Suit seeks e-mails between Attorney General and Freeh investigators
A Penn State alumnus has asked a Pennsylvania appellate court to release a series of e-mail exchanges between prosecutors and investigators working for Louis J. Freeh.
The appeal, filed by Ryan Bagwell last week in Harrisburg’s Commonwealth Court, seeks to overturn the Attorney General’s finding that 12 e-mail conversations and an undisclosed number of other records were exempt from the state’s Right-to-Know Law.
The records were requested in December last year, but the AG’s office was given additional time to produce e-mails found during an internal review of the Sandusky investigation. Ultimately, the AG’s appeals officer upheld its previous decision that the newly discovered records did not have to be released.
The Appeals Officer identified 12 e-mail conversations, including one titled “expected future support” that was sent shortly after Freeh’s probe began. She didn’t address an undisclosed number of other records that were also part of the request.
“The Attorney General didn’t even try to meet its burden of proof,” said Bagwell, who filed the suit on behalf of the Penn State Sunshine Fund. “Sadly, but not surprisingly, the AG upheld its own employee’s decision not to release the records, even though it should have ordered the records’ release.”
Documents filed in the case can be viewed at https://www.pennstatesunshinefund.org/dockets/2013-0008/.
The appeal is one of two court battles being fought by the Penn State Sunshine Fund, a grass-roots effort funded by alumni and other supporters to shed light on Freeh’s investigation. The other – filed against the Dept. of Education and Penn State – seeks records between Freeh and Penn State employees.
A decision in both cases is expected later this year.