The U.S. Justice Department has declined to intervene in a “whistleblower lawsuit that alleged Penn State mishandled sensitive government information,” the Centre Daily Times reports.
The university is accused by a former employee in the lawsuit of lying about its compliance with the government’s “cybersecurity protocols,” CDT reporter Bret Pallotto reports.
The Justice Department’s investigation into the allegations continues, Pallotto writes, but investigators need more time to determine whether they will intervene.
Penn State “remains committed to its compliance obligations and will continue to cooperate with the government in its ongoing investigation,” university spokesperson Lisa Powers wrote in an email to the CDT on Monday.
Marc Raspanti, a lawyer with experience litigating whistleblower lawsuits, told the CDT that it is not unusual that the Justice Department decided not to intervene. But he did find it unusual that the federal judge in the case only gave the department about a year to decide if it would step in.
“In my world, this is a fairly short period of time. Sometimes the government in these complicated cases can take years to make that decision,” Raspanti told the CDT. “The statute says they get 60 days, but that 60 days is routinely extended.”