Thursday, May 27, 2021

Josh Shapiro Gets His Pound Of Flesh

By Ralph Cipriano

In the end, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro got his pound of flesh.

A grandstanding Shapiro shamelessly took credit yesterday for sending former Penn State President Graham Spanier off to jail for two months, even though Spanier is still recovering from open heart surgery, and also suffers from advanced, metastasized prostate cancer. 

Spanier's lawyers were worried that behind bars, if their client contracts COVID, it may amount to a death sentence. If ever there was an occasion for mercy, this was it. Spanier was a 72-year-old non-violent offender with a spotless record convicted of a single misdemeanor. But as far as Shapiro was concerned, he was more than willing to risk Spanier's life for the sake of political theater. 

"Today marks the end of a long road towards justice for the children endangered by Mr. Spanier’s inaction— choosing to cover up the abuse at the hands of Jerry Sandusky rather than reporting it to law enforcement," Shapiro stated in a self-serving press release. 

"No one is above the law, and my office will continue to pursue anyone who looks the other way in the face of child sexual abuse," Shapiro claimed. "There are consequences for failing to protect children in Pennsylvania.”

And in Pennsylvania, as Shapiro proved yesterday, there are no consequences for an attorney general's office that continues to act as if it's above the law. And there are no consequences for an attorney general's office that looks the other way and continues to cover up its own proven track record of corruption in the Penn State case from start to finish.

The corruption started in the grand jury.

Behind closed doors, former Deputy Attorney Frank Fina, the lead prosecutor in the case, lied to a grand jury judge about his real intentions before he tampered with Cynthia Baldwin, Spanier's defense lawyer. By threatening Baldwin with indictment, Fina coerced Baldwin into becoming a cooperator, so she could secretly testify against her own client in the grand jury, without notifying Spanier.

Fina had a few more dirty tricks up his sleeve.

The night before Spanier was going to be arrested, Spanier didn't know about it, and neither did his lawyers. But Gregory Paw, a senior investigator for the Louis Freeh Group did, thanks to a leak from Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina.

On Oct. 31, 2012, Paw sent an email to the Freeh Group, which supposedly conducted an independent $8.3 million civil investigation of the Penn State scandal. The subject of Paw's email: "CLOSE HOLD -- Important."

"PLEASE HOLD VERY CLOSE," Paw wrote his colleagues at the Freeh Group. "[Deputy Attorney General Frank] Fina called tonight to tell me that Spanier is to be arrested tomorrow, and [former Penn State Athletic Director Tim] Curley and [former Penn State Vice President for business and finance Gary] Schultz re-arrested, on charges of obstruction of justice and related charges . . . Spanier does not know this information yet, and his lawyers will be advised about an hour before the charges are announced tomorrow."

Wow, more unethical conduct from a clearly-out of control prosecutor, right? But as far as Josh Shapiro is concerned, that's not a problem, right? The A.G. was more than happy to send Spanier to jail for an alleged cover-up, while Shapiro simultaneously continued to cover up the abuses of his own office. 

In Pennsylvania, Mr. Shapiro, there are no consequences for an attorney general's office that deliberately wrote a fictitious grand jury presentment that sensationally but falsely claimed that Assistant Football Coach Mike McQueary had witnessed Jerry Sandusky anally raping a 10-year-old boy in the Penn State showers.

As McQueary himself wrote to Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Esbach, the AG had "twisted" his words about "whatever it was" that had happened in the showers to concoct a story that was sure to inflame the citizens. 

Eshbach responded by telling McQueary to keep quiet. "I know that a lot of this stuff is incorrect and it is hard not to respond," Eshbach emailed McQueary. "But you can't."

But in Pennsylvania, Mr. Shapiro, there are no consequences for prosecutors who knowingly write a fictitious grand jury presentment, right? And there are no consequences when those same prosecutors illegally leak that grand jury presentment to a reporter, to knowingly set off a media firestorm that was sure to forever taint the jury pool, right?

And, Mr. Shapiro, there are no consequences when the sole witness to that shocking headline crime  notifies the A.G.'s office that they "twisted" his words? And there are no consequences for a deputy attorney general telling that witness to keep quiet about it, right?

This is the appalling record of prosecutorial misconduct, collusion, and trampling upon the constitutional rights of defendants that Attorney General Josh Shapiro is basing his crusade on, a record that Shapiro, who did not respond to a request for comment, continues to cover up until this day.

You have no shame, Mr. Shapiro. Instead of sending Spanier to jail for allegedly covering up a crime in the showers that never happened [Even the Sandusky jury acquitted him of this charge] you should be asking the feds to investigate your own office for covering up rampant corruption. 

But in Pennsylvania, the show must go on. 

So according to the AP, yesterday in Dauphin County Court yesterday, Samuel Silver, who represents Spanier, told the judge, “We are here today for one and only one reason, and that is the pandemic."

“Graham Spanier meets the exact description of a person not to be in jail," Silver told he judge. He argued that it was “blind to reality and callous” for state prosecutors to seek jail time for Spanier, because of his perilous health.

But Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte assured the judge that the Centre County Correctional Facility, where Spanier will serve his sentence, was equipped to handle Spanier’s health issues. And then Schulte brought up the the issue of justice for the alleged victims of Sandusky.

We're talking about 36 men, 12 of whom have criminal records, who, to this day, have never had their wild and constantly changing stories vetted by lawyers, psychiatrists, private investigators, polygraphs, or Penn State officials. 

We're talking about alleged victims who didn't even have to give up their real names to become multi-millionaires. We're talking about craven Penn State officials who confined their "investigation" of the big scandal to writing checks to the victims for a combined total of $118 million, no questions asked. 

“The victims of the defendant’s crime do not believe that he’s ever going to be held accountable for the crime he’s been convicted of,” Schulte told the judge.

Upon on the bench, Judge John Boccabella had drank the Kool-Aid, and was playing his part in the political theater.

“He [Spanier] made a mistake and he’s going to pay for his mistake, but I don’t consider him to be a danger to society as I would a criminal,” the judge said.

Thanks, Judge, I'm sure that was of great comfort to Spanier on his way to jail.

“Fortunately, things are not as dire as they were a year ago,” Boccabella assured himself about the threat of Spanier catching COVID at the Centre County Jail. 

The judge then ordered Graham Spanier to begin serving at least two months at the county jail on July 9,  and, if he's still alive, that jail time is to be be followed up by two months of house arrest on electronic monitoring.

Spanier was convicted in 2017 on a single misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of children. The conviction was for Spanier's response to McQueary's complaint about seeing Sandusky showering alone with a boy in a team locker room, an incident that was characterized by aides to Spanier as horseplay.

Spanier, Curley and Schultz elected not to notify police, but instead decided to advise Sandusky to stop showering with kids. 

“The only downside for us is if the message isn’t ‘heard’ and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it," Spanier wrote in an email to his aides that was hailed by prosecutors and Louis Freeh as a smoking gun.

But what if that rape in the showers never happened?

That alleged crime was investigated in 2012 on behalf of the federal government by a former NCIS special agent. He determined that the shower story made no sense, and that McQueary, who told several versions of that shower story, wasn't a credible witness

Snedden's 110-page report was declassified in 2017, but the mainstream media has steadfastly refused to report on it, because the federal investigation contradicts the prevailing story line of the Penn State scandal. 

There are three other problems with Spanier's conviction on a single count of child endangerment -- [A] the alleged crime exceeded the statute of limitations; [B] it was the product of bad case law manufactured by a corrupt D.A.; and [C] as a federal magistrate has previously ruled, Spanier's conviction was also unconstitutional

But that didn't stop Judge Boccabella yesterday from imposing two years of probation on Spanier, plus a $7,500 fine and 200 hours of community service, on top of his prison sentence. 

Spanier fought his conviction for four years, all the way up to the U. S. Supreme Court, which this week, turned down his request to intervene.

So what happened in Judge Bocabella's courtroom yesterday was the final act in Spanier's legal drama. There can be no further appeals.

Michael Gorsegner of CBS21 reported that Spanier looked dejected as he left the courthouse.

In an email to a friend, Spanier said that the judge's ruling was expected, and that although his lawyer made "an excellent presentation," Judge Boccabella "had his mind made up!"

In that same email, Spanier wrote that he expected Shapiro to capitalize on the situation, "as he always does," but that the A.G.'s formal response was "nasty."


  1. Surprising in need! Kamala Harris would have let him walk.

    Yet Josh is silent of the violent serial sexual and physical assaults at the Art Museum.
    Child sex abuse in the public schools.
    Tax payer slush funds in Harrisburg to silence victims of sex and physical abuse by law makers and their staff.

    1. You forgot to mention Marci Hamilton of Yeshiva University, Albert.

  2. I thought the frauds of the democratic party were for criminal justice reform. I guess it does not apply when your seeking vengeance against a senior citizen with health problems. There needs to be an audit of the election Shapiro won PA just like Biden...not. His competition should discover courage.


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