We wrote about the ongoing fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal in January, and whether former Penn State General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin made some critical missteps by appearing at the grand jury with former President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Tim Curley. While the defendant’s motions to dismiss the case are still pending in the trial court, Spanier has filed a federal action seeking to enjoin the prosecution on the grounds that he has been denied his constitutional due process rights. The Commonwealth has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds, among others, that the federal court should abstain from interfering in an ongoing state criminal proceeding.

In last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, Micheal Sokolove’s article about Graham Spanier is a must-read for those following the criminal cases of Spanier, Schultz, and Curley. Spanier explains to Sokolove why he didn’t attend the Grand Jury hearing with his own lawyer:

This is going to sound really stupid,” he said. “It is stupid. Naïve and stupid. But I was looking forward to meeting with them. I thought I was helping. I was excited about having the experience of going to a grand jury and helping them with their investigation, whatever it was.

Michael Sokolove explained in an interview some of the reasons he felt drawn to writing about the Penn State scandal and Graham Spanier:

I’m a native Pennsylvanian. It’s a colorful state, full of great characters, but maybe not the best place to be caught up in the court system and awaiting justice.

Graham Spanier, a highly educated and sophisticated man, clearly did not follow the sadly true cliché: better safe than sorry.  It is impossible to ever know if the mere presence of his own counsel at the Grand Jury proceeding could have changed the course of events for him.  But I bet now that if Spanier could turn back time, he would have walked into that grand jury room with his own lawyer.