Saturday, June 30, 2018

Confidential Internal Review At PSU Shreds Louis Freeh Report

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

A confidential internal review of the Louis Freeh Report on the Penn State sex abuse scandal, conducted by the university's own trustees, found factual mistakes, "deeply flawed" methodology, and faulty  opinions that Freeh's own staffers took issue with, in writing.

The trustees also accused Freeh of having a conflict of interest in his dealings with the NCAA.

It was the Freeh Report that the NCAA relied upon in 2012 to impose draconian sanctions on Penn State, including a $60 million fine, a bowl game ban that lasted two years,  the loss of 170 athletic scholarships and the elimination of 111 of Joe Paterno's wins, although the wins were subsequently restored.

On Friday, a group of 11 trustees called on the full 38-member board to release the full 200-page critique of the 267-page Freeh Report, formally renounce Freeh's findings, and try to recoup some of the $8.3 million that the university paid Freeh.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

As His Case Heads For Retrial, Msgr. Lynn Holds A Trump Card


By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The state Superior Court today cleared the way for a retrial of Msgr. William J. Lynn by rejecting an appeal to toss the case against him because of intentional prosecutorial misconduct and double jeopardy.

The monsignor, however, did score one legal victory. In a separate decision, the Superior Court ruled in Lynn's favor to limit the number of supplemental cases of sex abuse that can be introduced as evidence at a retrial, to show a pattern spanning decades of covering up sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Superior Court's two opinions issued today mean that both sides can proceed with the sequel in their long-running grudge match, once again starring Detective Joe Walsh. Only this time around, Walsh, the D.A.'s former ace lead detective on the case, will be testifying on behalf of the defendant, about prosecutorial misconduct in the D.A.'s office.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Bad Rufus & Billy Doe Come Back to Haunt Graham Spanier

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The state Superior Court, in a split, 2-1 decision, yesterday denied an appeal by Graham Spanier, the former president of Penn State University, who was seeking to overturn his conviction last year on a single count of endangering the welfare of a child.

In denying Spanier's appeal, the state Superior Court repeatedly cited the Commonwealth v. Lynn a total of 34 times in 29 pages, as in the case against Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former secretary for clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In the Pennsylvania courts, the Commonwealth v. Lynn now stands as legal precedent. In real life, however,  the case is a scandalous embarrassment to law enforcement, as it involves a fake victim, "Billy Doe," AKA Danny Gallagher, dubbed the "lying, scheming altar boy" in a cover story by Newsweek. And the unscrupulous prosecutor who put Gallagher on the stand is another embarrassment to law enforcement -- a corrupt former district attorney named Rufus Seth Williams who's now wearing a jump suit and sitting in a federal prison.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Amid Smirks And Mocking, An Ethics Expert Rips Frank Fina

By Ralph Cipriano
The Fox Hunting The Fina
for BigTrial.net

Frank Fina did a slow burn today as a lawyer for the state Supreme Court's disciplinary board and an ethics expert wearing a bow tie took turns attacking Fina as an unethical, and overzealous prosecutor who trampled on the constitutional rights of his targets.

"This is a straight-forward case," Amelia C. Kittredge, counsel to the disciplinary board, told a panel of three lawyers who will decide whether Fina, the lead prosecutor in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case, should be disciplined or disbarred for misconduct during that secret grand jury investigation.

Frank Fina, Kittredge said, "deliberately and recklessly" violated the attorney-client privilege. It happened in 2012, when Fina questioned former Penn State counsel Cynthia Baldwin before a grand jury about confidential information involving three of her former clients who were once top officials at Penn State.

A prosecutor is not only supposed to be an advocate, Kittredge said, but he's also supposed to be a "minister of justice." But Frank Fina, she said, was an unethical lawyer who broke the most "sacred privilege" in the legal world, namely the attorney-client privilege.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A System of Justice 'Systematically Destroyed'

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Lawrence J. Fox, a longtime Philadelphia lawyer who's a visiting lecturer at the Yale Law School, is an expert on teaching legal ethics and professional responsibility.

And Fox has harsh words for the conduct of former Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina, the lead prosecutor in the Jerry Sandusky case, as well as for Cynthia Baldwin, the former Penn State counsel who represented three top Penn State officials before the grand jury investigating Sandusky. That was before Baldwin flipped, at the behest of Fina, to become a prosecution witness, and testify against her former clients, an act of betrayal that horrified Fox.

"When lawyers feign representation, but in fact abandon their clients, and worse yet, become instrumentalities of the state, aiding the prosecution of their clients, the entire system of justice is systematically destroyed," Fox wrote in a 2013 filing recently unsealed in Dauphin County Common Pleas Court.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Mayor Kenney's Song And Dance Routine Goes Viral

Mayor Jim Kenney's impromptu song and dance routine over a recent court victory that upheld the city's status as a sanctuary city is getting panned by conservative critics.

A White House spokesman described the mayor's soft-shoe number as "disgusting."

A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate said it was a "sad video to watch."

A co-host on Fox & Friends wondered what the parents of children slain by illegal aliens would make of it.

 

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