Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed a brief on Tuesday opposing the University of Virginia’s petition to set aside his investigation into records regarding former UVa. professor Michael Mann, creator of the now-infamous “hockey stick” global warming graph.
In April, Cuccinelli issued civil investigative demands seeking information on five taxpayer-funded research grants, as well as a broad range of documentation related to Mann.
Last month, the university filed a support brief in its petition to set aside Cuccinelli’s investigation, arguing that the attorney general’s authority under Virginia’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act is limited to investigating potential violations of the law, “not probing the merits of scientific theories or furthering some other agenda… Yet that is all these [demands] do. What the [demands] do not do is satisfy the basic statutory requirements for their issuance.”
The brief filed Tuesday countered that “at this stage, the Attorney General is only asking questions and conducting an inquiry that [the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act] empowers him to conduct.”
U.Va. has until July 20 to reply to the brief, and a court hearing is set for Aug. 20 in the Albemarle County Circuit Court.