Penn State Leadership: Mark Dambly


Excerpted from “” by Ralph Cipriano:

An expose regarding Penn State
Board of Trustees Chairman Mark Dambly:

“A Moral Lecture From Mr. Integrity

At Penn State, with the trustees’ report [INSERT: This reference is to the Penn State Trustees’ review of the Freeh File Documents] out of the barn, the people who had been stonewalling the release of the report for nine months shifted to damage control.

In the wake of the leak of the trustees’ report on Louis Freeh, Mark Dambly, the former ruffian and cocaine dealer who is the president of the Penn State board of trustees, called the release of the report card on Freeh a “reprehensible” step that would supposedly undermine a culture where Penn State employees could confidentially report wrongdoing.

Wrong, Mr. Dambly. The release of the report done by the Penn State trustees affirms a culture where Penn State employees can continue to confidentially report wrongdoing. But if something reported confidentially turns out to be actually wrong, to right that wrong, it may be necessary to lay those facts out in the open.

In this case, the report by the minority trustees outed the majority trustees, now led by Dambly, for their collusion, political interference, and ultimate dereliction of duty in their handling of the supposedly independent investigation done by Louis Freeh. Sorry, Mr. Dambly, if you were on the wrong end of that.

As the guy who for nine months who led the cover up of the trustees’ report, Dambly, a known scoundrel, took over for the high moral ground. He was enabled by his accomplices in the media who have their own asses to cover. Like Susan Snyder of The Philadelphia Inquirer, but more on that later.

Reporters may have given Dambly cover, but the former drug dealer wasn’t safe on twitter. In response to Dambly’s statement, “PSUpittsfordNY” posted a video clip of Dambly lying his ass off when reporter Gary Sinderson confronted Dambly about his criminal past.

It’s great stuff. Dambly was a Penn state trustee who in 2012 supported criminal background checks for university employees. That same year, reporter Sinderson of WJAC Johnstown Channel 6 memorably turned the tables on Dambly.


In a video posted on, Sinderson asked Dambly if he had a criminal record; specifically the reporter wanted to know if Dambly had been arrested in 1979.

“I’m not aware of that,” Dambly responded twice on camera. As he was walking away, in unreleased video recorded by the TV station, Sinderson asked Dambly about his alleged association with members of an infamous cocaine ring.

“I don’t recall that either,” Dambly said.


When asked by his fellow trustees during an executive session about his arrest, Dambly replied that it was “undocumented.” But it was documented. And there are law enforcement types around who still remember Dambly’s role in the cocaine ring.

First, the arrest. Back in 1979, on the weekend of a Penn State-Temple football game, Dambly was involved in an incident where three students got beaten up during a fight in the Pugh Street parking garage.

Dambly was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. If convicted, he faced a fine of $2,500 and a year in jail. Dambly promptly hired R. Bruce Manchester of Bellefonte, PA as his lawyer. On Nov. 17, 1979, Manchester sent Dambly a letter telling him about the offer of a plea bargain from the Centre County District Attorney’s Office. The deal included pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, spending five days in jail, and paying a $200 fine. It was a deal that Dambly took.

“By pleading guilty you will have a police record which may have to be disclosed on various occasions in the future,” Manchester wrote Dambly. “You stated to me on Wednesday the 28th that your career goal is to be a real estate broker.”

In 2013, a year after he’d been ambushed by Sinderson, Dambly filed paperwork to get his prior arrest expunged.

TV reporter Sinderson had also asked Dambly about the infamous “Dr. Snow” yuppie cocaine ring run by Larry Lavin, then a student at the University of Pennsylvania dental school, that operated between 1978 and 1984.

In 1986, a judge sentenced three dentists to jail for their roles in the ring that the FBI said was then the largest known cocaine distribution enterprise in the history of the Philadelphia area, grossing up to $5 million a month.

A retired investigator who worked the Lavin case and sought anonymity said that a former FBI agent, Leo Pedrotty, who has since died, became Dambly’s handler after Dambly decided to wear a wire to get himself out of a legal jam.

“Pedrotty was responsible for placing the recording equipment on Dambly and monitoring the results as Dambly secretly recorded conversations about the massive drug operation,” the investigator wrote. “In exchange, Dambly would not be prosecuted and there would be no asset forfeiture action.”

And this is the guy who’s giving us a moral lecture about what constitutes being “reprehensible” in the Penn State scandal.



Excerpted From:



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