Skip to main content

Former Penn State assistant coach McQueary files whistleblower suit

By Rande Iaboni, CNN
updated 10:04 AM EDT, Wed October 3, 2012
Former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the university.
Former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the university.
  • Mike McQueary was a key prosecution witness in the case against Jerry Sandusky
  • He testified he saw Sandusky in a shower with an underage boy
  • McQueary has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Penn State
  • He says he believes cooperating with authorities in the case led to his termination

(CNN) -- Former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary, who testified that he saw Jerry Sandusky in a shower with an underage boy, filed a whistleblower lawsuit Tuesday against the university, according to a court document from Centre County, Pennsylvania.

McQueary was a key prosecution witness and was the only individual -- excluding the victims themselves -- who said he witnessed an apparent sexual encounter between Sandusky and a boy. Sandusky, who has maintained his innocence, was convicted in June for abusing young boys over a 15-year-period.

In support of McQueary's whistleblower claim, the lawsuit states he was the only assistant football coach who was not invited to interview for employment with the incoming new head football coach after longtime coach Joe Paterno was fired amid the Sandusky scandal.

Victim 1 sues Penn State over Sandusky abuse

Jerry Sandusky arrives at the Centre County Courthouse on December 13, 2011, in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Jerry Sandusky arrives at the Centre County Courthouse on December 13, 2011, in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

McQueary also claims he was the only former employee who was not reimbursed for legal fees, and that he did not receive his severance payments on time.

The lawsuit states McQueary believes those situations and his employment termination were the result of his cooperation with authorities in the Sandusky case.

Read details of the lawsuit (PDF)

According to the lawsuit, after testifying in court, McQueary was placed on administrative leave with pay in November 2011, only to later be terminated in July 2012. A copy of a letter from the university athletics director concerning the administrative leave was filed along with the lawsuit.

Penn State accreditation in jeopardy?

Calls to McQueary's lawyer after the suit was filed were not returned.

How the case unfolded

Penn State University spokesman David La Torre responded to CNN with "no comment" regarding the suit.

According to the lawsuit, McQueary is seeking $4 million from the university as the equivalent to a total life-long salary as a football coach with the school.

Penn State scandal: Where things stand

CNN's Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:03 PM EDT, Thu May 30, 2013
The family of Joe Paterno plans to file a lawsuit Thursday against the NCAA seeking to overturn its sanctions against Penn State University over a child sex abuse scandal.
updated 1:50 PM EDT, Fri October 12, 2012
When all was said and done, Jerry and Dottie Sandusky did not ask the judge for mercy. Instead, they depicted the boys he sexually assaulted as ungrateful and called them liars.
updated 11:28 AM EDT, Sat October 13, 2012
The young man locked eyes with Jerry Sandusky in a packed courtroom and stared him down. He'd waited a long time for this moment.
updated 11:47 AM EDT, Sun September 2, 2012
In many ways, football is life at Penn State, a tradition synonymous with the campus. Nittany Lion fans are deeply religious about their football. Now, they begin a new era.
updated 11:27 AM EDT, Sun September 2, 2012
New students began at PSU despite a scandal that has damaged the school's reputation and prompted an ongoing investigation into allegations of a coverup by top officials.
updated 1:55 PM EDT, Sat September 1, 2012
It's an old, old story. We've all placed people on pedestals, and then, almost inevitably, they let us down. They violate our trust. They betray us. They fall off the pedestal, or we remove them.
updated 10:04 AM EDT, Tue July 24, 2012
The NCAA announced a $60 million fine against Penn State University and stripped 14 seasons of football victories from the late head coach Joe Paterno.
updated 7:33 AM EDT, Fri July 13, 2012
The extensive internal review of the debacle at Penn State forever casts a shadow over Joe Paterno.
updated 11:13 PM EDT, Thu July 12, 2012
The most powerful former leaders at Penn State University have been accused of showing "total and consistent disregard" for child sex abuse victims.
updated 8:49 PM EDT, Mon July 9, 2012
In a year marred with controversy and national notoriety, Penn State University alumni and boosters finally have something to smile about.
updated 7:29 PM EDT, Tue June 26, 2012
With the same decision announced on count after count -- guilty, guilty, guilty -- Jerry Sandusky's emphatic denials he had sexually abused boys became obsolete.
Jerry Sandusky admitted showering with boys but denied the sex accusations. Here is what Sandusky has said publicly in the months before the trial.
updated 3:29 PM EDT, Sat June 23, 2012
Jerry Sandusky's writings in a 2000 memoir about the difficult relationship with his adopted son are similar to several letters he wrote to a boy now known as alleged victim No. 4.
updated 4:34 PM EDT, Sun June 17, 2012
The words came haltingly, punctuated by ragged sighs, groans and cracking voices as two teenage boys bared their darkest secrets to a packed courtroom.
Here's a look at some the key players and pertinent facts about the case and how it all unraveled.