Louis Freeh Replaced as Head of Law Firm While Questions Surround His Work
Louis Freeh, Penn State’s much-maligned investigator following the Sandusky Scandal, has been replaced as the chairman of his law firm.
Thomas Gallagher will replace Freeh as chairman of Pepper Hamilton’s executive committee, but Freeh will remain a partner in the law firm. The announcement by Pepper Hamilton comes after Freeh’s involvement in a single-car accident in Vermont in August, when Freeh reportedly fell asleep behind the wheel. In a statement, the firm claimed that Freeh’s accident did not factor into the decision to replace the former FBI director.
“The future of Pepper Hamilton has never been brighter, and Tom Gallagher will continue to build on the firm’s outstanding reputation. At the beginning of August, I advised the executive committee that I intended to step down as chair and I asked them to plan for my succession. Tom’s selection as chair is the result of that process,” Freeh said in the statement.
Freeh’s replacement could be in response to an issue arising from another one of his high-profile reports. An appeal filed by Lionel Sutton and Christine Reitano, attorneys who Freeh concluded were involved in “fraud, money laundering, conspiracy or perjury” in the BP oil spill claims program, says the report is biased. U.S. Judge Carl Barbier, who appointed Freeh to head the investigation, ordered an evidentiary hearing for next month, giving possible credence to the appeal.
These allegations come on top of the questions about his infamous report on the Sandusky Scandal. Freeh’s report is currently being evaluated in a defamation suit brought forth by former university president Graham Spanier. The Paterno family’s suit with the NCAA also questions the validity of the report and the NCAA’s reliance on it to justify its sanctions on the university.