U.Va. Asks Court to Set Aside New CID and Stay Proceedings

October 21, 2010

October 21, 2010 — The University of Virginia on Wednesday filed its responses to the latest civil investigative demand – or CID – issued by the Office of the Attorney General in the matter of climate research by former U.Va. professor Michael Mann.

Judge Paul M. Peatross Jr. of Albemarle County Circuit Court had set aside the attorney general's original CIDs in an opinion issued on Aug. 30. On Sept. 29, the attorney general submitted a narrower CID seeking information on one $214,700 grant issued by the University to Mann and two other researchers. Citing Virginia's Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, the attorney general wants to investigate whether Mann used fraudulent data to obtain the funds.

Mann, an assistant professor of environmental sciences at the University from 1999 to 2005, is known for his research on global warming. He has since joined the faculty of The Pennsylvania State University.

The University is asking the court to set aside the latest CID, which "targets the same professor on the same grounds that the court already found insufficient." In addition, the University filed a motion to stay the proceedings  while the attorney general appeals Peatross' ruling to the Virginia Supreme Court.

"The motion is intended to avoid the waste of the parties' and the Circuit Court's resources in litigating the next round before the Supreme Court has an opportunity to weigh in on the prior ruling and to decide whether to hear it or not," U.Va. spokeswoman Carol Wood said.