UPDATE: Tip o the ear to Rattus Norvegicus. Now stop nibbling.
Another exciting (if you are a lawyer) development in Cuccinelligata, UVa has filed in Civil Court to set aside the Civil Investigative Demands emanating from Richmond, and the Va Att. Gen. den. Some interesting reading
The Civil Investigative Demands ("CIDs") issued to the University by the office of the Attorney General of Virginia (the "Attorney General" threaten these bedrock principles. The CIDs are deficient under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (Va. Code 8.01-2161 et seq. ("FATA"), and their sweeping scope is certain to send a chill through the Commonwealth's colleges and universities. For these reasons, the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, pursuant to Va. Code 8.01-216.8, respectfulluy petition this Court for an order setting aside the CIDs.Turns out that Cooch did not read the law before he shot into the air
Under FATA, the Attorney General may issue a CID only if (i) the CID states "the nature of the conduct constituting the alleged violation of a false claims law that is under investigation" and (ii) the Attorney General has "reason to believe" that the CID recipient has information about a violation of FATA. The CIDs meet neither requirementAnd yes, UVa thinks the Va AG is playing blogger.
The CIDs do not state the nature of the conduct that could constitute a potential FATA violation., And for good reason. None of the five identified grants appears to implicate FATA. Four of the five grants were awarded by the federal government, not the Commonwealth. FATA extends only to allegations of false claims submitted for Commonwealth funds. The fifth grant was an internal University grant initially awarded in 2001. FATA did not become effective until 2003 and does not apply retroactively. Given these circumstances, there is no objective "reason to believe" that the University has information about a FATA violation.
The AG has authority under FATA to issue CIDs in order to investigate potential violations of that statue - to root out fraud on the taxpayers of the Commonwealth. FATA does not authorize the AG to engage in scientific debate or advance the Commonwealth's positions in unrelated litigation about federal environmental policy and regulation.Giggles