Courts Penn State
Penn State Abuse Gene J. Puskar/AP

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Mike McQueary, center, leaves the Centre County Courthouse Annex in Bellefonte, Pa., Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. The trial for McQueary's defamation and whistleblower lawsuit against Penn State over how it treated him for complaining about assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a boy got underway with opening arguments on Monday.

October 18, 2016

Ex-Penn State spokesman describes chaos after Sandusky charged

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — Jurors in a former Penn State assistant coach's defamation and whistleblower lawsuit against the university heard Tuesday about a flood of news coverage that swamped its public relations department in the days after Jerry Sandusky was charged with child molestation.

Lawyers for the university and former assistant coach Mike McQueary reviewed several articles as a second day of testimony began in his lawsuit over how he was treated after Sandusky was arrested.

Many of them appeared to be highly critical of McQueary, who says he saw Sandusky abuse a child but did not intervene or call police. He reported the matter the next day to then-head football coach Joe Paterno and more than a week later to two top school administrators.

Former university spokesman Bill Mahon testified that his email and phone were slammed with inquiries, and the staff struggled to keep track of the intense coverage in November 2011.

McQueary is seeking more than $4 million in back wages and other claims, saying he was retaliated against for the help he gave prosecutors and police in convicting Sandusky in 2012.

The first afternoon witness was expected to be former Penn State general counsel Cynthia Baldwin, who was at a meeting in which officials drafted a statement in support of the two other administrators that McQueary says defamed him.

Baldwin, also a former university trustee and briefly a member of the state Supreme Court, is a key figure in the criminal case against the administrators who met with McQueary in 2001 about his report on Sandusky and the boy in a team shower.

As a result of her actions before a grand jury, a state appeals court earlier this year threw out many of the charges against former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz over their handling of the report from Sandusky.

Curley, Schultz and former university president Graham Spanier, who wrote the statement that McQueary alleges defamed him, still await trial on charges of failure to properly report suspected abuse and endangering the welfare of children.