Mike McQueary, the former graduate assistant who said he saw ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in 2001, sued Penn State Tuesday for defamation and misrepresentation.
McQueary’s suit was filed on the grounds of the whistleblower statute, defamation and misrepresentation. He’s seeking more than $4 million in lost wages plus legal costs and other punitive damages to be determined after a jury trial, the Centre Daily Times of State College, Pa., reported.
He also alleges the university terminated him because of his cooperation with investigators and prosecutors in the Sandusky case.
McQueary was put on administrative leave Nov. 13 and told to stay away from university football facilities and give back university property, like a cellphone and a car. His salary for 2011-2012 was $140,400 plus other bonuses and benefits, his attorney, Elliot Strokoff, said in the suit.
Since then, McQueary has suffered “much distress, anxiety and embarrassment” from the university, the suit alleges. But he has not gone into hiding, as he has been seen around town, such as at State College Spikes baseball games and on Penn State campus.
Penn State spokesman Dave La Torre declined to comment on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.
The lawsuit asserts that shortly after Sandusky was charged last November, then-President Graham Spanier, met with athletic department staff and vowed his support for then-Athletic Director Tim Curley and then-Vice President Gary Schultz, who had been charged with perjury and failure to properly report suspected child abuse in the case. (They await trial; Sandusky was convicted and awaits sentencing.)
McQueary, who testified against Sandusky, claims that the November meeting with Spanier "clearly suggest(ed) that (McQueary) was lying in his reports and testimonies that he had reported the sexual misconduct."
"Spanier's statements have irreparably harmed (McQueary's) reputation for honesty and integrity, and have irreparably harmed (his) ability to earn a living, especially in his chosen profession of coaching football," the lawsuit said.