After 14 months of silence, the family of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno has released a counter attack on an FBI report into the Penn State scandal.
The Paterno family, headed by Sue Paterno, the widow of the coach who passed away from lung cancer last year, has released a new report regarding Paterno's involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal and accusations made against him in an FBI report.
In a July 2012 report, FBI director Louis Freeh concluded that Joe Paterno had purposely concealed information regarding Jerry Sandusky, the assistant coach at Penn State, who worked alongside Paterno. The scandal resulted in Paterno being fired from his position at Penn State, which he had held since 1966 after 15 years as an assistant coach at the same school.
Last year Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts of sexual crimes against children. Since the trial, the Paterno family has remained silent - until now. In a letter published on Friday, Sue Paterno announced her and her family's intention of releasing a new report that assesses the accuracy of the Freeh report and Joe Paterno's involvement in the Sandusky scandal, in which she claims her husband was inaccurately portrayed.
"When the Freeh report was released last July, I was as shocked as anyone by the findings and by Mr. Freeh's extraordinary attack on Joe's character and integrity…I am here to tell you as definitively and forcefully as I know how that Mr. Freeh could not have been more wrong in his assessment of Joe," Sue Peterno wrote in the letter addressed to all Penn State Letterman and published on Paterno.com.
"Joe was tough, sometimes difficult, always opinionated and extremely demanding," she said. "He was also scrupulously honest, rigidly moral and absolutely unafraid of the consequences of doing the right thing."
The new report, composed by a Washington, D.C. law firm hired by the Paterno family, has been titled the "Critique of The Freeh Report: The Rush to Injustice Regarding Joe Paterno." After 238 pages it is concluded that the FBI used circumstantial evidence to jump to "impossible" conclusions about Paterno and his involvement.
"In short, Mr. Freeh unilaterally anointed himself the judge, jury and executioner by deciding to redefine Jerry Sandusky's personal crimes as a Penn State and Joe Paterno football scandal," Wick Sollers, the Paternos' attorney from the law firm King & Spalding, writes in the Paterno family report. "That bell can never be unrung, but the many associated errors can be corrected."