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Penn State General Counsel Steps Down

The general counsel for Penn State, Cynthia Baldwin, has announced that she is leaving the university after two years working in the office that she established.

The university said that the former state Supreme Court justice and university trustee took the job as a transitional role to get the office up and running back in 2010.

In a statement released on Monday, Baldwin said that it was time for the transition to occur now and that she will also help find her permanent replacement.

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Baldwin worked as counsel when two administrators from Penn State testified one year ago in front of a grand jury that was investigating former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky faces multiple child sex abuse charges resulting from the investigation. He is out on bail and awaiting his trial while denying all allegations against him.

A spokeswoman for the university said that the departure of Baldwin is not related to the fallout from the Sandusky case.

Baldwin served as the chairman of Penn State’s Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2006. She was a gubernatorial appointee to the board.

From 2006 to 2008, Baldwin served as a justice on the Supreme Court. She also served for more than 16 years as a judge on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

Penn State, in a statement released two years ago, said that the appointment of Baldwin as the vice president and chief legal officer was based on an external peer review recommendation. Her position was created as in-house counsel for the university. Before her hire, the university used an outside law firm to serve as its general counsel.

School President Rodney Erickson is receiving legal advice and counsel from prominent Washington attorney and former White House counsel Lanny Davis, as announced by the university.

The university claims Davis has a different role than Baldwin did with the school. Davis’ office coordinates legal matters and advises for the university on a whole. Davis also leads a law and crisis management company.

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