Skip to comments.Former PA Attorney General: Tim Curley, Gary Schultz case a "miscarriage of justice"
Posted on 03/23/2014 9:28:01 AM PDT by FlJoePa
A former Pennsylvania prosecutor thinks charges against ex-Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz were a miscarriage of justice resulting from the disputed role of in-house university lawyer Cynthia Baldwin.
Walter Cohen, who was acting attorney general in 1995 and a first deputy attorney general from 1989 to 1995, offered a scathing review for the defense lawyers of Curley and Schultz, who wanted to have Cohen testify as an expert witness at a hearing in December. The review, in a signed affidavit, was filed in Dauphin County Court under seal, and it was just unsealed by the judge last week.
Cohen didnt mince words in his review, saying prosecutors, the judge presiding over the grand jury and Baldwin herself failed Curley and Schultz. He said if it werent for those failures, the two wouldnt have been charged in the first place.
Cohen arrived at his opinion after reviewing a number of documents in the case, such as the grand jury presentments, transcripts, and letters between Baldwins lawyer and the lawyers for Curley and Schultz.
Mr. Schultz and Mr. Curley suffered the complete deprivation of their rights to counsel, Cohen wrote. In fact, the harm to them was even worse than if they had no counsel at all. They believed they had an attorney who would protect their interests.
The result here was a miscarriage of justice that improperly led to criminal charges being placed against two witnesses whose rights were violated.
According to grand jury transcripts and arguments made by the two mens lawyers throughout the case, Curley and Schultz believed Baldwin was representing them when they appeared to testify to the grand jury investigating Jerry Sandusky in January 2011.
But the men apparently became targets during their testimonies, and when Sandusky was indicted months later in November 2011, Curley and Schultz were charged with perjury and failure to report abuse properly.
The defense lawyers have asked for the criminal case against their clients to be dismissed because they say Baldwin first violated grand jury secrecy by being present for their testimonies. The defense lawyers charge that Baldwin later violated attorney-client privilege when she testified against them to the grand jury in October 2012.
Baldwins lawyer, Charles De Monaco, has said very little publicly, but he has defended Baldwin, a former state Supreme Court justice and former university trustee.
The suggestion by anyone that Ms. Baldwin did not fulfill her ethical and professional duties to the Pennsylvania State University and its agents and administrators, or testified untruthfully, is untrue, De Monaco said in December when the issue flared up again after a court hearing.
Heres how Cohen sees the issues pertaining to Baldwins representation:
Baldwin prepped Curley and Schultz ahead of their grand jury appearances, and owed them loyalty, confidentiality and competent representation. But Baldwin had a conflict of interest in representing both of them, didnt get a waiver of the conflict of interest and did not represent them adequately during their grand jury appearances.
The judge supervising the grand jury, Barry Feudale, believed Baldwin was the attorney for Curley and Schultz, but he and the prosecutor in charge should have challenged the joint representation of the two men.
Further, Cohen said, if Baldwin was only representing Penn State, as she has maintained after her role came into question, then she had no business being in the grand jury room, as it was a violation of grand jury rules.
Cohen said hes seen that judges and prosecutors are vigilant about grand jury secrecy and forbid lawyers who dont represent witnesses from being in the grand jury room. He posits that Baldwins presence at the grand jury shows that either everyone involved believed she represented Schultz and Curley or there was at least tacit approval by the prosecutor and judge to overlook the law.
In addition, Cohen said, the pre-testimony interviews that prosecutors and state police had with Schultz and Curley should have been a red flag. Authorities indicated to Baldwin that an incident reported to Schultz and Curley involved the sexual assault of a young boy.
This was a materially different story than that which Mr. Schultz and Mr. Curley were prepared to tell, Cohen said. Ms. Baldwin should have alerted her clients that they were at serious risk of prosecution for perjury and failure to report child abuse, based on the information she received from the prosecutors.
However, she did nothing to act on this information, with disastrous results for her clients.
Cohen said that Baldwin should have recognized hostility during those pre-testimony interviews, too, and should have discussed seeking immunity with Curley and Schultz.
Cohen said that the public records show that Baldwin didnt explain to Curley and Schultz their rights against self-incrimination. If they had invoked the Fifth Amendment, the grand jury testimonies could have stopped, and they would have had more time to consider options.
Cohen also recounted a conversation he had with Feudale on Oct. 22, 2012, that led to his opinion about Curley and Schultz.
Feudale had just wrapped up a discussion with a witness to the statewide grand jury in Harrisburg who was represented by Cohen. Feudale wanted a quick word with Cohen, who hed known for quite some time.
Feudale told Cohen he would never allow a lawyer into the grand jury room with a witness unless he was sure the lawyer represented the witness. But, because of the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, Feudale couldnt divulge to Cohen which proceeding he meant.
Cohen figured it was about Curley and Schultz, because Cohen had made critical public comments about prosecutors bringing charges in light of Baldwins role.
It wasnt until sometime later that Cohen realized the timeliness of Feudales chat. The day he met with Cohen, Feudale had just had a discussion with Baldwin over her offering testimony to the grand jury where she sat and listened to Curley and Schultz testify more than a year before.
Baldwin testified to the grand jury Oct. 26, 2012.
This testimony offered by the person who the judge and both witnesses thought was their counsel just compounds the initial injustice that they suffered at the hands of the supervising judge and (the) chief deputy attorney general, Cohen wrote.
If you see posts of interest to Pennsylvanians, please ping me.
In other news, former PLO leader Arafat is still dead. So tell me, just why is it you invest so much into the viability of politicians, especially in PA?
Smoke and mirrors.
Penn State - innocent children were sexually violated because those in positions of authority did not do their job.
Now those in charge are being held accountable for their non-actions.
Why do you have a problem with that?
Says who? The GJ Presentment? Louis Freeh? The media? You?
Prove it. Good luck, because it isn't true.
Ask the kids who were violated.
So you were there? I repeat, just why is it you put so much faith in a politician? You are just a classic case of how environmentalists are just so believing in their nirvana world view. It matches their investment in their union label.
Schultz and Curley were never told what you all think they were told. They were basically told nothing. MM is not a credible witness and the state knows this. If they ever have to put him on the stand, the world will erupt in laughter.
Why do you think it’s taken over 2 years and still no trial date? Why haven’t any of the three (include Spanier) flipped on one of the others? This is what the state counted on, but that all falls apart when everyone involved is telling the truth.
You ask me about politicians? This is about justice. You can’t make someone guilty just because you WANT them to be guilty. They have to have committed some sort of crime, which none of these men have done.
This is the least of my concerns. I really don’t care that some one is boo hooping over Penn State. There are more important things to be worried about.
You really are delusional.
Pick up your phone Alex needs to talk
BTW, your sleeve is showing. For evil to prevail, good men need to do nothing. For all indications, your idol was outwardly a good man. That is all that I know in addition to yourself. JoePa has been called home and his judgement is that only of our maker, and nobody else, not even you.
You are going to stroke out. Breathe. You have a very limited capacity to focus if this is the big issue in your life.
Seriously pick up your phone....
Charges against ex-Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz were justified. They were the ones responsible for the health and safety of the Penn State community, not a football coach. They failed to act responsibly and quickly to rid Penn State of a sexual predator.
Joe Paterno was a football coach, responsible for football. He carried out his job to report possible sexual abuse to the people responsible for the campus.
Curly and Shultz were not football coaches; they were administrators responsible for protecting the Penn State community from sexual predators. They had the legal authority to pursue the alleged crime; they failed to do their jobs and blamed somebody who had not the administrative authority nor responsibility to investigate alleged crimes.
If they’re so guilty, why aren’t they in jail? It’s been 2.5 years.
You think there’s a chance that mm didn’t tell them what he later told the state he told them? Just a chance?