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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Joe Paterno’s family has called on Pennsylvania’s attorney general and former FBI Director Louis Freeh to release all emails and records related to their investigations into the Penn State child sex-abuse scandal, saying a leaker or leakers have used selective emails to “smear” the late coach and university officials.
Family lawyer Wick Sollers’ statement Monday followed news reports of leaked emails between administrators about graduate assistant Mike McQueary’s 2001 account of an encounter between former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and a boy in the showers.
CNN reported that one email outlined a change in plans among administrators after Athletic Director Tim Curley spoke to Paterno.
“With the leaking of selective emails over the last few days, it is clear that someone in a position of authority is not interested in a fair or thorough investigation,” Sollers said in the strongly worded statement.
Sollers represents the family of former coach Paterno, who was fired in November and died of cancer less than three months later. Freeh is leading the school’s internal investigation into the scandal.
The release of the emails, Sollers said, was “not intended to inform the discussion, but to smear former Penn State officials, including Joe Paterno. The truth is Joe Paterno reported the 2001 incident promptly and fully … In spite of these facts, however, numerous pundits and critics are exploiting these disconnected and distorted records to attack Joe Paterno.”
Paterno, Sollers said, testified for eight minutes before the grand jury that approved charges and “told the truth to the best of his recollection.” Paterno was not interviewed by the university, was not afforded due process or did not tell his story in full, and was not allowed to see the files or records now in question, the lawyer said.
Sollers called for the immediate release of all emails and records related to the case, adding that “the public should not have to try and piece together a story from a few records that have been selected in a calculated way to manipulate public opinion.”