Former FBI Director Freeh to Conduct Penn State Investigation

PHILADELPHIA—The special committee of The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees announced yesterday that it has engaged former FBI Director and federal judge Louis J. Freeh to lead an independent investigative review into all aspects of the University’s actions with regard to the allegations of child abuse involving a former Penn State employee contained in the recent Grand Jury report.

The special committee and Freeh said that the findings and recommendations of this work, when completed, will be made available to the public. No specific timeframe has been set for completion of the review.  

Ken Frazier, chairman of the special committee, said, “Each of us in the Penn State community read the Grand Jury report with the same sense of dismay and anger that has stunned and shocked our entire nation and the wider world. We are especially heartbroken that some of these unspeakable acts could have occurred on the campus of Penn State University. We care deeply for the victims and their families whose lives have been tragically affected. The board also understands how difficult this has been for the students, faculty, staff and others who are dealing with the shock and revulsion at what happened.  

“The entire Board of Trustees is intent on taking all steps necessary to ensure that our institution never again has to ask whether it did the right thing, or whether or not it could have done more. We are committed to leaving no stone unturned to get to the bottom of what happened, who knew what when, and what changes we must make to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Therefore, we are pleased that Judge Freeh has agreed to lead a thorough and independent investigative review of this matter,” concluded Frazier.  

Ron Tomalis, vice-chairman of the special committee, said, “Judge Freeh is a man of complete integrity, independence and objectivity. The scope of his work will be expansive, and he is free to take his work to whatever conclusions he deems appropriate. No one at Penn State will be exempt from this review, including the Board of Trustees itself.”  

Freeh commented, “I am committed to leading the investigation into this tragic and distressing series of events and making the appropriate recommendations. Our investigation will look carefully at the governance, protocols, decision-making and oversight within the University. We will cooperate fully with the law enforcement authorities, will defer to them, and will not impede their work in any way.  

“I welcome the unequivocal support the special committee and the entire board have offered for full access and cooperation. They have directed me to carry out this investigation with complete independence, and take it wherever it may lead. I will proceed with all deliberate speed, but there are no limits on the duration of the investigation. We will work expeditiously as well as thoroughly.”  

Freeh also announced that a confidential, toll-free hotline has been established for anyone with information that could assist in this investigation. The hotline number is 855-290-3382. Those who wish to communicate with the investigation by E-mail may do so at the following email address:  

The special committee is comprised of University Trustees, students, faculty and other individuals affiliated with the Penn State community, including Ken Frazier, chairman; chief executive officer and president of Merck; Ron Tomalis, vice-chair; secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education; Mark Dambly, president of Pennrose Properties LLC; Jesse Arnelle, attorney at law; Keith Eckel, sole proprietor and president of Fred W. Eckel Sons Farms, and board chairman, Nationwide Insurance; Karen Peetz, vice chairman, chief executive officer, Financial Markets and Treasury Services, Bank of New York Mellon; Dan Hagen, chair, University Faculty Senate, professor of animal science, College of Agricultural Sciences; and Rodney Hughes, doctoral student, higher education, Penn State University.  

Read the statement.

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