The ongoing battle between the University of Virginia and its former climate researcher Michael Mann and Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli has come to a close with the Virginia Supreme Court ruling on Friday (March 2) to uphold a lower court decision to throw out Cuccinelli’s request for documentation that he claims would reveal evidence of research fraud, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
"From the beginning, we have said that we were simply trying to review documents that are unquestionably state property to determine whether or not fraud had been committed," Cuccinelli said in a statement.
The recent ruling actually pertains to only a single grant application. Cuccinelli amended his request to the lower courts for the release of five grant applications and thousands of pages of emails and other documentation from Mann, now at Pennsylvania State University, ScienceInsider reported.
"I'm pleased that this particular episode is over," Mann said in a written statement. "It's sad, though, that so much money and resources had to be wasted on Cuccinelli's witch hunt against me and the University of Virginia when it could have been invested, for example, in measures to protect Virginia's coastline from the damaging effects of sea-level rise it is already seeing." In the last 2 years, the university spent more than $570,000 on the case, The Chronicle reported.