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Court Orders University of Virginia to Produce Documents of Dr. Michael Man
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American Tradition Institute

If you cannot read this press release, please click HERE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Contacts:
Christopher Horner, chris.horner@atinstitute.org
Paul Chesser, paul.chesser@atinstitute.org

EXCERPT:

MANASSAS, Va.—On Tuesday, more than four months after the American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center requested emails and other files from a specifically identified University of Virginia back-up computer, the University was hauled into court and made to stand and agree to comply with the Commonwealth’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Under Virginia’s FOIA, ATI and co-petitioner Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) asked UVA to disgorge the emails and files that Virginia’s Attorney General also sought under other authority. The emails are specific communications sent and received by Dr, Michael Mann during his tenure at UVA in which he corresponded with, or discussed other, leading voices that represent the climate alarmist perspective. Seminal among them include discussions about his now infamous and discredited 1,000-year temperature reconstruction known as the “hockey stick.” There also already appears — from records ATI has received – to be additional information of the kind released in the “Climategate” emails that originated at the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University.

Under FOIA the University was required to produce the documents within five days of its receipt of payment for “accessing, duplicating, supplying or searching” for the documents. Alternatively they could have entered into an agreement with ATI on when they would supply the documents, or they could have gone to court to ask for more time. They did none of the above. Instead they promised to provide some of the documents “shortly” on April 6; then specifically on May 6, 2011; and always stated they would get to the others later on. They did none of this either, so ATI went to court to compel production and compliance with the law.

ATI finally received the first approximately 20 percent of the 9,000 pages of documents that UVA says are responsive to ATI’s request and that it possesses, only after ATI filed itspetition <http://tinyurl.com/3blfohb> , and two working days before the judicial hearing. Most of what ATI received in this seemingly hurried production, which was more focused on showing volume than content, were ads for Halloween costumes, public news releases from lay and scientific journals, and a few emails that were printed in computer code so as to be unintelligible in that form. Despite this product of (according to the University) 75 hours of review and more than four months, the University stopped work on producing anything further. Nevertheless some substance made it through UVA’s filter, which ATI will discuss after we review the withheld records.

The failure of UVA to honor its own commitments or to follow the law forced ATI to petition the court ( http://tinyurl.com/3blfohb ) for relief. ATI filed its petition on May 16th, and the Court heard the matter Tuesday.

It took a petition to force UVA to agree to produce the documents that by statute they should already have produced. The day before the court hearing, UVA finally agreed to a date when they must produce all the documents they believe are not protected from disclosure. The court entered an order ( http://www.atinstitute.org/wp-content/up...-Order.pdf ) that forces UVA to honor that agreement and to produce the documents in easy-to-read electronic form so that ATI can make them available to all who wish to review the work of this highly controversial former Virginia employee. They must produce those documents by August 22nd.

LINK






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“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”.J Robert Oppenheimer.


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