Penn State asks judge to stay McQueary whistleblower suit

By Jon Campisi | Oct 23, 2012

Lawyers for Pennsylvania State University have filed court papers seeking to have a judge

Lawyers for Pennsylvania State University have filed court papers seeking to have a judge

stay the civil case against the school that had been initiated by a former graduate assistant football coach who worked under since-convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.

On Monday, Centre Valley, Pa. attorney Nancy Conrad filed a motion on behalf of Penn State that asks the Centre County Court of Common Pleas to stay the civil action that was filed earlier this month by former graduate assistant football coach Michael McQueary.

The whistleblower suit contends that McQueary was fired from his job for aiding the prosecution in building its case against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who was arrested back in November of last year following a grand jury presentment.

In late June, Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 10 underage boys during a 15-year-time period.

The former assistant football coach was recently sentenced to between 30 and 60 years in state prison for his crimes.

McQueary was a central figure in the criminal case, being that he was the one who claimed to have witnessed Sandusky raping a young boy in a Penn State shower facility some years back.

In the motion to stay proceedings, Penn State’s lawyer writes that the university would be prejudiced if McQueary’s suit moves forward at this juncture because criminal proceedings against two Penn State figures are still pending.

“Penn State would be severely prejudiced if forced to move forward in litigation, and discovery, while its representatives are subject to parallel criminal proceedings,” the motion states.

Gary Schultz, a university vice president, and former Athletic Director Timothy Curley are scheduled to go on trial early next year on perjury and failure-to-report charges in connection with the Penn State child sex-abuse scandal.

While Penn State would undoubtedly be prejudiced if the McQueary civil case moves forward at this time, McQueary himself would not be prejudiced, the university claims in its motion to stay proceedings.

“Staying the instant action will also serve the interest of the Court and the public,” Conrad, of the firm White and Williams LLP, wrote in her motion.

In his whistleblower suit, McQueary alleges that he was discriminated against for his truthful testimony to the statewide investigating grand jury, his testimony at the preliminary hearings for both Schultz and Curley, and the fact that he is expected to be a prosecution witness at the upcoming criminal trial for Schultz and Curley.

Namely, McQueary claims he was let go for these reasons, an alleged violation of Pennsylvania’s Whistleblower Law.

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