Thanks to a severance payment of $2.5 million, disgraced former Penn State University president Graham B. Spanier had a total taxable income of nearly $3.3 million in 2011, ABC News reports.
The severance payment is in addition to Spanier’s $700,000 salary and $83,000 in taxable benefits. Penn State officials indicated that the school will pay the entire amount by 2017, ABC says.
A spokesperson for the university said that Spanier had been “terminated without cause” in his role as school president, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. Consequently, the spokesperson said, Penn State is “legally bound” to honor the financial arrangements of Spanier’s current contract, which dates from 2010.
Spanier allegedly covered up evidence that retired Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually molested a number of boys, possibly for a decade or longer. He was forced to resign in 2011 in the wake of the scandal after Sandusky was arrested on child molestation charges.
On Nov. 1, state prosecutors indicted Spanier and two other Penn State officials, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, in the Sandusky case. Prosecutors say the three men actively covered up Sandusky’s abuses.
The charges against Spanier and his co-defendants include perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy. Each charge is a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years imprisonment and a fine of $15,000, according to Pennsylvania’s attorney general.
In court, all three defendants have argued that the charges should be thrown out, reports ABC.
Spanier remains a tenured faculty member at Penn State. He has been on leave since charges were brought against him. He earns $600,000 as a professor, the Chronicle says.
Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence for sexually abusing ten boys over the course of several years, notes ABC. He maintains his innocence.