UVA Suggests It May Not Comply With Cuccinelli Climate-Gate ‘Witch Hunt’

ZUMA Press/Newscom

The wrangling over Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation of a climate scientist continues…

After indicating last week that it would comply with a subpoena sent by the AG, demanding documents relating to the work of former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann, the university is now equivocating. “Our intention is to comply but we are looking at some options,” a UVA spokeswoman told the Washington Post yesterday.Also yesterday, Democratic legislator Donald McEachin said he planned to introduce a bill that would bar the state’s AG from issuing subpoenas unless he has filed a lawsuit. McEachin said the bill was intended to ensure that the AG could not issue subpoenas without a judge having the ability to throw out the underlying case as frivolous.

Mann, who worked at UVA from 1999 until 2005, was one of the scientists caught up in the Climate-Gate scandal. The affair offered no evidence that Mann had deliberately slanted his conclusions, and he has been exonerated of wrongdoing by several investigations, including one by Penn State, his current employer. Nonetheless, Cuccinelli is investigating whether Mann committed fraud in his research, which was funded by government grants.

Other scientists — including climate change skeptics — have slammed Cuccinelli’s probe as a “witch hunt.” The Virginia ACLU and a national professor’s group have urged UVA not to cooperate with the subpoena.