Spanier-Freeh lawsuit ordered back to county court

    A federal judge says former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s defamation suit against former FBI director Louis Freeh must start with a local judge.

    U.S. District Judge Malachy Mannion on Wednesday ordered the case back to Centre County. He says he can’t determine whether federal court is the proper jurisdiction before an actual complaint is filed.

    Spanier’s attorneys last year filed notice in Centre County court that they intend to sue Freeh. Spanier previously won the right to postpone a lawsuit until he defends himself on criminal charges in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    Freeh criticized Spanier’s handling of the scandal in a report commissioned by the university.

    In July, Freeh’s attorneys got the case moved to federal court, in part because he’s not a Pennsylvania resident.

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