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Accusations Against Justice Baldwin While Acting as GC at Penn State Should Not Be Taken As Fact.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | July 16, 2012

No. 884

Photo: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In response to the allegations made by special investigator Louis Freeh, Charles DeMonaco, counsel to former Penn State General Counsel, Cynthia Baldwin, issued the statement reprinted below.  An article appearing in the Sunday Pittsburgh Post-Gazette focused on the allegations in the Freeh report, including confusion over whether she was representing the University (which she was) or the individual officers of Penn State.

Here is the statement by DeMonaco:


“In light of the ongoing legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment publicly on specific issues referenced in the Freeh Report. However, Cynthia A. Baldwin, as the Vice President and General Counsel of the Pennsylvania State University, along with the University’s Office of General Counsel, cooperated fully with the Special Investigative Counsel led by Judge Freeh.

You should be aware that much of the information in the Freeh Report is factually inaccurate as it relates to Ms. Baldwin, and no one should draw conclusions until all the facts are known. As Judge Freeh made clear in his Report, no one, not even his client, the University, had an advance copy of the Report so that inaccuracies could be corrected. Ms. Baldwin was never given the opportunity to review the content of the interviews that she provided to Judge Freeh’s agents so that any mistakes in note-taking or understanding could be corrected.

My client Cynthia Baldwin, as the General Counsel of the University, has chosen to maintain confidentiality and to uphold her ethical obligations to her client, the University, and to her profession,
and no one should use her silence to speculate and make statements that serve to ruin her long and stellar legal reputation as a practicing lawyer, an academic, a Common Pleas Court Judge, a Supreme Court Justice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and as General Counsel for The Pennsylvania State University. Those who know Cynthia Baldwin know the stories that have been written about her thus far are inaccurate.

Cynthia Baldwin at all times fulfilled her obligations to the University and its agents. Penn State’s website should serve as guidance as to the proper role of Penn State’s General Counsel. It states as follows: “The Office of General Counsel provides legal advice and representation to the Board of Trustees, the President and other administrators in their capacity as agents conducting university business. The attorneys in the office do not provide legal services to faculty, staff or students in their personal matters.” Cynthia Baldwin’s actions were consistent with this policy.

The Attorney General asked Cynthia Baldwin, as General Counsel, to accept subpoenas for the President and other administrators at the University, who were agents of the University. She at all times served the interests of her client, the University, and its agents.

Contrary to the representations made in the Freeh Report, Cynthia Baldwin hired a team of criminal and civil experts when it was appropriate to do so.

Cynthia Baldwin knows the importance of due process and how legal issues need to play out in courts of law and not in the media. As a result, it is not her intent to publicly address facts and legal issues that are properly before the courts. Ms. Baldwin will address the inaccuracies in the Freeh Report with the University and in legal proceedings, not with the media.”  [End of DeMonaco Statement]



It should be emphasized that the statements in Freeh’s report are only allegations. The Free-for-all (pun intended) of accusations that has attended the Sandusky debacle is, perhaps, to be expected.  But it should not be tolerated by fair-minded people.  The truth may never be fully known, but a great deal of it will be sorted out over the course of the next decade.  Yes, decade.  That’s what it will probably take for trials to be held and appeals to be heard.  And even then, the verdict of history will take longer.

Justice Baldwin has had a distinguished career of service that can be matched by few others in this Commonwealth.  She is entitled to the presumption that she represented Penn State in a prudent and effective manner.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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