Louis Freeh, the special investigator in the Penn State University sex-abuse scandal, knows how it feels to run a once-revered institution that is accused of negligence, malpractice, and incompetence: He ran the FBI for eight turbulent years, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. As FBI director, Freeh faced inquiries into deaths at Waco and Ruby Ridge, the Robert Hansen spy scandal, the fumbled 1996 Olympics bomb investigation, and the troubled case against nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee. He fought off claims that the FBI missed opportunities to catch the 9/11 hijackers.
Freeh knows what it takes to investigate those in power, from mobsters who put tons of drugs on the streets of New York to a president who lied about an affair with a White House intern. “All of that experience should serve him well,” said ex-FBI assistant director Barry Mawn. “Louis is a wise pick. Down the road, though, what he finds out may not be what they want to hear.” Howard Means, who cowrote Freeh’s 2004 memoir, My FBI, said, “He’s the father of four children and he is an altar boy [ ] He must have had a very visceral reaction when he first heard about this case. This is right down his alley – the alleged crime is one that would deeply offend him.”