Penn State University has spent nearly $3.2 million to deal with the fallout from the arrest of former football coach Jerry Sandusky and two top officials in November.
Following Sandusky’s arrest for allegedly sexually abusing children, some of whom he brought to Penn State’s campus, the university paid millions in legal fees, crisis management fees, and private investigative fees to help repair their image, the college disclosed on its website Monday.
By Dec. 13, the university had paid more than $200,000 in legal fees for former president Graham Spanier, former vice president of finance Gary Shultz, and former athletic director Tim Curly, who were all accused of not responding strongly enough to information that Sandusky had sexually abused a boy on campus. Shultz and Curley were charged criminally with failure to report the incident to authorities and perjury, for allegedly lying to the investigating grand jury.
Penn State also spent almost $860,000 on legal consultations for the board of trustees, in addition to nearly $500,000 on crisis communications and public relations after a firestorm of criticism for their slow response to the allegations.
The school spent the most — $1.5 million — for former FBI director Louis Freeh’s consulting firm to perform an internal investigation into the university’s handling of sexual abuse allegations.
The information, released Monday on Penn State’s new “transparency” website, also revealed that the school had placed Spanier on a “one-year professional development and post-presidency transition period” after he was fired from being president. The university would not disclose how much money it is paying Spanier now.
The school has maintained that the costs of the Sandusky scandal will be paid for with either insurance money or the school’s own revenue from loans made by the university; it will not use taxpayer money or raise tuition to pay the fees.
Lawyers for the alleged victims of Sandusky have said they will bring lawsuits against the university and officials, including Spanier, Shultz and Curley.