the grand jury proceedings.

"She was not individually representing those two gentleman (Schultz and Curley)," Fina said. At the time, only Schultz and Curley had raised concerns about Baldwin's role as attorney in the Sandusky investigation.

Curley's attorney, Caroline Roberto, filed a motion Nov. 21 to dismiss his criminal charges, suppress his Jan. 12, 2011 grand jury testimony and order an evidentiary hearing so Curley can submit expert testimony regarding court testimony by Baldwin.

Roberto argues Baldwin prepared Curley and Schultz for their grand jury testimonies, accompanied each to a pre-testimony interview with the Attorney General's Office, and attended their testimony in a grand jury hearing room, as only counselor for a witness may do.

 

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government. jenn.miller@statecollege.com
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