PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Could the charges against three former Penn State administrators be thrown out on a technicality?
Defense lawyers say a former university lawyer is guilty of a conflict of interest, and they believe that’s enough for a dismissal.
Cynthia Baldwin, the first African American female judge in Allegheny County, was eventually appointed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
However, attorneys for two former Penn State officials, who are charged in the Sandusky scandal, say Baldwin committed a serious conflict of interest by representing both Penn State and fired university officials Gary Schultz and Tim Curley.
“We were flabbergasted that she would have testified against our clients at a, I assume, at the grand jury after representing them before the grand jury,” said Caroline Roberto, Curley’s attorney.
Baldwin represented Curley, former PSU athletic director, and Schultz, a former PSU administrator, in front of a grand jury investigating into the Sandusky case. But she was also on Penn State’s payroll at the time.
A former attorney general believes Baldwin’s actions could mean that charges against Curley and Schultz are dismissed.
“It’s illegal for her to be in the grand jury room if she’s not representing the witness,” said Walter Cohen, a former attorney general. “And if she is there and not representing the witness, they believe she was the lawyer they represented to the grand jury she was their lawyer, they told the judge in charge of the grand jury she was their lawyer, if she wasn’t then they were denied their fundamental right to counsel.”
Subsequent to our interview with former attorney general Walter Cohen, we have learned that Cohen is now an expert witness for Curley’s defense and will be testifying about Baldwin’s actions in the case.
Baldwin’s attorney tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Baldwin has an impeccable reputation and is a person of the highest integrity, but he declined to comment on specifics in the case.
Meantime, Schultz’s attorney described Baldwin this way: “Someone who has betrayed her clients and her profession and testified falsely.”