The Indianapolis office of the FBI was headed by Jay Abbott. That office declined to investigate gymnasts’ sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar, the longtime physician for the USA Gymnastics women’s team. The refusal to investigate is now the focus of an investigation by the Inspector General of the Justice Department. Nassar is now in prison for sexual assault of dozens of young woman during their exams.
However, in one of the civil suits against the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) discovery yielded an interesting e-mail. The then-president of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny, who has now been charged with evidence tampering in this whole sordid series of events, wrote to the head of USOC security about Mr. Abbott.
The head of USOC security, Larry Buendorf, was retiring soon, as was Mr. Abbott, and Mr. Penny’s e-mail explained to Mr. Buendorf that he had “found a great guy who might be the perfect fit for your role.” Mr. Buendorf told Mr. Penny to tell Mr. Abbott to “watch for the advertisement next year.”
Mr. Abbott did not get the job, and Mr. Penny’s lawyer says that Mr. Penny had no ability to hire and that there was no promise of a job. As is often the case, there is no smoking gun, but the appearance brings no credit to any of them or their organizations.