Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Paul M. Peatross, Jr., ruled Monday that academic researchers at the University of Virginia are not immune from investigations into the use of state funds under Virginia’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.
That’s doesn’t quite match the spin put forth by Talking Points Memo (“Judge Rejects Cuccinelli’s Subpoena Of UVA ‘Climate-Gate’ Docs’), nor that advanced by the target of the proble, Penn State climatologist Michael Mann.
The ruling was a setback for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, but neither was it a clear-cut victory for the global warming crowd.
The judge threw out Cuccinelli’s civil investigative demand (similar to a subpoena) because he said it did not include an “objective basis” or “reason to believe” fraud had been committed. “It is not clear what [former UVA climatologist Michael Mann] did was misleading, false or fraudulent in obtaining funds from the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he ruled.
But by setting the CID aside “without prejudice,” Judge Peatross also gave Cuccinelli the green light to file a more specific false claim CID against Mann, but on only one of five grants that involved state funds.
“While this was not an outright ruling in our favor, I am pleased that the judge has agreed with my office on several key legal points and has given us a framework for issuing a new civil investigative demand to get the information necessary to continue our investigation into whether or not fraud has been committed against the commonwealth,” Cuccinelli said in a statement.
“We are going to issue a new CID that conforms to the judge’s ruling. We will also take time to fully examine the decision and all of the available options before deciding whether or not to also appeal aspects of the ruling.”
Meanwhile, the InterAcademy Council, chaired by Princeton’s Harold Shapiro, slammed the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (for which Mann provided his now discredited hockey stick graph) for a host of bad practices that have discredited the international panel.
To remedy the problems, the IAC report recommends:
- Every seven years, replacing the top eight officials who are responsible for producing the IPCC reports;
- Establishing an executive committee “with at least three members “outside of the climate community;”
- Encouraging Review Editors to “fully exercise their authority to ensure that reviewers’ comments are adequately considered by the authors and that genuine controversies are adequately reflected in the report…”
- Describing the probability of “well-defined outcomes only when there is sufficient evidence;”
- “Explicitly document[ing] that a range of scientific viewpoints has been considered, and… that due consideration was given to properly documented alternative views.”
- Enforcing “a rigorous conflict of interest policy that applies to all individuals directly involved in the preparation of IPCC reports.”
It’s important to note that none of these recommendations would be necessary if the IPCC had been doing the right thing all along.