PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Spanier Files Defamation, Breach Of Contract Suit Against Louis Freeh And Penn State

Former university president Graham Spanier has filed a lawsuit against Louis Freeh and Penn State, alleging defamation and tortious interference by the former, and breach of contract by the latter. Virginia law firm Clare Locke, which is representing Spanier, announced the suit on Wednesday afternoon in a press release.

Spanier intends to argue that in publishing the Freeh Report, “Freeh and his law firm knowingly and maliciously published false and defamatory statements about him.” The statement adds that the report caused Spanier’s reputation significant harm and that the university compounded that harm by promoting the report. The crux of Spanier’s argument is that the report both ignored evidence and was essentially concluded before Freeh interviewed Spanier just days before its publication.

“Dr. Spanier’s complaint demonstrates that the Freeh Report was little more than a public relations product that expediently scapegoated a few individuals and was designed to knock the controversy out of the news as quickly as possible,” said Libby Locke, attorney for Spanier. “We intend to demonstrate in this suit that through misdirection and strategic omissions, the Freeh Report intentionally reached the false and defamatory conclusion that Dr. Spanier had knowledge of information and events that he did not.”

In the complaint, Spanier is asking for compensatory and punitive damages “for the reputational and economic harm caused by Freeh’s defamatory statements.” He is also suing the university for breach of contract, citing the university publicizing the Freeh Report, statements made by members of the Board of Trustees, and other breaches of his separation agreement.

Spanier is also alleging that Freeh Group International Solutions, Freeh’s consulting firm, committed tortious interference involving Spanier’s contracts for national security work with the federal government. The release said that Spanier is “optimistic” that the lawsuit will shine a light on Freeh’s business.

“In the case of Dr. Spanier, the Penn State Board of Trustees needed Freeh to assign blame for Sandusky’s behavior and to justify the hasty personnel decisions made in the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal,” the release said. “The Freeh Report falsely blamed Dr. Spanier, other University officials, and Coach Joe Paterno in a misguided effort to enable the University to compartmentalize responsibility for Sandusky’s conduct and to bring closure to the scandal.”

Spanier has created a website,, which intends to debunk the report and prove its inaccuracy. The website details Spanier’s law suit. On the main page of the site, it shows a copy of My FBI, a book written by Freeh. The hand-written inscription within reads, “To Graham, My warm wishes and appreciation for your leadership, vision and integrity. Penn State is very fortunate to have your energy and honor.”

In a report from ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr., he says that both Penn State and Freeh did not provide comment on the law suit.

About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.


More by Zach

Penn Stater Named To Olympic Committee’s Centre for Safe Sport’s Inaugural Board

The Center for Safe Sport was recently created to tackle the issue of protecting America’s athletes. Penn State will be represented on the inaugural board by chief ethics and compliance officer Regis Becker.

A Valentine’s Day Trio Of Penn State Love Stories

Penn State To Celebrate 161st Birthday Next Week


Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Former Penn State women’s gymnastics head coach Jeff Thompson has filed a lawsuit against the university following the termination of his contract in February 2017. Thompson, alongside his wife and associate head coach Rachelle Thompson, was accused by former gymnasts and an assistant coach of creating a hostile team environment. The Thompsons allegedly pressured athletes to compete […]

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Penn State Women’s Soccer Adds Swiss Forward Kim Dubs

Student Life

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

The lab uses a combination of human genomics, computational biology, and functional studies, using Drosophila and human cell lines, to understand the risks caused by genetic mutations and to grasp how gene disruption leads to altered neurodevelopment.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Pennharmonics To Hold 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love you to join us.

Mayor Don Hahn Asks Borough Council To Consider Changes To Proposed Overnight Parking Restrictions

State College Mayor Don Hahn posted on his blog Sunday republishing a letter he sent to Borough Council on August 1 outlining three revisions he’d like them to consider for the proposed overnight parking restrictions.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend