Legal brief filed in Mann UVA emails case

Late yesterday the State Attorney General of Virginia posted this legal brief which had been filed with the courts, and also served to the University of Virginia (UVA).

This legal brief document is about discovery, not about a lawsuit. It is a prelude, and it is possible that no lawsuit may be filed if there is insufficient evidence to back up speculations that have been raised over the Climategate affair.

The current issue is over UVA refusing releasing emails from Dr. Michael Mann related to his work on the MBH98 and MBH99 papers, which later generated the famous “hockey stick” graph used by the IPCC:

Via the Charlottesville Daily Progress (thankfully unrelated to Climate Progress) Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli wrote this in the brief:

“ … It is clear that there is ample reason to believe that Mann may have committed a violation of FATA while he was at the university,” the filing says. “There is no debate that the university is in possession of documents relevant to determining if such a violation did occur. Accordingly, and for the reasons that follow, the court should deny the university’s petition.”

UVA has been stonewalling, and the State Attorney General has made it clear that their line of defense has limited traction and a very limited shelf life, setting deadlines. Here are a couple of excerpts from the document. FATA is the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. A link to the legal document follows.

From page 1:

From page 2:

The entire legal document is available here from the State of Virginia Attorney General website:

h/t to Chris Horner, Competitive Enterprise Institute

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
July 14, 2010 12:22 am

Loose the hounds!

July 14, 2010 12:24 am

Kerry-Lieberman latest 667 page utility only ‘cap-and-tax’ bill #capandtrade #capandtax
Kerry, Lieberman circulate climate plan focused on power plants
Reid throws climate lifeline to greens

James Allison
July 14, 2010 12:41 am

I hope there is sufficient evidence to bring legal proceedings. Mann has coducted bad science that caused enormous global implications and as such needs to be forced to account for his actions in a court of law.

July 14, 2010 12:44 am

Go Virginia!!

Mike Haseler
July 14, 2010 12:56 am

Mann deserves some real peer review – before 12 of his peers!

john kelly
July 14, 2010 1:10 am

Jones asked Mann and others to delete certain e mails. Mann is reported as saying that he refused to delete them. Coerce him to produce them now as some evidence of his scientific integrity.

July 14, 2010 1:24 am

I think the “fraud against taxpayers” comes more in the use that others have made of Mann’s work, than just the Mann himself. Mann left the door ajar… to Gore and his ilk… and where is that material from Lonnie Thompson that has never been made publicly available?

July 14, 2010 1:33 am

Wow, I didn’t think this was going anywhere. In Britain the Establishment would have closed ranks quicker than you can say “All power corrupts” and the action would have been buried.

UK Sceptic
July 14, 2010 1:48 am

If the Virginia AG is successful in obtaining the required information from UVA then let us hope it puts the wind up other rent seeking scientists who take billions of taxpayers dollars in order to deliver the junk science that allows politicians to shaft said taxpayers ten ways from Sunday.

July 14, 2010 1:51 am

Ater reading essentially all of the Climategate emails, one can be excuse for forming an impression that research grant monies were sometimes diverted to other uses. Whether the other uses were approved or not, by the donor, in detail or in generality, remains to be investigated. There is an impression that a few people called the tunes and paid the pipers with funds of doubtful authorisation. That is one reason why this State of Virginia Attorney General should be allowed to proceed. Another moral, rather than legal reason, is that the peasants thrown the funding crumbs were sometimes guided as to what they should write.

July 14, 2010 2:59 am

This is to replace my just-vanished comment.
Having just skim-read the court docs filed by the Virginia AG, I am very impressed by a) the volume and depth of the research that the Virginia AG’s team has compiled in this matter and b) the protections under the law in the State of Virginia for the taxpayer. I realise many Americans see Ken Cuccinelli as a blatant self-publicist who uses the law for personal advancement, but I doubt that his actions in this matter are mere political aggrandisement. Would that other parts of the so-called ‘free world’ had elected officials who would act in the public good as energeticall as Ken Cuccinelli.
This is quite cheering after witnessing the venal manipulations by the Establishment of the so-called official enquiries in the UK and their obviously pre-ordained outcomes

UK Sceptic
July 14, 2010 3:04 am

Alexander, comments appear to vanish on me from time to time. Quickest way to check is to hit the “go back to previous page” button. You will find your comment still in the reply box. Hit post comment. If the comment has already been received it will tell you.
Simples, as Alexandr Thingumabob the meerkat says.
Good comment by the way. You capture the UK Establishment way of doing things succinctly and perfectly.

Martin A
July 14, 2010 3:08 am

I hope that he will find clear evidence of straightforward financial naughtiness and secure a conviction on that, rather than getting bogged down into arguments about the validity or otherwise of statistical methods applied to temperature proxies.
For many people, this would settle the question “can climate scientists be trusted?”.

July 14, 2010 3:21 am

In the case of Cucinelli V Mann
The s%!t’s about to hit the fan
The court will decide
If the decline, run and hide
Is legit or should go in the can.

July 14, 2010 3:36 am

Can someone explain why the AG needs to go to court to get Mann’s emails, UVa passed over all of Dr. Michaels to Greenpeace on the back of a FOI request.

wes george
July 14, 2010 3:37 am

Game on!… Steve McIntyre is too much of a sporting gentleman to approve of trial lawyer tactics, but if the table was turned, does anyone doubt the Obama AG (never let a good crisis go to waste) wouldn’t have us ALL up against crimes against humanity charges before the Hague…
First they came for Anthony and we were silent, then they came for…

July 14, 2010 3:46 am

Virginia law is somewhat unique in that it was well in place decades prior to the forming of the United States and has one of the longest legal histories on the continent. What is interesting is if the OAG where to have convened a Grand Jury there would be no question regarding subpoenas. Grand Juries and their powers predate the forming of the US as well and have extraordinarily broad powers of investigation. Agree with those that say the OAG position should be a slam dunk.

Joe Lalonde
July 14, 2010 4:11 am

What ever happened to police coming in to confiscate all records and data before they get deleted and tampered with?
Do you honestly think ALL the documents requested will be forthcoming?
I have seen this type of behavour by an government agency where they closed down for the day to “get their paperwork in order”.
At least this was not under a government area where they can site the “national secrets act”.

Jeff T
July 14, 2010 5:24 am

Less than two weeks ago, there were cries of “blacklist” about the PNAS report concerning consensus on climate science. While I thought that the response to the PNAS report was way overblown, I certainly do not think that people skeptical of anthropogenic global warming should be persecuted, prosecuted or sued. Who of those cheering for the attorney general of Virginia (or for Chris Monckton’s apparent threat of a libel suit against John Abraham) think that skeptics should be persecuted, prosecuted or sued? If it can happen to AGW proponents, it can happen to AGW opponents.

John Egan
July 14, 2010 6:08 am

Although there is much about Prof. Mann’s research with which I disagree, I believe that is absolutely the wrong approach to use. The net result is an attack on academic and intellectual freedom. The club used against your opponent can just as easily be turned against you.

July 14, 2010 6:12 am

@Jeff T. Sorry, I don’t buy it. This is a very specific allegation of fraud and Mr Mann should be expected to answer it in a court of law. He may, of course, be proven innocent. Being sued or prosecuted is only an issue if you are found guilty surely? Persecution is another matter. Only one charge has been laid at Mr Mann’s door – it is hardly persecution.

July 14, 2010 6:12 am

Hi JeffT
Yes – it can go both ways and that is quite correct. No one sector should be immune from the law.
And that surely is the case here. Sceptics are not the ones making lurid assumptions from models fed with data designed to get the desired result.
Sceptics are simply asking pertinent questions of said results and data arrays because rather than normal scientific scepticism we see full blown advocacy. That is not science.
So if government grant monies were issued to produce “Science” but instead the tax payer got advocacy skewed to look like science, then in my book a fraud has taken place.
It is akin to benefit fraud where people lie about their reality to obtain social security benefits.
Is it so different (apart from the size of the funds!) when a so called scientist fiddles the data to create a scare story to get yet more grant money?
Thank goodness this unsavoury possibility is going to be looked at. I shall watch with interest.

July 14, 2010 6:14 am

Wow! “Academics are free to follow any philosophy they wish but Post Normal Science has produced jargon which can be misleading/fraudulent in a grant application …”
So IOW: do what ever you like but at the very least make sure I understand what that is when I pay you. Finally someone has started to ask hard questions about whether or not the Team was free to follow its course while eating out of the public trough.

jack morrow
July 14, 2010 6:44 am

John Eagan says 6:08
I tempted to cry out bull John. I think about any “club” is useful against these so called warmers. They are taking taxpayer money for their scams. The anti- agw side gets no money for trying to prove them wrong. The real question still is what is causing the earth to warm at the present time. I for one don’t know and I feel confident that the science is not settled. I just get tired of all the alarming things put out by the “team” and all their supporters. They are mainly out to keep taking in our money IMO. I want to carry a big club until the science is settled.

July 14, 2010 6:52 am

Who of those cheering for the attorney general of Virginia (or for Chris Monckton’s apparent threat of a libel suit against John Abraham) think that skeptics should be persecuted, prosecuted or sued? If it can happen to AGW proponents, it can happen to AGW opponents.
Jeff T.,
You are comparing apples and oranges. We “skeptics” (I prefer the term “climate realist”) are merely voicing our informed opinions and are not receiving lucrative government grants, which have been doled out in the hundreds of millions of dollars to scientists toeing the AGW line.
Michael Mann, on the other hand, appears to have knowingly manipulated data in an effort to create a hockey stick graph that fraudulently removed the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, creating the appearance of runaway global warming during the past 30 years or so. And he did it all at taxpayers’ expense.
Worse still, Mann’s widely disseminated — and now debunked — graph was one of the lynchpins of the AGW hypothesis, appearing in IPPC Assessment Reports and routinely cited as evidence of runaway global warming by those scientists and politicians calling for draconian CO2 reductions and economy-killing cap-and-trade energy controls. The impact of his dodgy research has been far reaching.
Mann must be held to account.

July 14, 2010 7:09 am

john kelly says:
July 14, 2010 at 1:10 am
Jones asked Mann and others to delete certain e mails. Mann is reported as saying that he refused to delete them. Coerce him to produce them now as some evidence of his scientific integrity.
Good call, John. He baited his own trap.

July 14, 2010 7:19 am

To all of those who see a threat to the liberty and freedoms of sceptics of CAGW and are worried that ‘the authorities will come for them next’ in the Attorney General of Virginia’s legal moves, please remember that sceptics are only asking the questions that some scientists (and their employers) should have asked during the scientific process they should have employed during their original research. I was teaching thirteen-year-olds decades ago that the most important process skill in science is testing hypothesis to see if that hypothesis can be validated or falsified before it can become the building blocks of a theory, NOT the other way about. Attempting to paint Mr Cuccinelli’s requests for evidence as a threat to sceptics is quite without merit. Sceptics have not attempted to defraud the Taxpayer – anywhere!

Dave L
July 14, 2010 7:24 am

Wow! I am impressed after reading the Cuccinelli brief. I think he is really on to something … post normal science. (Just think, if he can eventually show that the EPA relied on “post normal science” for its endangerment ruling.)
Not only that, the University initially lied that it did not possess any Mann e-mails in response to an earlier FOIA. Methinks the stonewalling by the University has nothing to do with academic freedom … they are hiding something big. Has the fuse been lit on another Climategate bomb?

Dr. Schnare
July 14, 2010 7:34 am

I simply don’t understand why John Egan and others are so reticent to investigate academics. Two years out of graduate school, and four years after publication of my Master’s thesis, the school called to ask if they could use that thesis as a final report for a grant they had obtained. I never got a penny of that grant and not a penny of it supported my research. They had given it to others who had never done any of the research for which the grant had been awarded. Now the school wanted to seek a new grant and had to submit a report from the last one, hence the request to use my thesis for that purpose. I contacted the Dean of the school to discuss this. He investigated and concluded they had indeed not used the grant for the purposes for which it was intended. Nevertheless, he made a personal plea to me to allow use of my thesis as the report (which necessitated adding as authors my thesis committee), as he did not want them to fail to get the new grant. His quid pro quo was to make me the lead author.
This kind of behavior goes on all the time in the academy. It is fraudulent and deserves investigation. This has nothing whatever to do with academic or intellectual freedom. It has to do with legal responsibilities. It also has to do with academic ethics.

July 14, 2010 7:43 am

My thought is that it is vital to truth and science, that there is some legal recourse to force disclosure and examination where public funds are expended and such research is used to leverage or bid for further public funding based upon the research findings of the scientists/researchers concerned.
It should be automatic, to conduct rigorous review to prevent corrupt practices creeping in and subverting the scientific process for personal gain.
Any fair assessment of the performance of the Climategate inquiries and internal academic reviews undertaken reveal remarkable talent for the ability Not to investigate properly.
This application of liberal whitewash, does not give confidence, and has potential to encourage and embolden.
To me this is a slippery path of convenience for those with something to hide and it then becomes easier for those who would seek to silence all criticism of that emboldened elite, secure in the knowledge that they operate behind the totalitarian fortress of suppression- better to legally force discovery under existing laws, than allow that to happen, or the possibility that could happen. IMHO!

Henry chance
July 14, 2010 8:16 am

Very clean case work I see.
It doesn’t attack academic freedom. Even though they claim is hurts academic freedom, it only is a threat to academic cheating. Big difference.
Self righteous indignation is a pathetic defense against fraudulent record keeping and data manipulation practices.
The moment a case is announced, it is many times more dangerous to start up the shredder.
What I know from experience about crime pertaining to records, I suspect Mann never left his files behind or left them in order. He hauled away stuff and kept cases of files which are actual property of the school.
This is why the School wants it to go away. Medical malpractice suits, docs don’t have access to hospital records and can’t haul them away. They sue the docs and the hospital and 2-3 other groups I won’t name is a surgery case and it is terror if files get changed or removed.
Mann is more than a little silly if he thinks he can hide behind ‘academic freedom” Docs can’t hide behind patient “privacy”
Leaning real heavy on the School is right for 2 reasons. They grants flow to the School and not direct to Mann. The grants and ALL the supporting documents are therefore required to be kept in order by the school.
Real and independent 3rd party audits and exams are exactly not what Internal review looks like. It is illegal for the school to fight the AG and not produce records.
That is a very bad move. I like real audits because in embezzlement cases, there is almost always the perp keeping files away from the filing system.

Henry chance
July 14, 2010 8:31 am

This is up my alley. Martha Stewart did jail. She tried the same stunts
1 Interferred with investigators before there was a case
2 She lied to criminal investigators
3 She acted for her personal benefit in inside info.
Her actual jail was for lying during the investigation. It was not for inside trades. It was not for maiking a rich set of trades.
“The securities fraud charge against Martha Stewart, 62, was thrown out. She was found guilty on March 5 of conspiracy, obstruction, and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators about what led her to decide to sell nearly 4,000 (3,928 shares) of her ImClone Systems, Inc. shares on Dec. 27, 2001. She received a lenient sentence within the federal guidelines: 5 months in prison, 5 months of home confinement, two years of supervised probation, and a $30,000 fine.
The Psychology of Loss Aversion
Martha Stewart was never charged with insider trading. Martha Stewart was a wealthy woman. Why would Martha Stewart even risk the appearance of insider trading by selling her shares through the same broker as Sam Waksal, the head of ImClone?
Martha Stewert plead the popular and important to society card. How dare someone question her integrity.
Mann is doing the same thing. The lawyers for the school are not very bright if they advise obstruction. Mann is on his self validation tour and that will backfire in these cases. How did Leona Helmsley win?
Virginia and Penn State want to fight this because it hurts their marketing brand name.
Just a reminder, when there are not formal charges, that in no way protects one from being investigated. I suspect they have some department internal whistle blowers already leaked the “case”.

July 14, 2010 8:40 am

I’m not holding my breath. We have all been excited that those manipulating the purse strings would finally be held to account, and as of yet no one has been held to account for anything. At best, the inquiries have insulted our intelligence not once but multiple times.
The noise from the alarmist shills about the supposed “vindication” has been mind-numbing. I can’t believe they think we are that stupid.

July 14, 2010 8:51 am

Your opener for this thread showed the HS graph. I’ve seen this displayed I guess hundreds of times, but have always been frustrated by never having seen the actual numbers that were used (by someone, presumably Mann) to form the basis of the thick line. Experience has taught me that when one surveys a plot whose method of construction is not explained in detail it is always very important to get hold of the actual numbers and carry out the plotting oneself.
Do you, or does any reader, have access to the numbers that Mann used in making his iconic plot? If so, would you please let me in on the secret of how to find them?
Many thanks,

July 14, 2010 9:11 am

I know there are some (Steve Mc, for one) who don’t much like what Cuccinelli is doing.
But we’ve now seen a flurry of ‘independent’ investigations being handed their whitewash buckets by the organs they were supposed to be investigating.
I’m not so much interested in the potential for legal action against Dr Mann et al, unless there’s slam-dunk evidence of misconduct that rises to the level of criminal fraud.
What I want to see is the discovery product.

July 14, 2010 9:23 am

Here is the crux of the matter:
“UVa’s lawyers have also argued that Cuccinelli has no authority to investigate Mann’s research grants because four were from the federal government and consequently not subject to Virginia’s anti-fraud law. The fifth grant, which was funded by UVa, was awarded to Mann in 2001 – two years prior to the enactment of Virginia’s anti-fraud law.”
Assuming this is true then it appears that Cucinelli doesn’t have a case.

July 14, 2010 9:36 am

And just what evidence is there in ClimateGate e-mails that a fraud may have occurred? Scientific error and fraud is not covered by the statute.

Dr. Schnare
July 14, 2010 9:51 am

The fraud claim is simply explained in the brief, so you may read about it there. In sum, if Mann knew his 98 and 99 papers were in error, and at the time he obtained at least three of the grants he should have known about those errors, then by using his 98 and 99 papers to get the grants, he engaged in fraud by claiming his work was valid and supportive of his proposed research when it was neither valid or appropriate to support further research unless that research was to correct the errors, which it was not.

July 14, 2010 10:09 am

thegoodlocust says:
July 14, 2010 at 9:23 am
Read the full legal submission: the AG asked for the University to prove this (and that the 2001 grant didn’t continue into the period when the FATA law was in force) and the University did nothing. All the AG is asking for is discovery to investigate, since there is at least a suspicion of wrongdoing following the climategate emails.
MikeN says:
July 14, 2010 at 9:36 am
I suggest you read the full legal submission too. What do you think FATA stands for?

Henry chance
July 14, 2010 10:15 am

I just listened to Marano and Dan wiess and their recent tv discussion. Weiss acused the sceptics of building a conspiracy theory. Mann has done the same.
Then Mann, Weiss and the rest repeat the “E-mails were stolen”
No one has proven they were stolen. No one. It is actually a conspiracy that says they had to have been stolen.
Until Mann proves they were stolen, we assume they exist and we do not know how they came out.
Mann is also repeating the conspiracy is out to get him every time he gets investigated.
When people do bad, the law “conspires” to convict.
BTK was caught by a conspiracy. It included illegal parking lot tapes from a Home Depot and cracking his church computor. How dare they break into his computer.

July 14, 2010 10:21 am

The question you ask is exactly the same thing Steve McIntyre asked about 10 years ago. You can read about his experience trying to acquire the data on his blog at It’s a fascinating scientific detective story. The book, the Hockey Stick Illusion ( is also a great read.
It’s not a simple matter of plotting the raw data, it’s how it was selected and massaged by Mann to generate the hockey stick shape that is the focus of the controversy.

July 14, 2010 11:10 am

I’m very pleased to see that the general tone of this issue has improved from the last time the subject came up. There were quite a few rumblings of “witch hunt” and “the wrong way to go about it” as I recall, and just a few this time.
I can’t believe some people are still at it though; there is no equivalency between the sides. The warmist movement is taking taxpayer money to produce phony, unfalsifiable “evidence” for forthcoming catastrophe, building a premise for intrusive government control of every aspect of private life, and advocating penalties, torments, excoriation, and even death (for the good of humanity, of course) for those who want to check the data before condemning the majority of the population to unrelieved poverty.
The worst I’ve heard from skeptics is “I’ll sue if you don’t stop ‘taking taxpayer money to produce phony, unfalsifiable “evidence” for forthcoming catastrophe, building a premise- etc’ “.
Keith Johnson

July 14, 2010 11:11 am

I can only wish/dream of/ having a similar [type of] AG here in Sweden… and this regardless topic, ie. not ‘only’ AGW-related issues.

July 14, 2010 11:16 am

It really doesn’t matter if he deleted the emails or not. If he did they still exist and can probably be easily recovered. If he didn’t then that should be easy to detect as well. With a computer you don’t really “delete” the evidence when you hit the delete button. Computers just hide the pointer to the information.

Dr. John M. Ware
July 14, 2010 11:17 am

I also read the Cuccinelli document, and I find it excellent: thorough, well organized, logically and legally tight. I think UVA has placed itself in a very peculiar position, and suspicions of political motivation are inescapable. Bravo Cuccinelli!

July 14, 2010 11:25 am

LETTER- Even climate scientists must follow the law
Published June 24, 2010 in issue 0925 of the Hook, Charlottesville, VA.
In [the May 21 news story] “Fighting back? UVA mulls options for Cuccinelli climate demand” the response of UVA to the legal request by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for documents of ex-UVa climatologist Michael Mann are couched in terms of “defense of academic freedom.” Rather than open up the halls of academic freedom to the light of day, UVA is presumably spending taxpayer monies to hire an international law firm to seek other options. Is there something to hide in Mann’s documents? What aspect of academic freedom is being threatened?
Public funding comes with legal strings attached, and the public is entitled to know that assumed academic integrity is being upheld. The A.G. has stated he is not investigating the scientific merit of Mann’s work. He need not. Others, including Canadians Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, and a 2006 U.S. Senatorial (the Wegman report) investigation have already done so.
In 2001, Mann effectively re-wrote global temperature history with his “hockey stick” graph of an unperturbed temperature record until a rapid upswing in the modern industrial age. His flat-line portion of the plot erased the warmer medieval and the cooler little ice age periods, both documented in written and pictorial history. Canadian researchers eventually demonstrated that the hockey stick graph was an artifact of the data processing algorithms used by Mann. An input of random numbers fed into the same process also produced hockey stick graphs. The Wegman commission noted that Mann considered his data his intellectual property, choose to withhold it from his peers, and thereby from peer review.
The UVA response echoes that of the cabal of celebrity climatologists involved in the 2009 “climategate” scandal. U.K. climatologist Phil Jones actively eluded Freedom of Information Requests for his data. “Hide the decline” is now linked to Michael Mann. Penn State continues to investigate Mann.
Academic freedom does not obviate academic accountability.

July 14, 2010 12:28 pm

Dr. Schnare says:
July 14, 2010 at 7:34 am
“It also has to do with academic ethics.”
Has someone just hit the nail on the head??
In this class of academic-based opinion, there doesn’t appear to be any.
How sad for science.

July 14, 2010 12:52 pm

Hi Charles Battig,
Knowing that you have connections to the Swedish community, especially to maggie at the climate scam [ ] I’d gratefully would see your ‘lines of the matter’ published there, also.
And, to the ‘rest of the bunch’ of good people in the US, please, please try to put your perspecives also outside your great States – and keep it simple. Ok? Plenty txs!

Gail Combs
July 14, 2010 12:59 pm

Jeff T says:
July 14, 2010 at 5:24 am
Less than two weeks ago, there were cries of “blacklist” about the PNAS report concerning consensus on climate science. While I thought that the response to the PNAS report was way overblown, I certainly do not think that people skeptical of anthropogenic global warming should be persecuted, prosecuted or sued. Who of those cheering for the attorney general of Virginia (or for Chris Monckton’s apparent threat of a libel suit against John Abraham) think that skeptics should be persecuted, prosecuted or sued? If it can happen to AGW proponents, it can happen to AGW opponents.
Jeff here is an example of the feared response to the PNAS “blacklist” report:
“A woman in the US has been injured when a bomb disguised to look like a box of chocolates exploded in her face, reports say. ….the woman may have been targeted because she is married to an oil executive.”
That is completely different when compared to Mann and Abraham. There is actual evidence in the form of e-mails and slander that laws were broken.
The other question is whether the propaganda being put out and called science will do harm. I do not think ANYONE can deny that “going green” means an economic slow down and a loss of jobs. Do we not have the right to defend ourselves against those who want to completely remake our civilization as long as we do it legally?
So what happens if Cap and Trade is passed?
“You committed no crime, but an officer is knocking on your door. More Minnesotans are surprised to find themselves being locked up over debts…
It’s not a crime to owe money, and debtors’ prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts…
In extreme cases, people stay in jail until they raise a minimum payment. In January, a judge sentenced a Kenney, Ill., man “to indefinite incarceration” until he came up with $300…”
What next? Forced labor camps as the jails fill with those who can not pay their debts???

Gail Combs
July 14, 2010 1:18 pm

It occurs to me that the UVA is stonewalling in hopes that the Cap and Trade bill or its like will be passed and this will all just go away. If the bill is passed UVA and Mann hope Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli reason for pursuing the case will go away, or at least the reason the case would make major headlines will go away.

July 14, 2010 1:42 pm

neill says: “Loose the hounds!”
Release the Krakenelli!

July 14, 2010 2:00 pm

Yes, I’ve changed my mind after reading the brief in full – Cucinelli may indeed have a case (obviously depends on what he finds in his investigation).

July 14, 2010 2:40 pm

You mispelled Cuccinnelli, it should be Cuccinelli. D’oh!
Is Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli a Birther?
Because he is using the same argument as the Birthers have tried to use in obtaining Obama’s “real” birth certificate, without showing any factual evidence of tampering or wrongdoing.
So, obviously, this will be eventually thrown out of court, at some level, for a complete lack of fact based evidence. Just like the Birther suits have all been thrown out of court. Yes HI has a record, yes UVA has emails, no there was no fact based claims for the Birthers, no there are no fact based claims for Birther CucciNelli.
REPLY: This is discovery, not a lawsuit. Do a self diagnostic. -A

July 14, 2010 2:43 pm

UVA above should be Penn State. My bad.

July 14, 2010 4:28 pm

“University of Virginia C.I.D.
In May 2010, Cuccinelli served a civil investigative demand on the University of Virginia seeking a broad range of documents related to Michael E. Mann, a climate researcher now at Penn State who was an assistant professor at UVA from 1999 to 2005.[34][35] Cuccinelli is investigating Mann’s putative violation of the 2002 Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, although no evidence of wrongdoing was given to explain the invocation of the law.[36] While climate change skeptics have challenged Mann’s work, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a Penn State investigation cleared Mann of charges that he falsified or suppressed data[37] The Washington Post quotes Rachel Levinson, senior counsel with the American Association of University Professors as saying Cuccinelli’s request had “echoes of McCarthyism.”[38] Among the groups urging the University of Virginia to resist producing the data are: a letter published in Science magazine signed by 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences, the American Civil Liberties Union and the AAUP.[35] Also in May 2010, the University of Virginia Faculty Senate Executive Council wrote a letter strongly rebuking Cuccinelli for his civil investigative demand of the Mann records, stating that “[Cuccinelli’s] action and the potential threat of legal prosecution of scientific endeavor that has satisfied peer-review standards send a chilling message to scientists engaged in basic research involving Earth’s climate and indeed to scholars in any discipline.”[39]
On May 27, 2010, the University of Virginia began legal proceedings by filing a petition to resist Cuccinelli’s investigative demand. In addition to challenging the investigative demands on academic freedom grounds, the petition claims that Virginia’s “Fraud Against Taxpayers Act” (FATA) cited by Cuccinelli is not applicable in this case, as 4 of the 5 grants were Federal, and that the fifth was an internal University of Virginia grant originally awarded in 2001. The FATA was enacted in 2003, and it is not retroactive.[40][41]”
So it would aooear for all intents and purposes that this litigation has less than a slim or none chance of going forward.
Case dismissed.

see, that’s the problem with you warmists, you dismiss things before you even get any evidence in hand -A

July 14, 2010 4:55 pm

What I found really impressive is Mann’s CV. He must be very small and working nearly around the clock to publish so many papers in top scientific journals while an assistant and then an associate professor. He also taught many classes, gave many invited and contributed papers at meetings etc. Not sure how he acclomplished so much with a moderate level of grant support. Mann’s CV is toward the end of the PDF of the DA’s brief.

July 14, 2010 4:58 pm

Moderator: please change “very small” to “very smart” in the above posting.

Joe Lalonde
July 14, 2010 5:26 pm

Dr. Schnare says:
July 14, 2010 at 9:51 am
Thank you for showing the fraud that was committed.

July 14, 2010 6:17 pm

REPLY: see, that’s the problem with you warmists, you dismiss things before you even get any evidence in hand -A
Unfortunately for you, none of the facts are on your side.
Frivilous lawsuit to follow meritless discovery phase.
Go figure.
Case Closed.
REPLY: Nooooo, as much as you wish it, the case is still very much open. Go shout at the clouds -A

Dave Kelly
July 14, 2010 10:08 pm

The AGW community will have a slightly more difficult time if Mann did commit fraud. But I expect Mann’s “penalty”, if convicted, will be a minimal.
Remember when climatologist Mark Schoeberl, chief of Goddard Space Flight Center’s Earth Sciences Division and the head of the Aura Project, got caught and plead guilty to federal felony charges for using his position to steer $190,777 in non-bid contracts to Animated Earth (a company owned by his wife)?
His conviction only lead to a $10,000 fine and 50 hours of community service – as reported by the Washington Examiner on December 2, 2009.
As a federal employee, I would be seeing years in prison; but, it seems there is a different standard for federal offenses committed in the name of AGW. $180,777 is a pretty good profit for blatant embezzlement of federal funds.
Looks like AGW is a pretty profitable racket…even when you get caught violating federal law.

July 15, 2010 1:38 am

As an indication of the view preferred by the elite press in this country is a New York Times feature article entitled “A Climate Change Corrective” with a lead-off sentence “Perhaps now we can put the manufactured controversy known as Climategate behind us and turn to the task of actually doing something about global warming. “ It appears that this article is being highly praised and declared long overdue in some circles. ‘Yes Virginia, it’s OK to be afraid of Global Warming again.’
They seem to be trying to manufacture a new science-is-settled consensus on the rebound from these pro forma Climategate investigations. You can put a tailor-made dress suit on a dog, but it’s still a dog.

July 15, 2010 3:35 am

EFS_Junior July 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm (quoting elsewhere): The FATA was enacted in 2003, and it is not retroactive.
An interesting concept, don’t you think? It effectively claims an application for a grant with a misleading statement of intent prior to 2003 was not legally fraudulent by definition even if such an act is now considered so. I seriously doubt that the act was written thusly and I seriously doubt that it actually limited the powers of the State AG to investigate. I haven’t read the act so I may be wrong.
I can see the AG rebutting that the fraud is on-going (he made a reference to Mann’s silence about misleading interpretations of his work). I can also see a rebuttal under contract common law but why second guess? It will be interesting to see how the courts address the claim.

%d bloggers like this: