Former Penn State assistant gets $1.7M in whistleblower fees

Former Penn State assistant gets $1.7M in whistleblower fees

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A former Penn State assistant coach will be getting his legal fees paid after winning a whistleblower claim over his treatment by the university after Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation arrest.

Judge Thomas Gavin on Thursday granted Mike McQueary’s lawyers $1.7 million for their work on the case. He had awarded McQueary nearly $5 million in November.

The judge wrote that it would not be reasonable to expect whistleblowers to put their jobs and paychecks at risk in reporting suspected wrongdoing, as well as to fund their own legal representation.

Making whistleblowers financially whole, he said, “will put teeth in the statute and will further its goal of encouraging others to expose wrongdoing.”

Penn State said its lawyers had not analyzed Gavin’s decision, and McQueary’s lawyer did not respond to a phone message seeking comment. Earlier this week, the university’s lawyers filed an additional document as they seek to have the verdict overturned, damages lowered or a new trial ordered.

McQueary’s father, John McQueary, said Friday his son knew about the judge’s decision but was at the gym and unlikely to offer his reaction.

“Until this thing gets settled, I mean paid, I don’t think he’s going to be interested in making comments just yet,” said John McQueary, who along with Mike McQueary testified last week for prosecutors in the criminal case against former Penn State president Graham Spanier.

The judge’s new order also gave McQueary $15,000 for a bowl bonus he would have earned if the school had not suspended him from coaching after Sandusky’s arrest in November 2011. Penn State was also ordered to pay about $34,000 for transcripts, witness fees and other costs.

A jury in October also granted McQueary $7.3 million for defamation and misrepresentation. Those claims were tried along with the whistleblower allegations, which under state law were decided by the judge.

Mike McQueary has said he happened to encounter Sandusky, then retired after decades as a Nittany Lions defensive coach, sexually abusing a boy in a team shower on a Friday night in February 2001.

McQueary reported it the next morning to then-head coach Joe Paterno, who in turn alerted the athletic director, Tim Curley. Curley and then-vice-president Gary Schultz subsequently met with McQueary, but police and child welfare authorities were never notified.

Earlier this month, Curley and Schultz struck deals with the attorney general’s office and pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanour count of child endangerment. They both testified against Spanier.

Spanier was convicted of misdemeanour child endangerment. All three men await sentencing.

McQueary also testified against Sandusky, who was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and is appealing while he serves a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence.

After Sandusky’s 2011 arrest, McQueary was placed on paid leave and banned from athletic facilities. He was terminated the next year when his coaching contract expired and has not been able to find employment since.

Mark Scolforo, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Langley School District Foundation volunteers tackle wrapping projects of all sizes, shapes

This year’s wrap money goes to food and homeless initiatives.

Cold nights mean homeless turned away from Langley shelter

The Gateway of Hope shelter has had send some people to other shelters as they ran out of room.

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Many turn out for Langley neighbourhood celebration

The second annual Brookswood Night of Lights on Dec. 8 kicked off the holiday season.

Langley RCMP seek man wanted for drug charges

David Main was last seen living in Langley City.

VIDEO: Hundreds line up at Langley farm for pancakes and a chance to help

The 14th annual Krause Berry Farm breakfast with Santa raised almost $4,700.

Liberal Hogg wins South Surrey-White Rock byelection over Conservative Findlay

B.C. riding to be represented by non-conservative for first time in decades

Six-year-old boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick Sooke boy asks government to help fund treatments

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Be ladder safe both at work and home

WorkSafeBC wants you to keep safe while hanging those Christmas lights this year

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Red Scorpion associates cuffed in drug-trafficking bust

Kamloops RCMP lay charges in connection to Red Scorpion drug trafficking ring

BC Ferries adds extra sailings for Christmas

More than 175 sailings are being added, including 130 between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

Most Read