CNN sends letter to Penn State to release Sandusky files
Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing boys.
November 21st, 2011
07:30 PM ET

CNN sends letter to Penn State to release Sandusky files

CNN on Monday, after prior public record requests, sent a letter to Penn State President Rodney Erickson appealing to his promise of transparency and the university’s ethical duty to release the records relating to the Jerry Sandusky investigation due to the overwhelming public interest in the case and public policy questions raised by the university’s and investigators’ handling of the allegations.

Below is the letter to Erickson:

I am writing on behalf of Cable News Network, Inc. (“CNN”) as the head of newsgathering operations for the entire northeastern United States, including Pennsylvania.

Soon after you were named interim president in the aftermath of the announcement of the sexual abuse charges against Jerry Sandusky and related perjury charges against other Penn State officials, you made this promise to the Penn State community: “Penn State is committed to transparency to the fullest extent possible given the ongoing investigations.” We implore you to fulfill your promise.

As you know, CNN and several other news organizations have filed Right to Know Requests with the university and University Police relating to the 1998 investigation of Sandusky. Those requests have been perfunctorily denied by the University’s General Counsel’s Office which has relied on the argument that the university is not a “commonwealth agency” as defined by the law and thus immune from public disclosure except as it relates to information contained on IRS 990 reports. It is our understanding that this exemption is unusual when compared with other, similar state universities. Given the gravity of the allegations and the public interest in this important matter, we would ask that you make the records relating to the Sandusky case available to the public to honor your commitment to transparency, instead of avoiding this obligation by invoking this atypical exception to open records laws.

The public interest in this case is overwhelming. The allegations have raised serious questions about how state employees and state officials – including those who are supposed to enforce the law – have responded to allegations of sexual abuse of minors and larger public policy questions about the adequacy of child protection laws, which should be debated in the public and in legislative chambers across the United States and around the world. The public needs complete and accurate information.

We believe Penn State, as a nationally known university and the flagship of Pennsylvania's university system, has an ethical duty to the public to release these records, rather than rely on this peculiar exception provided by the state legislature.

We await your response.


Darius Walker

Filed under: Crime • Sports • U.S.
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Good letter, bad results.

    And then what do they do? They hire Freeh, one of the sleaziest people to ever head the FBI and who helped in hundreds of cover-ups, to "investigate" this matter for the university as a "private lawyer".

    Something tells me Freeh will help the university to cover their asses, and will downplay anything and everything because that's why they hired him.
    Where's the criminal investigation? Where are the cops, the local prosecutors? Where are these people who have convened a grand jury? Are they going to drop everything and let Freeh waltz in to white-wash everything?
    See, all it takes is money. Lots of money. And you'll never have to pay for your crimes. That's how it works in this country.

    November 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • aurelius3

      I agree. Somethings rotten in Pennsylvania and it's getting worse.

      November 22, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • aurelius3

      The university should just turn over all files to the Feds (FBI) since this has probably crossed State lines and could implicate a lot more people.

      November 22, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    This seems to be so bad that "it just could not be that bad."
    Penn State simply could not be so involved that it wouldn't want the police and courts to see everything, could it?
    "We hired our own private investigator and lawyer."
    I know that some humans are as crooked as these at Penn State are appearing to be.
    I don't say this as an expression: it actually makes me very nauseated.

    November 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ex high school teacher

      Hi Joey - The truth is as bad as you can imagine and then some. Keep digging media.

      November 22, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    Louis Freeh graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University. He served with the Federal Bureau of Investigation from '93-'01, under both the Clinton and Bush Administrations. He was assigned the "pizza connection" drug ring case, reputed to be one of the most complex criminal cases in U.S. history. Mr. Freeh also served as U.S. Attorney and a United States District Court Judge.
    Since you want to post obviously defamatory statements about Mr. Freeh, then you have the balls to post "your real name" just like I do, and "your real" email address, just like I do, so we can learn more about Mr. Freeh...OK?

    November 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    I am tired of the enti ties that are "above the law".
    I am tired of Universities that operate at a different moral level than what they expect their students to operate at.
    I am tired of the Vatican sweeping the rampant abuse by priests under the rug, instead of making these individuals accountable for their actions.
    I am tired of our elected officials who are guilty of the most heinous crimes getting off scott-free.
    I am tired of the CEO's being able to bank millions that they have swindled from the common people, and I am tired of the off-shore banking rules that make it possible.
    I am tired of reading about the same old corruption going on every day, in every social strata, and having the most vulnerable, innocent citizens paying the price.

    I am tired of it.

    November 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. frostybvue

    I am getting tired of news organizations that think they can do a better job investigating a problem than the professionals! It's none of your business to probe into a possible criminal problem, that's what we hire security personnel for. So, quit trying to beat the other news organizations causing irate and ignorant public reaction, and mind your own business (re: english tabloids)!

    November 21, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Portland tony

    Just what we need......CNN. and the press trying the case before it even goes to trial. And as if Congress didn't have more important things to do, they are going to hold meaningless hearings for headlines and more press coverage. Holy hell another MJ like free for all. I'm quite sure that Pennsylvania has an excellent judicial system to bury the scoundrels involved.

    November 21, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    They probably would of called the current FBI director into service in the Sandusky case, but he's supposed to be helping me collect my $10 million from the First Bank of Nigeria.

    November 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Oh, Jeff Frank, you crack me up!

    November 21, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. beachrat

    Good luck with that, hope you get what you want ,but have the feeling its not going to happen .

    November 22, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"


    November 22, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    banasy – When Sasha started to cuddle up with Donna, I told her she was being pooed. When puppy started licking and biting her ear, I told her she was being peeked.

    November 22, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    Peek-A-Poo !!! 😉

    November 22, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. **cosmicvox *

    @Jeff Frank, Gesundheit !

    November 22, 2011 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. **cosmicvox *

    oookaaaay....that was for the 12:09 post!! Anyway, Penn States paper shredder's must be working overtime about now.

    November 22, 2011 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. CNN needs to stay out

    CNN and the government need to stay out of our bedrooms. It's none of their business.

    November 22, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
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