Ex-Penn State president's defamation lawsuit back to county court for now, federal judge rules



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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — A federal judge says former Penn State president Graham Spanier's (SPAN'-yerz) defamation lawsuit against former FBI director Louis Freeh (LOO'-ee free) 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 a complaint is filed.

Spanier's attorneys last year filed notice in Centre County court 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. He's from Wilmington, Delaware.

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