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Cuccinelli Gets Another Shot At Michael Mann

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.”


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