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Penn State GC criticized in report

Freeh report says Cynthia Baldwin had her hands full with Sandusky investigation

A new report has criticized the former general counsel of Pennsylvania State University for her handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation investigation.

During the two years Cynthia Baldwin spent as GC at the university, she was actively involved in the internal investigation of Sandusky. And a new report conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who is now a partner at Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, criticizes the role she played in that investigation.

The following are some of the findings in the Freeh Report:

  • Baldwin accompanied Penn State executives to a grand jury testimony in January 2011. Reports have suggested the executives thought Baldwin was representing them, but she told Freeh investigators that she was representing the university.
  • Baldwin didn’t brief the Penn State board about the grand jury investigation or the risk to the university.
  • Baldwin advised university personnel in spring 2011 that, due to his emeritus status, Sandusky could not be denied access to Penn State facilities or be terminated because he had not been convicted of a crime.
  • Baldwin opposed an independent investigation of Sandusky, saying “if we do this, we will never get rid of this [outside investigative] group in some shape or form. The board will then think that they should have such a group.” 

Charles De Monaco, a partner at Fox Rothschild, said in a statement that much of the information about Baldwin in the report is inaccurate. “No one should draw conclusions until all the facts are known,” he said. “As Judge Freeh made clear in his report, no one, not even his client, the university, had an advance copy of the report so that inaccuracies could be corrected. Ms. Baldwin was never given the opportunity to review the content of the interviews that she provided to Judge Freeh’s agents so that any mistakes in note-taking or understanding could be corrected.”

Baldwin, a former Duane Morris partner who took the top legal spot at Penn State two years ago, announced in January she would be leaving the post. Stephen S. Dunham stepped in as her replacement.

Read more about this report in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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