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Dissecting the Ken Frazier/Freeh Connections

  • OK just to clarify, there is one conflict of interest involving the BoT and the Freeh Report that has me more bothered than any other, and I believe is really the root of most of the problems that have occurred as a result of Freeh's work at PSU. If anyone knows more details here, or sees errors in what I'm writing, please speak up. Two points for everyone to understand:

    1) Freeh's group was recommended to PSU by Ken Frazier. I can only assume that Frazier knew Freeh at this point through Frazier's/Merck's professional relationship with the law firm Pepper Hamilton. Pepper Hamilton was the firm of record who represented Merck through the very high profile Vioxx case, which Frazier was responsible for overseeing at Merck. Pepper Hamilton also had a close working relationship with Freeh's firm (Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan), and it is my understanding that FSS firm subcontracted through Pepper Hamilton to work for Frazier at Merck. You can learn more about the FSS/PH relationship here:

    2) Once Freeh was retained by the BoT, Freeh subcontracted a significant amount of this work to Pepper Hamilton. As of September 2012, this working relationship went as far as Pepper Hamilton PURCHASING Freeh's firm. You can read all about it in the Wall Street Journal here: and in the article linked above. In case you want to get really into it, visit this page on PH's website for a whole list of articles about this:

    Now lets connect the dots. Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck and MAJOR client of Pepper Hamilton, recommends and directly oversees the engagement of Louis Freeh's firm, who then promptly hires Pepper Hamilton for a bulk of the work, who later actually purchases FPP for big bucks. Freeh is now on PH's executive team.

    Now I don't know how much Merck has paid out to Pepper Hamilton over the years, but I can say with relative certainty that their fees to Merck have been many, many times more than what they've brought in from PSU. Now who do you think Freeh/Pepper Hamilton was trying to please here? PSU and the BoT, or Frazier/Merck?

    Let that digest a little bit.

  • Nothing to see here. Just move on already.


  • You can find out how much Mer is public.

  • There are plenty of reasons to be critical and skeptical of Freeh's work and the BOT's motivations. That Freeh and Frazier have ties to the same elite Philadelphia law firm is not one of them. The reality is that most "corporate lawyers" get their clients from people they know socially or politically or from people they have done business with or represented in the past. They aren't running ads in the yellow pages like personal injury lawyers.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Cambria Nittany 14 months ago

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  • Anyone who says "move on" is not a Penn Stater.

    Our school was wronged by its leader we deserve the truth. Nove on my ass!!

  • I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic by repeating the BoT stance of not allowing anyone to question the details and trying to move on as quickly as possible

  • I see you posted from mobile, hence you missed the emoticon at the end of his post indicting sarcasm.

  • Oh I know! I was just hammering the point home. It was not a slam.

    I'm just pissed thinking about these d-bags(BOT)!

  • Cambria, I agree with you forthe most part. However, the BOT was not looking for a lawyer. They were looking (so they said to the public) for an objective group to provide unbiased insight into what happened at PSU regarding the Sandusky incident. When you start realizing how much of a risk it would be for Pepper Hamilton to do anything other than make Mr. Frazier, the CEO of Merck, look like the "least to blame" in this mess, you can see the conflict of interest begin to emerge given what Freeh and Pepper Hamilton were supposedly hired to do for the BoT and PSU.

    Remember where things stood when the BoT hired Freeh. The BoT, including Frazier and the Governor of PA had already made it clear to the public as to who they thought was to blame (Spanier and JoePa). How motivated do you think Freeh/Pepper Hamilton was to dig into the actions of the BoT and the governor with as much intensity as they claimed to dig on Paterno, Curley and company?

    The flip side of this is to look at this from Ken Frazier's perspective. What do you think might happen to his career at Merck if Freeh/Pepper Hamilton comes out and says "the BoT is just as much to blame and should have done more"? What if the press latched onto the story and began throwing all kinds of negative press towards Merck for Frazier's involvement in the Sandusky scandal? That is NOT a mess that Freeh and Pepper are even going to think about stirring up for their high powered client at Merck.

    This is hard to follow if you havent been following the whole storyline over the past year so for that I apologize.

  • Whoever down voted my earlier post has a broken sarcasmometer.

  • I'm on your team dude. Just joking.

  • Except that when Freeh's hire was announced at PSU, he was sold as 100% independent.

    No connection to PSU or key players at PSU; this 'ensured' that he would protect nobody (Univ, Athletics, Police, etc) in his investigation.

    Freeh's connections to Frazier and 2ndMile (thru his time at MBNA and Ric Struthers), are major issues.

  • BKH, we need a beer together. : )

  • I think you need to re-read the Freeh report because the Board was soundly criticized.

    From the Executive Summary:

    "The Board also failed in its duties to oversee the President and University officials in 1998 and 2001 by not inquiring about important university matters and by not creating an environment where senior university officials felt accountable".

    "Once the Board was made aware of the investigations of Sandusky and the fact that senior university officials had testified before the grand jury in the investigations, it should have recognized the potential risk to the university's community and its reputation. Instead the Board as a governing body failed to inquire reasonably and to demand detailed information from Spanier. The Board's overconfidence in Spanier's ability to deal with the crisis and its complacent attitude left them unprepared to respond to the November 11, 2011 criminal charges against two senior PSU officials and a former prominent football coach. Finally, the Boards subsequent removal Paterno as head football coach was poorly handled as were the Board's communications with the public."

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by CruisingRoute66 14 months ago

  • I am quite familiar with that part of the Freeh Report actually. It means nothing regarding the point that I am trying to make though. Of course Freeh was going to point out some failures of the BoT to give the appearance of an unbiased report. Heck, Frazier himself would probably want something like that included in the final report so it would appear fair and balanced. But in the end, we know where the loyalties, biases and special interests ($$$) lied here and you can definitely see that shine through in the way that Freeh delivered this whole thing in such a dramatic and unsubstantiated way.

    I should add that I dont necessarily think there was a intentional conspiracy against JoePa here between Frazier/BoT and Freeh/pepper hamilton. But I do wonder if there was an intense desire on Freeh's part to "please" Ken Frazier with dramatic and conclusive findings that fell in line with the BoT's decisions from November 2011.

    Anyone who sells big contracts to big businesses like Merck should understand how utterly impossible it would be to manage an engagement like Freeh did for Frazier and remain completely unbiased and objective. Frazier and Merck were filling Freeh 's and Pepper Hamilton's bank accounts with tons of cash. There is no way even the best of men could gave handled this engagement with the objectivity that it demanded.

  • The most apparent criticism of the Board was the hire of Louis Freeh (though there are more).

    Freeh was touted as independent from PSU, yet had deep connections & incentive to engineer a coverup for his cronies/clients (Frazier/Merck; MBNA/2ndMi/Freeh/Struthers).

    Freeh reported to Struthers, while at MBNA as Lead Council, and personally made $20mil+ in the BofA purchase of MBNA. At the time that Freeh was Lead Council (and Vice Chair) at MBNA, they were the single largest corporate donor to Second Mile. Did lead council / vice chair at MBNA vett Sandusky & 2ndMi?

    I'd say that protecting his $20mil+, and future Merck earnings / Freeh, Sporkin sale is more than enough to establish MOTIVE for Freeh to engineer a false narrative. (Not to mention loyalty to his cronies)

    In fact, you might say that Freeh through clearly mis-leading work, has done FAR MORE documented covering up than the big 4 combined.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Posas14 14 months ago

  • In addition, even though the Freeh report "scolded" the BOT. No one on the BOT showed any accountability. On Spanier, Curley, Schultz, and Paterno were punished. ALL on the BOT kept their positions. Just like Mark Emmert.

  • Well then, you must concede that Clemente was equally biased when the Paterno's lined his pockets with cash. Clearly he must have been, considering he didn't include in his report Joe's grand jury characterization of the 2001 event as being "of a sexual nature".and former trustee Ben Novak's public assertion that it was common knowledge for years in the community that you didn't let your kids near Jerry.

  • Freeh was long gone from MBNA when he was hired by PSU and its irrelevant he made $20M when the BOA purchased MBNA. Further, it was not in Freeh's purview to investigate Jerry/TSM while working for MBNA or later as an independent investigator for PSU. Merck's billion's of earnings are related to pharmaceutical sales and have no bearing on Jerry Sandusky or PSU's complicity in harboring a pedophile. To think otherwise is naive and utterly absurd.

  • Who are you?

    You obviously don't live in the real world.

    Why would a BOT member stick up for Paterno after they rushed to fire him? The BOT hired Freeh to prove their decision was correct.

    The MBNA connection between Freeh and 2nd Mile is important as well as his connection to Merck (Ken Frazier). It definitely shows he wasn't an independent party. At the very least he had biases toward his "friends" to support their conclusions.

    Plus, you obviously have never read the Freeh report. Anyone with half a brain can see that few if any of Freeh's conclusions are supported by evidence. Show me proof their was a "callous disregard for children" by Paterno. Where's the hard evidence that proves this?

    Show me the proof Paterno covered up Sandusky in order to avoid "bad publicity". Where's the hard evidence to prove this claim?

    Paterno told Curley and Schultz. Paterno advised McQueary to report to Curley and Schultz. Spanier reported to the 2nd Mile's executive director who is a mandatory reporter. Do you know the definition of a cover up?

    No go away a live your lemming of a boring life who let's the media think for them.

  • Hi Mr Frazier:

    "Freeh was long gone from MBNA when he was hired by PSU and its irrelevant he made $20M when the BOA purchased MBNA."

    Not irrelevant. Freeh had deep connections to Penn State Board Members, and therefore was unqualified to conduct an independent investigation. The fact that he made $20mil personally, while working for 2ndMi's largest corporate donor, while his boss was a key player on 2ndMi Board only solidifies my point.

    Furthermore, we KNOW that the 2ndMi was aware of the 2001(2) incident; yet Freeh allowed MBNA to back both Sandusky & 2ndMi; in fact growing MBNA's backing of JS &TSM.

    Ric Struthers, Senior Vice Chair at MBNA & TSM board member was Freeh's boss. In 2000, 2 years after 1998 was investigated by the state, MC'd this event: "MBNA Jerry Sandusky Testimonial Dinner and Roast" (Press Release Below)

    Freeh had at least 2 opportunities to stop Sandusky, and didn't.

    1. As FBI director in 1998, like other Law Enforcement officials
    - He was the FBI director & he didn't know about the '98 investigation? Why should've Joe, Curley, Schultz, or Spanier?

    2. As Senior Vice Chair at MBNA --
    - Why did Freeh allow MBNA to grow it's support of TSM AFTER the TSM board had knowledge of the 2001 allegations? If a former FBI director & Raycovitz (child abuse expert) didn't stop Sandusky, why should a few Univ. Admins (including an 80+ y/o football coach)? Did he perform due dilligence, or look the other way?

    MBNA To Sponsor Sandusky Testimonial Dinner And Roast

    February 28, 2000
    University Park, Pa. -- MBNA America has agreed to be the lead sponsor for the MBNA Jerry Sandusky Testimonial Dinner and Roast, scheduled for Friday, April 14, 2000.

    Hosted by Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, the event will be held at the Bryce Jordan Center and will kickoff the annual Blue/White Weekend in University Park. The dinner and roast will be attended by an impressive lineup of past players, coaches, Penn State administrators, and others who wish to share their thoughts and some untold stories about the retired Penn State Nittany Lion football coach.

    Net proceeds from the event will benefit The Second Mile through a newly established Second Mile/Jerry Sandusky endowment fund. Longtime defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, Jerry Sandusky, 55, retired last year after 32 years as a member of the Penn State football coaching staff to devote more of his time to The Second Mile.

    The Second Mile is a nonprofit organization founded by Sandusky in 1977. Its mission is to challenge young people to achieve their potential by providing opportunities for them to develop life skills and self-esteem. The Second Mile offers 10 prevention, early intervention, and community-based programs and services to more than 100,000 children in Pennsylvania each year. The Second Mile is funded through private sector contributions.

    "I'm thrilled MBNA has agreed to take the corporate lead in helping Pennsylvania children through this event," said Sandusky. "MBNA has had a long-standing relationship with Penn State University and the State College community, and we are excited that they are a new corporate partner for our organization. I am also honored and moved that Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics has initiated this event and provided the opportunity for others to contribute to the endowment fund."

    "MBNA is proud to support Jerry Sandusky and a quality organization such as The Second Mile," said Ric Struthers, senior vice chairman of MBNA America. "The people of MBNA are committed to helping the communities where we live and work. At our State College facility, MBNA people have volunteered for events sponsored by The Second Mile and have seen firsthand the impact this organization is making on young people throughout the state of Pennsylvania."

    MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., is the largest independent credit card lender in the world. Last year, MBNA extended its relationship with the Penn State Alumni Association by signing a 10-year agreement to offer Penn State credit card programs, and consumer finance, deposit, and insurance products to students and alumni.

    For ticket information please call Intercollegiate Athletics at (814) 863-0351. Reserved table sponsorships are available. Contact Hank Lesch, The Second Mile vice president of development, (814) 237-1719, ext. 104, or e-mail at .

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Posas14 14 months ago

  • Personal opinions aside about which report (Paterno's or Freeh's) was more fact-based and unbiased, you certainly can't deny that the Paterno report also has it's flaws in terms of bias simply based on who paid the experts. But that isnt what I am addressing here. I am talking about the Freeh report. Without that mess, the Paterno report report would not even exist.

  • Freeh's connections with Merck via connections with Pepper Hamilton, with strong ties to Trustee Frazier strengthen my claims even further.

    Freeh was not an 'independent' investigator. Freeh had deep ties to PSU & 2ndMi board members for over 10 years, with whom he made tens of millions of dollars in personal income. And he stood to make many millions more from future deals with Pepper & Merck.

    Because of these connections and compensation, Freeh was not qualified to investigate impartially (either in reality or perception). Therefore the results of his work cannot be trusted for truth, accuracy, impartiality, or anything really.

    Freeh sold his firm to Pepper Hamilton 1 month after the Freeh Report was published (nice payday), and is now running the combined business. A business that does major business with Mr. Frazier at Merck. (you?)

    Estimated income of Freeh directly attributable to his connections with BOT & TSM Board Members In $ millions:

    - MBNA Sale to BofA $20
    - Freeh Report $12 (Low est. $6.5)
    - Freeh/Sporkin sale $20 (estimated)
    - Merck / Pepper retainer ??

    Conservative Total $52 mil + Merck deals.

    Looks like Lou has made at least $40 million personally in deals directly related to PSU & TSM board members. Seems pretty independent, huh? (I suspect it's more like $50-$80mil).

    When you combine the Freeh's personal gains and his record of INACTION in law enforcement, Freeh had a significant motive to engineer the story that he did.

    It's not a stretch to say that his motive to cover up was much greater than those of Curley, Schultz, Spanier, or Paterno.

    This post was edited by Posas14 14 months ago

  • lol bangheadrantguncensoredfrustratedconfused

    Some many emotions about the BOT, Freeh, media, etc... AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

    Why does no one in the media care about all this stuff? This is the scandal, isn't it??????

  • haha, cruisingroute66 disappeared pretty quick. He must be on the Board or tied to it pretty close...because he/she obviously thinks that we are dumb as rocks and can be manipulated easily