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Monday, October 31, 2011

John Mashey: Curious Coincidences at George Mason University: Ed Wegman, Milton Johns and Ken Cuccinelli

Curious Coincidences at George Mason University: Ed Wegman, Milton Johns and Ken Cuccinelli

Nearly two years ago, Canadian blogger Deep Climate found the first few pages of plagiarism in the Wegman Report.  Since then, he and others have found many more, whose chronology is graphed in Plagiarism chains involving Edward Wegman and/or students, 10/07/11, going back to 1996.

After 17+ months beyond the first of many formal complaints, and despite exhortation from a Nature editorial in May 2011 to move faster, George Mason University (GMU) is still reviewing the situation.

Dan Vergano of USA Today reported on 05/16/11 that:
"Neither Dr. Wegman nor Dr. Said has ever engaged in plagiarism," says their attorney, Milton Johns, by e-mail. In a March 16 e-mail to the journal, Wegman blamed a student who "had basically copied and pasted" from others' work into the 2006 congressional report, and said the text was lifted without acknowledgment and used in the journal study. "We would never knowingly publish plagiarized material," wrote Wegman, a former CSDA journal editor.
But who is Milton Johns, to be so confident of his firm statement?

A quick search finds Milton C. Johns, Attorney at Law, whose motto seems to be:
When Experience, Integrity and Understanding matter most…
His About Me notes he has published both fiction and nonfiction, and shows:
GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Arlington, VA, Juris Doctor with High Honors, December 1997
GMU J.D. Wesley Russell is the actual filer of Civil Investigative Demands against the University of Virginia. His boss, GMU J.D. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli  has been well-funded by coal and utilities.  He has also received funding from the Koch brothers,  long-time givers to GMU and its various institutes.

Their latest CID relies heavily on the Wegman Report, and like it, is filled with errors. As the CID's detailed climate material seems unlikely to be covered in law school, it remains to be seen if unacknowledged help was provided by others, perhaps VA residents well-connected with GMU, like Fred Singer or Pat Michaels.

Milt Johns has a page at the Red Dog Express, RPV Network, where Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony, p.115 had  found Jerry Coffey, who in 2005 contacted Wegman, starting the work that led to the Wegman Report.  One of John's "friends" there is Cuccinelli, unsurprising as they were contemporaneous at GMU.

Actually, the relationship was much closer, as in  ~2008, Milt Johns was a partner in a 4-person law firm, Cuccinelli & Day, LLC, so  Johns was Cuccinelli's law partner.

Coincidences happen.

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