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March 30, 2017

Penn State trustee 'running out of sympathy for so-called' Sandusky victims

Comments follow child endangerment conviction for former university president

Scandals Sexual Abuse
03317_AlLordmain Source/Penn State Office of the Board of Trustees

Penn State University trustee Al Lord.

A Penn State University trustee has come under fire for sending a private email in which he minimized the suffering of more than 30 victims of convicted child molester and former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

In an email to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Penn State trustee Al Lord stated that he was "[R]unning out of sympathy for 35 yr old, so-called victims with 7 digit net worth," referring to the 33 men who were awarded nearly $93 million in the wake of the scandal that severely damaged the university's reputation, according to Onward State.

Lord, who was elected to the Board of Trustees in July 2014, reportedly made the remark in response to last week's conviction of former Penn State president Graham Spanier on one count of child endangerment. Spanier was cleared of the second conspiracy charge as the university's leadership absorbed another wave of criticism.

Defending Spanier, Lord continued his email.

“Do not understand why they were so prominent in trial,” Lord said of Sandusky's victims. “As you learned, Graham Spanier never knew Sandusky abused anyone.”

In a statement, Board of Trustees chairman Ira M. Lubert distanced the board from Lord's comments.

“Al Lord’s comments are personal and do not represent the opinions of the board or the university,” Lubert said. “The sentiments of the board and university leadership were expressed in the very first line of the statement released by Penn State: First and foremost, our thoughts remain with the victims of Jerry Sandusky.”

Lord is up for re-election to the Board of Trustees in May.

Sandusky, who was convicted on 45 counts of child abuse, is now five years into a 30- to 60-year jail sentence.