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Pa. law backs up Penn State's fight for secrecy

Published: Thursday, Dec. 1 2011 3:11 p.m. MST

FILE - This Nov. 5, 2011 file photo provided by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General shows former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald FILE - This Nov. 5, 2011 file photo provided by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General shows former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky, who sexually abused a boy more than 100 times, then threatened his family to keep him quiet about the encounters, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 that details new accusations not included in criminal charges against him. (Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, File, Associated Press)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Penn State isn't disclosing information that could shed light on the child sex-abuse case involving a former assistant football coach because the state open records law gives the institution special status.

That may soon change. Pennsylvania lawmakers are questioning those protections while the university denies requests for records showing what key figures knew about the allegations before Jerry Sandusky was charged last month with molesting children.

Penn State has been citing its exemption from the law in the past month as it denies requests by The Associated Press for documents.

Among them are records related to a 1998 investigation into Sandusky that began when a woman complained he had showered with her son; a copy of Sandusky's severance agreement; and emails among top administrators about Sandusky.

One state House member says he has more than 30 co-sponsors for a bill that would force greater disclosure by Penn State. He plans to introduce it next week.

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