U.Va. fights AG’s demand for researcher records

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RICHMOND, VA. — The University of Virginia is going to court to oppose Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s demands that school officials turn over information related to a former environmental-science researcher known for his study of global warming.

The university said it filed its petition Thursday in Albemarle County Circuit Court to set aside the civil investigative demands, which are considered to have the legal standing of an administrative subpoena. President John Casteen says U.Va.’s legal challenge to Cuccinelli’s investigation is an attempt to defend the university’s academic freedom.

The Republican attorney general, a climate-change skeptic, last month requested documents and other information related to five research grants worth about $466,000 to Michael Mann, who worked at the Charlottesville university from 1999 to 2005.