Ex-FBI chief asks judge to nullify time limit to move defamation lawsuit to federal court


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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Lawyers for former FBI Director Louis Freeh are asking a federal court to clarify rules governing a defamation lawsuit filed against him by former Penn State University president Graham Spanier.

Freeh lost a bid in a Pennsylvania appeals court last week to force Spanier to proceed with the lawsuit. He asked a federal judge Tuesday to nullify a one-year time limit to move the Pennsylvania case to federal court.

Spanier filed the suit after Freeh led a team that produced a report for the university critical of how Spanier and other administrators handled the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

But Spanier got permission from a Pennsylvania judge to hold off on filing a full complaint while he defends himself against criminal charges in an alleged cover-up of accusations about Sandusky.

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