Court rules against Cuccinelli in fight to get climate researcher’s grant docs

Posted at 3:49 PM, Mar 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-02 15:50:12-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Virginia Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state attorney general has no standing to demand a university hand over research and grant documents.

The case focused on Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s civil investigative demands (CID) that the University of Virginia turn over former scientist and climate researcher Michael Mann’s global warming study-related grant documents.

The suit was filed under the state’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.

However, the high court ruled that the university is not a “person” or “corporation.” In other words, the statute and act do not apply to universities or other state agencies.

Cuccinelli said in a news release that he was trying to review documents, which are state property, to figure out if Mann committed fraud – or manipulated data to get the government grants.

“The court effectively held that state agencies do not have to provide state-owned property to state investigators looking into potential fraud involving government funds,” said Cuccinelli.

Additionally, the attorney general’s office said it will dismiss the CID case still pending in Albemarle County Circuit Court.