Board of Trustee Members Granted Limited Access to Freeh Report Documents
By Michael Martin Garrett
Penn State Board of Trustees Chairman Keith Masser has officially given permission for nine other trustees to access documents that formed the basis of the Freeh report.
The university’s nine alumni-elected trustees sent a letter to Masser last week, saying they had “fiduciary obligations” to review the Freeh report. Masser responded in a letter of his own on Monday, granting this access with some limitations.
“The documents, and in particular the interview memoranda, include sensitive and private information shared by hundreds of Penn State employees, officials and others associated with the University, with [Freeh’s law firm] in exchange for a promise of confidentiality,” Masser writes. “The University intends to honor the promise of confidentiality to the maximum extent permitted by law.”
In order to protect this confidentiality, as well as the anonymity of Jerry Sandusky’s victims, Masser writes that university attorney Joseph O’Dea will create a database of the relevant documents that university trustees can access. Each trustee must sign a confidentiality agreement before they can see the documents, which will only be accessible at O’Dea’s office in Philadelphia.
Alumni-elected trustee Anthony Lubrano calls Masser’s letter “a step in the right direction” in an email, adding that he was glad Masser had responded as quickly as they had requested. However, he said that the nine alumni-elects will likely suggest “recommended changes to the process” for accessing the documents.
“Obviously there are some logistical and process details that still need to be worked out,” fellow alumni-elect William Oldsey says. “It’s very important that we have unfettered and comprehensive access to all the materials.”
Oldsey adds that he understands Masser’s concerns about confidentiality, but says he is not yet sure how comprehensive their access is to the Freeh documents.
The university-sanctioned Freeh Report was released in 2012 and concluded that top Penn State administrators hid the Sandusky scandal from the public and other university leaders. This report formed the basis of numerous sanctions imposed on Penn State by the NCAA.
Masser’s letter to the alumni-elected trustees can be read in its entirety below.
Image: Penn Stater Mag