From Fox News
A legal battle is heating up faster than the planet for embattled climatologist Michael Mann.
First word emerged that the inspector general for the National Science Foundation would look into the Penn State panel reviewing the climate scientist, who is currently director of the school’s Earth System Science Center. Now the attorney general for his old employer the University of Virginia is planning an investigation, too.
According to a report in Charlottesville weekly The Hook, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has asked the University of Virginia to produce “a sweeping swath of documents relating to Mannâ€™s receipt of nearly half a million dollars in state grant-funded climate research” conducted while Mann was at UVA between 1999 and 2005.
Should the AG uncover evidence of impropriety, the school could be commanded to return the funds, and pick up the cost of the AG’s investigation.
The paper, tipped off by anonymous sources, has posted a PDF of Cuccinelli’s formal request, a legal document called a civil investigative demand. In that letter, he demands production of information and documentary material relating to three papers Mann authored while at UVA, using a total of $484,875 of state grant money.
â€œSince itâ€™s public money, thereâ€™s enough controversy to look in to the possible manipulation of data,â€ Dr. Charles Battig, president of the nonprofit Piedmont Chapter Virginia Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment, told the Hook.
A spokesman for the attorney general told FoxNews that he was unable to comment on the case, explaining that “we can’t comment on whether there exists an ongoing investigation or anything like that.”
But the University confirmed that it had received the letter. According to spokeswoman Carol Wood, “the University has received the CID from the state’s attorney general regarding Michael Mann’s work. Because of the scope of the request for information it will take some time for us to review it and decide how best to proceed with gathering information.”