Saturday, July 7, 2012

Freeh investigation losing its integrity

CNN, NBC and ESPN are among the alphabet soup news organizations who have received inside information from sources directly involved in the Sandusky scandal investigation

Who can you trust? Who can you believe?

Unfortunately, these questions now must be asked of the rumor mill, er, investigative organization conducting the internal investigation into Penn State in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.

Like many alums sickened by the acts of Jerry Sandusky and aghast at the direct connection to Penn State, we looked forward to the so-called Freeh Report, the end result of the investigation led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh and his consulting firm, Freeh Group International Solutions

Presumably, this investigation/report would be conducted to the highest professional standards. It would be as complete and impartial as possible. It would be a huge part of the post-Sandusky process.

Now? It looks like multiple individuals connected to the investigation - people on the inside - have an agenda and/or are simply unprofessional.

Many working for Freeh apparently have side jobs as informants for the media.

They have compromised the integrity of the investigation.

NBC and CNN recently have received leaked emails and other information. ESPN is citing a source to confirm the information NBC and CNN gathered, and to offer thoughts and opinions not only about the leaked information, but about what the report will offer in its entirety.

(ESPN story:

ESPN is using all of this information to frame the discussion about the investigation/report, and the specific expectations of it, before the investigation report is released.


So much for integrity and professionalism. And confidence - our confidence. It is eroding.

This is not how to conduct these things. The report, to some extent, already must be considered tainted and diminished.

That doesn't mean the Freeh Report can't be, or won't be, a significant, meaningful, invaluable and important component of the post-Sandusky era for Penn State.

But it cannot fully meet its goals and expectations, cannot fully fulfill its purpose. Because at least a few folks charged with compiling and processing vital information for this most important investigation are working side gigs as leakers and sources for national media outlets.

These individuals clearly do not have full respect for that which they do as professionals.

Curiously, ESPN also is citing as a source a "Penn State official briefed on the inquiry.''

Um, why is a Penn State official being briefed on the inquiry? The Freeh organization had specified the investigation would be released at one time, simultaneously, to all - Board of Trustees, media, alumni, public, etc. - and not parceled out to any specific entities first.

And why is this "Penn State official" immediately flipping this information to ESPN? What purpose does it serve, except to violate the integrity of the investigation and forthcoming report?

The only thing PSU officials need to know about the report is when it will be released. 

It seems clear the Freeh group has lost its grasp, to some degree. Which is bad news for Penn State, and bad news for everyone who had such high hopes for the integrity of the report.

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