A suit against Penn State University and the board of governors of The Dickinson School of Law is baseless and could threaten funding for renovations of the school's Carlisle campus, the defendants said. In yesterday's filing in Cumberland County Court, law school board chairman H. Laddie Montague said the suit amounted to "little more than a harassment."
He has asked the court to force three law board members who filed the suit to post a bond to cover the potential loss of $20 million in financing.
Former Dauphin County Judge G. Thomas Miller, his daughter Leslie Anne Miller and Tom Monteverde are suing Penn State, president Graham Spanier, law school Dean Philip McConnaughay and the governors board. They seek to halt plans to build a law campus in State College.
Penn State has agreed to build a $60 million law campus in State College. It has pledge $10 million for upgrades for Carlisle, and will attempt to raise $15 million by July 1.
Montague said court proceedings would delay the fund-raising campaign.
Gov. Ed Rendell has promised a matching $25 million state grant on the condition that Penn State maintains the Carlisle campus for up to 15 years.
Leslie Anne Miller, general counsel for Rendell, said her suit against Penn State does not pose a conflict of interest.
"There is no conflict whatsoever," she said. Miller said she filed the suit as a private citizen.
"I have recused myself from any involvement whatsoever in any [governors office] dealings with the university. I was never included in [those dealings] from the very beginning," she said.