To say there’s no love lost between the University of Virginia and Ken Cuccinelli would be an understatement.
Lawyers for the university filed a reply brief in support of its petition to set aside the Virginia attorney general’s investigation into the records of climatologist Michael Mann, who was behind the now-infamous “hockey stick” global warming graph.
The reply characterizes Cuccinelli’s brief filed July 13 as an “editorial screed” that does not describe alleged conduct that would be in violation of Virginia’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.
Cuccinelli in April issued civil investigative demands, akin to a subpoena, seeking information on five research grants, as well as documents related to Mann, a former U.Va. professor.
The brief argues that Cuccinelli issued the demands not to investigate fraud against taxpayers, but “to challenge a university professor’s peer-reviewed data, methodologies, and conclusions.”
“The Opposition leaves no doubt that the Attorney General’s real complaint is with the public policy implications of Dr. Mann’s scientific conclusions and his presentation of those conclusions in a particular graphical depiction,” it continues. “The implications of this position are staggering in their breadth; according to the Attorney General, whenever an academic offers a disagreement with another academic’s scientific conclusions, that disagreement opens the debate up to participation from the Attorney General’s office in the form of a civil investigative demand.”