Judge clears way for former Penn State president’s lawsuit

     Former Penn State president Graham Spanier walks from a hearing before a Superior Court panel at City Hall Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Former Penn State president Graham Spanier walks from a hearing before a Superior Court panel at City Hall Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    A judge is clearing the way for former Penn State President Graham Spanier to pursue a defamation lawsuit against an ex-FBI director whose team issued a university-commissioned report critical of Spanier for his handling of complaints about Jerry Sandusky.

    The decision comes despite a pending criminal case against Spanier that accuses him of covering up allegations about Sandusky, who was later convicted of sexually molesting boys.

    Judge Robert Eby ended a 2-year hiatus in the matter Monday, saying he will deal on a case-by-case basis with Spanier’s constitutional protection against self-incrimination.

    Spanier’s lawyers say he doesn’t intend to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in the civil case against Louis Freeh.

    The judge also ruled Spanier can’t add Penn State as a defendant.

    Spanier was forced out as president after Sandusky’s 2011 arrest.

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