Judge in Virginia ‘Global Warming’ Investigation Blocks Inquiry Into…His Wife’s Former Employer

Christopher C. Horner

As you can read here, retired Albemarle County (Virginia) Circuit Judge Paul Peatross has ruled that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli may not have access to records under Virginia’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, as he seeks to determine the propriety of Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann’s claims made to obtain research funding. Judge Peatross’s ruling protects Mann, the University, and specifically the Department of Environmental Sciences, at least for now.

Here’s the rub, on which I will have more to say. I attended the hearing a week ago Friday at which the parties argued the University’s motion to dismiss. The Deputy AG Wesley Russell’s arguments dominated, so badly I almost felt sorry for the University. The judge’s queries were puzzling, as he pleaded with the University’s counsel to come up with some argument how he might rule in their favor, as were other comments (continue reading).

Before the hearing commenced Peatross, substituting for the vacationing chief judge, cited his wife’s 1982 degree in environmental science from UVA –  oddly, he then said “but not in global warming” — as part of a rather spare recitation of why he was hearing of this case (which he attested he had never heard about until reading the briefs that morning. A prominent case in the local, state and national news assigned to his old court! This man takes his retirement seriously…), and articulating his history so that counsel might decide whether he carried any conflict such that he should not hear the University’s motion.

That fact of her 1982 degree from Mann’s former Department, apparently, was relevant. Okay. But…

The fact that the judge’s wife had in fact previously worked in that Department of Environmental Sciences — the very Department that stands to suffer should he have ruled in favor of the Attorney General – was somehow not worth disclosing to counsel.

I only learned of this after the hearing by others who had also worked at the same time Ms. Peatross did, in messages expressing astonishment that her husband would decide such a matter given the obvious appearance of an inability to objectively hear it.

Also not worth disclosing was that Ms. Peatross’s relationships go much deeper, being, e.g., lauded for her role in producing a book edited by the Department’s then-chairman during Mann’s alleged hijinks, as well as, it appears, at least two of his papers.

But that she has a degree from the Department in 1982 merited consideration in determining the judge’s suitability to hear the case. And only that.


Read the rest at BigGovernment.com

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