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Friday
Jan202012

Penn State Still Paying Big Salaries to Dismissed Officials

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.) -- Penn State University continues to pay lucrative salaries and foot the legal bills of five officials it fired, suspended or forced out of office over the school's sex abuse scandal, but refuses to make public what the former administrators are making.

The university's Board of Trustees, meeting Friday for only the second time since the scandal broke, has insisted that the financial arrangements with former school president Graham Spanier and legendary football coach Joe Paterno are confidential.

Spanier was forced to resign and Paterno was dismissed after a grand jury indicted former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on charges of molesting boys over a 15 year period. The grand jury report suggested that school officials failed to act on witness accusations about Sandusky's alleged behavior.

Two other school officials, former vice president for finance Gary Shultz and former athletic director Tim Curley, were charged with perjury and failure to report sexual abuse of a child. Curly was put on administrative leave from the university and Shultz resigned.

Assistant coach Mike McQueary who witnessed the alleged sexual assault of a boy in a Penn State lockerroom, has been put on paid leave. He reported the incident to Paterno, but critics have questioned why he didn't intervene to stop the assault, waited a day to tell Paterno and never went to police.

Multiple board members and the board's attorney did not return calls for comment on this story.

Michael Boni, the attorney representing Victim 1 in the case against Sandusky, said Penn State's continued compensation and refusal to discuss it doesn't surprise him.

"Penn State appears to continue to seem to care more about its own than the victims, as demonstrated by this conduct," Boni said.

Spanier, who was the president of Penn State until he handed in his resignation the night the board met to fire Paterno, was paid $813,855 in 2009, the most recent record available. He remains employed by the university despite stepping down as president.

According to school spokeswoman Lisa Powers, Spanier is a tenured faculty member in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, with the additional title of president emeritus.

Powers said that she could not comment on Spanier's current compensation because of a confidentiality agreement in his contract, despite his salary previously being made public on the school's website.

Paterno, who was fired as head coach by the Board of Trustees after Sandusky's arrest, also continues to be employed at the university, where his last publicized salary was more than $1 million, according to financial records and university statements.

Paterno is a tenured member of Penn State's faculty in the college of Health and Human Services, Powers said.

Powers said she couldn't release Paterno's current compensation because his "continued service" to the university has not yet been determined, and will be publicized once a retirement package is finalized.

According to the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System, Paterno will receive more than half a million dollars per year in retirement, not including any separate arrangement worked out with the university.

Curley continues to receive the same compensation he was getting before he was charged criminally, in addition to his legal defense costs, including any civil suits that arise. His salary has never been made public and is excluded from a publicized list of the 25 top salaries at the university, meaning he makes less than $427,494 a year.

Shultz, the former vice president of business and finance, is no longer on the payroll, though he is part of the State Employee Retirement System, through which he makes $330,699 a year, and has a retirement agreement with the university, which Powers said is not public information.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio