Penn State Paid $3.3 Million to Fired President Facing Charges

Former Pennsylvania State University President Graham Spanier, who faces criminal charges related to a cover-up of a child sex-abuse scandal, received $3.26 million in compensation last year.

Spanier’s 2011 pay includes severance of $1.23 million, deferred compensation of $1.25 million earned over 16 years as president, $700,000 in salary and $83,000 in benefits, the university said on its website today.

Spanier, 64, was “terminated without cause” and the university was “legally bound” to make the payments under his contract, David La Torre, a Penn State spokesman, said in an e- mail.

“Spanier was president for more than 16 years and this severance is on par with other leaders in higher education,” La Torre said.

Penn State fired Spanier last year after the arrest of Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach who was sentenced in October to a minimum of 30 years in prison for sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.

Earlier this month, Spanier was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, perjury and conspiring to hide critical facts related to Sandusky’s abuse.

A July report commissioned by the university and prepared by Louis Freeh, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, placed Spanier at the center of a cover-up of Sandusky’s actions.

Spanier has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Timothy K. Lewis, his attorney, declined to comment on his compensation.

In the past, the university released executive pay information in May through an annual filing, La Torre said.

“It was released today as part of the university’s ongoing commitment to be more open and transparent,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Hechinger in Boston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at

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