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Penn State hires public relations firms to provide transparency during litigation

Penn State hires public relations firms to provide transparency during litigation

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.—Pennsylvania State University has hired two public relations firms for $2.5 million as it addresses child sexual abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Gerald A. Sandusky.

Penn State has retained the services of New York-based Edelman and Harrisburg, Pa.-based La Torre Communications for a 12-month engagement at $208,000 per month, Penn State said in a Wednesday statement.

The communication firms aim to work with Penn State's public information officers to provide broad and transparent communications to key stakeholders and support the university through upcoming litigation, according to the statement.

“Retaining these communications firms puts us more firmly on the path toward accountability, openness and preserving our reputation as one of the world's leading research universities,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in the statement.

Federal authorities in February subpoenaed Penn State seeking information about payments by trustees to Penn State, or to third parties on behalf of Penn State, in connection with child sexual abuse allegations against Mr. Sandusky.

The school said its directors and officers insurance coverage may reimburse employees for legal fees related to investigation.

As of Feb. 29, Penn State has paid $7,577,643 in legal fees and to consulting and public relations firms as it addresses the child sexual abuse allegations against Mr. Sandusky, according to the university's website.