“Climategate” Professor Dodges Another Bullet
And you thought you were having a rough year! Take a look at Meteorology professor Michael Mann’s. Mann was just recently the subject of a Virginia court case. Last year, he was a prominent faculty member in one of the most highly regarded meteorology departments in the country.
Unexpectedly, though, his life changed when hackers broke into the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England and stole 160 megabytes of emails on the study of global warming. Several of these emails were between renowned academics in the field of global warming, including professor Mann, and several of them seemed to indicate a coverup. It appeared that these researchers were attempting to hide data that was evidence against global warming.
Since then, Dr. Mann has been the focus of numerous investigations, been sought after by a former CIA agent, and was finally cleared by a Penn State investigatory panel of wrongdoings. However, Mann wasn’t completely home free. Even after being cleared by the Penn State panel, Mann was still being investigated by Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli under suspicion of committing fraud with respect to funding grants while working for the University of Virginia.
Most recently, Cuccinelli was attempting to force UVA to disclose documents related to Mann from the last ten years. On Monday, a Virginia state judge, Paul Peatros (who happens to be a lecturer at UVA), threw out Cuccinelli’s case, arguing that the Attorney General’s case does not specifically state the nature of the offense. Cuccinelli is attempting to investigate five grants that involved Mann. Professor Mann commented that the result of the case “looks like a pretty stinging rebuke of what many have argued is clearly a witch hunt against me, and I hope that it will serve as a wake-up call to the attorney general and his staff.”
While this sounds like good news, Mann may STILL not be out of the woods. Although Judge Peatross’s decision was a victory for Mann and UVA, there was a silver lining for the Attorney General. Peatross wrote that “The University of Virginia is a proper subject for a CID [civil investigative demand], and the attorney general may investigate grants made with Commonwealth of Virginia funds to professors such as Dr. Mann.”
This decision leaves open the possibility of future investigations into the matter, actions that Cuccinelli seems prepared to take. In a statement issued, Cuccinelli said that the judge’s ruling “has given us a framework for issuing a new civil investigative demand to get the information necessary to continue our investigation into whether or not fraud has been committed against the commonwealth.” Sorry Dr. Mann. No rest for the wicked.
So here’s my advice to you, Onward State readers. Whether you’re a public official giving your secretary “overtime”, an underage college student consuming adult beverages, or an esteemed academic leading a left-wing global conspiracy, don’t get caught.