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Penn State’s Legal Costs in Sandusky Scandal Surpass $49 million

As we reported at the end of 2011, the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal was supposed to cost Penn State a few million in legal fees, but the cost to date has now reached $49.4 million for legal and consulting services. This recent figure represents work by more than three dozen firms that charged Penn State between November 2011 and June 2013. With the university providing monthly updates, this means that the cost has increased by almost $1.7 million since June of this year alone.

Most of the recent work was billed by the law firms representing former Penn State administrators. Three former administrators – ex-President Graham Spainer, ex-Athletic Director Tim Curley, and retired Vice President Gary Schultz – are awaiting trial on perjury, obstruction of justice, and related charges.

As it stands, Penn State has been billed more than $6.7 million by the attorneys representing the former employees. As officers of the university they were entitled to have Penn State cover their legal bills. The university is also responsible for paying the costs incurred from former U.S. Senator George Mitchell. He was appointed by the NCAA to monitor Penn State’s progress in “implementing new compliance, ethical security and governance reforms.” The university has paid his firm, DLA Piper $1.8 million thus far.

This staggering number of $49 million is only the beginning, because the bills do not reflect the work the firms did this summer for a preliminary hearing in Harrisburg, PA. Penn State President Rodney Erickson said the university has “insurance policies that cover some of the costs, but others, such as crisis communications, will be paid out of pocket.”

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