Karma can come back to bite. Just ask former Penn State University President Graham Spanier.
Five years ago, Spanier fought to keep Penn State and three other state-related universities largely exempt from the state's Right-to-Know Law, even though the 14 state-owned universities are subject to its provisions.
Today, after being ousted as head of the university in wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Spanier is suing the school, seeking to obtain his office emails relating to the matter.
Spanier also is refusing to speak with an independent group hired by university trustees to investigate the matter unless he is given access to the emails.
It's troubling that Spanier is putting conditions on his cooperation with the university investigation. As university president at the time that Sandusky allegedly sexually assaulted 10 boys, some reportedly on university property, Spanier should have a moral obligation to try to assist in figuring out what went wrong and what can be done to avoid a similar incident in the future, even if he's no longer the top administrator.
Under Spanier's watch as school president, there was a lengthy police report in 1998 concerning an investigation into Sandusky's alleged inappropriate behavior with a minor. Spanier testified to a state grand jury last year that he didn't know about the case in which no charges were brought.
We're wondering if he really didn't know about it and whether Spanier contributed to a culture in which those who did know decided not to tell him.
Sandusky has denied sexually assaulting the boys.
The university's investigation by the Freeh Group International Solutions isn't a criminal investigation, so one has to wonder why Spanier is reluctant to discuss his recollection of the events at that time without reviewing his emails.
Spanier did testify before a grand jury investigating the Sandusky allegations as a criminal matter without access to the emails. At that point, Spanier believed the emails from 1998 to 2004 had been lost in a switch to a new email system.
Now Spanier has learned that some emails might have been recovered. He believes the state Attorney General's Office is instructing the university to deny him access to his old emails.
It makes one wonder if Spanier is worried that he might become a target of the Attorney General's Office.
It's more than disappointing that Spanier is suing the school and putting on conditions on his cooperation with the university's investigation. As someone who relied on the people's trust to build support and gain billions of dollars for Penn State, it's distressing to see him brush the public's interests aside for his personal benefit.
Then again, after his fight to keep Penn State's exemption from the Right-to-Know law, maybe it really isn't that surprising.