Judge Rules Cynthia Baldwin Acted Properly in Defense of Curley, Spanier, Schultz
The Commonwealth’s case against Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz had its first major public filing in months today, as Judge Todd Hoover denied the trio’s request to dismiss their charges, ruling that then-attorney Cynthia Baldwin gave proper legal counsel during the men’s grand jury testimony.
Some quick background, since all of these lawsuits can get tricky: Spanier, Curley, and Schultz are charged with perjury, conspiracy, and endangering the welfare of children related to the Sandusky scandal. The trio alleged that they were denied the right to an attorney when they testified before the grand jury in 2010 and that Baldwin should not have testified because she represented them. This fact is in dispute; Baldwin has stated that she was only representing Penn State and not the three administrators during the grand jury proceedings, but the administrators claim that they were not aware of that distinction. They filed to have their charges dropped and for Baldwin to be barred from testimony in their still-unscheduled criminal trial as a result.
Back to the present. Hoover found in today’s lengthy filing that Baldwin indeed represented the former administrators properly. “We have determined that Ms. Baldwin represented the university and defendants as agents conducting university business,” he said. Hoover also found that Baldwin testified within the scope of the attorney-client privilege, as it was properly waived by Penn State prior to the grand jury’s proceedings. The judge finally determined that no conflict of interest was present in Baldwin’s role.
Hoover made clear that Penn State was the owner of the attorney-client privilege, and once it waived that right, Baldwin was free to testify. Furthermore, Spanier did not meet the burden of proof that he and Baldwin had an individual attorney-client privilege.
Baldwin’s role in the case was a sticking point for the accused, as Spanier’s lawyer Elizabeth Ainslie has repeatedly cast doubt on the fairness of the grand jury proceedings. More than three years have passed since Curley and Schultz were initially charged in November 2011, and still no trial date has been set in the case.
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Though the Judicial Board has final say on the timing of implementing all policy changes, it is expected the changes will take effect for the 14th Assembly if approved.
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