Steve Penny, the former CEO of USA Gymnastics, was to be deposed in relation to the sexual abuse allegations against former team physician Dr. Larry Nassar. A Los Angeles county judge has graciously delayed the deposition so that Penny can attend the Indy 500 to network and find a new job.
The Washington Post reports that the request came from Penny’s legal team, who argued that since his now out of a job, he needs to find a new one. Seeing as he lives in Indiana, home of the Indy 500, he clearly needs to push back a deposition in a case involving alleged sexual abuse of young female athletes so that he can find himself some steady work. Penny resigned from his post as CEO in March of this year amid the sexual abuse scandal and the many requests for his resignation, as information from gymnasts like Dominique Moceanu revealed the lengths the organization went to ignore the allegations.
An email obtained by the Orange County Register shows Penny’s attorney Daniel White making an impassioned plea for his client’s absence to Vince Finaldi, the lawyer representing the gymnast in the case.
“Steve Penny is no longer employed...Because of his former position, he has many contacts who will be attending Race Week. He intends to participate in as many pre-race function as possible in an effort to connect with those who may be of some assistance in his re-employment efforts. I can assure you he feels the need to do this is critical to the needs of his family.”
Finaldi’s response was scathing and came “minutes” after White’s initial request.
“I hope you can step back for a second, evaluate, and see how ludicrous your client’s position is,” Finaldi wrote to White. “We have motions to oppose and he can’t participate in discovery because he has parties to attend. That is just beyond the pale. Especially considering how many children were sexually abused on his watch. It just supports our position that he never really did care much about the kids. It was all about his job and the bottom line.”
Later that evening, Finaldi wrote in another email to White, “exactly how many parties is he going to be attending? It’s just inconceivable to me that he is unavailable at all until June 5 because of these soirees. And those events do not justify avoidance of a deposition.”
Despite Finaldi’s very fair point that Indy 500 parties should not take precedence over a case regarding the sexual abuse of children that happened within in organization of which he was president, the judge in the case, Susan Bryant-Deason, agreed to delay the deposition so that Penny could attend this sporting event and ostensibly find work.
Aside from Dr. Nassar, who is alleged to have committed the abuse, the suit names “USA Gymnastics, former U.S. national team coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, the Los Angeles-based All Olympia Gymnastics Center, Penny and other USA Gymnastics officials said to have inappropriately dealt with complaints of abuse.”
The deposition will take place on June 5 —a week after the Indy 500 on May 28th— as per Penny’s request.