By Mandy Hofmockel
Collegian Staff Writer
Penn State Judicial Affairs will not sanction The Daily Collegian photographer Michael Felletter after he was charged in connection with the Oct. 25 riot, a result his attorney said showed the university “understood the prominent First Amendment issues involved.”
Andrew Shubin, a private attorney acting on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), attended Felletter’s Judicial Affairs conference Wednesday and said the university issued no sanctions and found no violations against the photographer.
Shubin, a member of the Board of Directors for the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the ACLU, called the decision “an
excellent result and the correct result.”
Felletter attended the Oct. 25 riot in Beaver Canyon following Penn State’s football victory over Ohio State because he was assigned to do so by his editor, Shubin said, adding his client was not present to celebrate and acted responsibly.
Felletter was charged with two misdemeanors, failure to disperse and disorderly conduct, according to the criminal complaint.
Although he hadn’t yet heard of the university’s decision, Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said Felletter (junior-visual journalism) could still be found guilty in a court of law. Even though Judicial Affairs examined some of the same police documents Madeira is using for his case, the review process for the university is different from that of a magisterial district judge, the prosecutor said. For now, the criminal charges stand, he said.
“We’re not charging him with violating a code of ethics,” he said. “You’re charging him with violating criminal law.”