by Geoff Rushton
Former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary was cited by the Pennsylvania Game Commission for illegal deer baiting two days after he was awarded a $7.3 million verdict in a civil lawsuit against the university.
According to the citation filed with District Judge Allen Sinclair, McQueary, 42, was cited on Oct. 29 for using unlawful devices and methods for using using corn and other bait while archery hunting for whitetail deer from a ladder stand in Taylor Township.
Questioned by a game commission officer, McQueary allegedly admitted to using C’Mere Deer attractant, according to the citation. He was fined $244.50 and received a warning for not having his hunting license while hunting.
On Oct. 27, a Centre County jury found in McQueary’s favor on claims of defamation and misrepresentation against Penn State. McQueary figured prominently in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal when he was identified as the graduate assistant who in 2001 reported to former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz that he had witnessed Sandusky in a locker room shower with a boy.
Curley and Schultz were charged in 2011 for their alleged handling of that report. McQueary’s lawsuit claimed that Curley and Schultz intentionally misrepresented what they would with his report, and that former Penn State President Graham Spanier’s statements of support for Curley and Schultz defamed McQueary.
He said the actions of the university, including placing him on leave and not renewing his contract as an assistant coach in 2012, destroyed his reputation and have prevented him from finding work since then.
Penn State argued that Spanier’s statements did not mention McQueary and were his opinions of the two administrators. The school also argued that Curley and Schultz did what they told McQueary they would do. McQueary couldn’t get a job, Penn State argued, because of national perception that he could have done more to stop Sandusky in 2001 and because he had a limited resume.
A jury agreed with McQueary and after a nearly two-week trial awarded him $1.15 million in compensatory damages on each charge of defamation and misrepresentation and $5 million in punitive damages on the misrepresentation charge.
Judge Thomas Gavin still must rule on McQueary’s claim that Penn State violated the state’s whistleblower statute by retaliating against him for cooperating with prosecutors in the Sandusky case.