Judge Issues Temporary Stay In Spanier, Curley, Schultz Trials
By Michael Martin Garrett
The long-awaited criminal trial for Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz will have to wait even longer.
Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover has issued a temporary stay while the three former Penn State administrators appeal a January ruling.
In his Jan. 14 ruling, Hoover refused to dismiss the criminal charges. He also decided to allow the grand jury testimony of former Penn State attorney Cynthia Baldwin as evidence in the case, which the three men have strongly opposed. In a March 4 ruling, Hoover agreed to temporarily put the case on hold while the defendants appeal his January decision to both the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Spanier, Curley, and Schultz have strongly objected to the court’s acceptance of Baldwin’s testimony, calling it a violation of their rights.
They claim the use of her testimony is a violation of their right to attorney-client privilege. The three defendants say they were represented by Baldwin when they first testified before a grand jury about Sandusky’s abuse. Baldwin later testified herself at a different grand jury hearing, where she alleged that the administrators failed to provide her with documents related to Sandusky’s sexual misconduct allegations when subpoenaed by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.
Judge Hoover notes that while he did grant a stay in the case, he does not believe he has had made any errors in judgement.
In their request for a stay, the defendants argued the question of Baldwin’s testimony and attorney-client privilege is a “question of law” that requires input from a higher court. Hoover disagrees.
“We reached our conclusions based upon application of facts to controlling Pennsylvania cases and Federal cases relying upon Pennsylvania law which governed each element of the claims,” Hoover writes in his March 4 order. “… We also do not find persuasive Defendant’s reference to legally and factually unrelated cases before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.”
A trial in the case has been pending since December 2011.
Attorneys for the defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment.