Saturday, December 10, 2005

Mirecki considering suing university

Photo by LJWorld staff
Professor blasts KU, sheriff’s investigation:
Kansas University professor Paul Mirecki said he’s hired an attorney and is ready to go to the mat with KU and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

“If I have to sue, I will,” he said.

Mirecki said he’s angry because KU didn’t back him after religious conservatives attacked him for his plan to teach a course dealing with intelligent design.

He says the university has not been supportive of him through his ordeal.

“The University penalized me and denied me my Constitutionally protected right to speak and express my mind,” he wrote in a statement prepared for the newspaper. “I’ve become radioactive and the University’s administrators won’t support me.”

Mirecki said his career was ruined and that “speaking engagements that I had lined up now have been canceled.”

He said he was not pleased with the sheriff’s investigation because he had been “treated more like a criminal than a victim.”

He said he was interviewed by officers several times, “once for five hours straight. They keep asking me the same things over and over. They seized my car; they entered my office and seized my computer. They said they need them for their investigation but it didn’t make any sense to me.”
My guess is that the cops think his attackers either touched his car (leaving physical evidence) or marked the car somehow so they could track it. And seizing the computer lets them see if he got any emails from the attackers, or if there's spyware or other software that they might have used to get information about him. I imagine those are pretty typical responses to an attack like this.

And yes, he was forced out, but the evidence does not indicate that the administration forced him out. His letter of resignation cites his departmental colleagues, and the statement I got from the administration suggests that there may have been a faculty meeting at which he was asked to step down.

The anger he's showing seems like a psychological response to the attack, but I'm not a shrink, so what do I know.

I do doubt that he has grounds for a suit, though only time will tell.