[Ppnews] Churchill Trial Blog Day 2 & 3: Gov. Owens Questioned

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 12 13:37:36 EDT 2009



Churchill Trial Blog Day 2: Gov. Owens Questioned




Former Governor Says He Though Churchill Should Be Fired

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/18915673/detail.html#-

<mailto:steve_saunders at kmgh.com>Steve Saunders, 7NEWS Reporter

POSTED: 9:49 am MDT March 11, 2009
UPDATED: 5:07 pm MDT March 11, 2009

DENVER -- Former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill is 
suing to get his job back, saying he was fired over an essay he wrote 
about the Sept. 11 attacks. The school argues that he was fired 
because of plagiarism, fabrication and other research misconduct. 
7NEWS Reporter Steve Saunders is blogging live from the trial.

9:10 a.m.

Former Acting Chancellor for the University of Colorado, Phil 
DiStefano, takes the stand to continue his cross examination.

9:15 a.m.

DiStefano says he had no role in picking the faculty staff that 
evaluated Ward Churchill's conduct.

9:20 a.m.

DiStefano is explaining how he came to the University of Colorado and 
became Dean of the Education Department.

9:34 a.m.

DiStefano testifies that he was getting enormous pressure from 
parents of CU students to dismiss Churchill. Some parents said they 
would take their children out of the school if Churchill stayed. At 
same time, he said he was trying to balance the respect for academic 
freedom. He called it a balancing act. He was very aware of Ward 
Churchill's first amendment rights.

9:40 a.m.

DiStefano is reading from book that Churchill published that included 
his controversial 9-11 essay. He testified that Churchill made no 
effort to make it clear that he was not speaking for the university. 
He said that the university began hearing reports that Churchill had 
advocated violence and "hate speech." DiStefano said it would have 
been irresponsible for him not to further investigate the allegations.

10:00 a.m.

DiStefano said he did not "throw Churchill to the mob" as Churchill 
attorney David Lane contended in his opening statements. He said it 
was quite the opposite.

10:33 a.m.

Trial takes its first recess. Former Gov. Bill Owens is expected to 
testify in the early afternoon.

11:15 a.m.

After morning recess, DiStefano continues to be cross examined by 
Churchill's attorney, David Lane. DiStefano admits that he violated 
some of the rules of confidentiality as the investigation continued. 
He said it was not intentional.

12:00 p.m.

Robert Perkinson, a former student of Ward Churchill is now on the 
witness stand. He is defending Churchill's research practices.

12:30 p.m.

Lunch recess has begun. Former Gov. Bill Owens is expected to testify 
at 1:30 p.m.

1:38 p.m.

Former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens takes the witness stand. He says he 
had never heard of Ward Churchill's name until the controversy began 
in early 2005.

1:41 p.m.

Jury hears a deposition tape in which former C.U. President Elizabeth 
Hoffman says Owens told her in an angry tone to "fire Ward Churchill 
tomorrow." Owens says he doesn't recall the exact conversation.

1:58 p.m.

Owens admits he went on television several times saying he thought 
that Churchill should be fired. Jury hears transcript of Owens on 
Bill O'Reilly show where Owens said he cannot fire Churchill on his 
own, but believes that a process is under way that will ultimately 
lead to Churchill's firing.

2:05 p.m.

Owens told O'Reilly he did have some budget authority over the 
university. David Lane says that was a veiled threat to fire 
Churchill or face the consequences.

2:13 p.m.

Owens says some universities have fired employees for their comments.

2:15 p.m.

David Lane finishes his direct examination of Owens.

2:18 p.m.

Owens says the Board of Regents' process for firing Churchill was 
"superior" to his initial call to fire Churchill. He said regents 
never told him in private that they would find a way to fire him.

2:25 p.m.

Owens denies there was a strategy to get Churchill fired after it 
became clear that Churchill could not be fired for his 9-11 comments.

2:32 p.m.

Owens is finished with his testimony. A brief recess has begun.


Churchill Blog Day 3: Hank Brown Testifies

<mailto:steve_saunders at kmgh.com>Steve Saunders, 7NEWS Reporter

POSTED: 10:04 am MDT March 12, 2009
UPDATED: 11:31 am MDT March 12, 2009

DENVER -- Former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill is 
suing to get his job back, saying he was fired over an essay he wrote 
about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The school argues that he was fired 
because of plagiarism, fabrication and other research misconduct. 
7NEWS Reporter Steve Saunders is blogging live from the trial.

9:45 a.m.

Day 3 of Ward Churchill's trial is now underway. The first witness on 
the stand is Deward Walker. He is a professor of anthropology in 
Oregon, but has known Ward Churchill since the 1970s.

He says Churchill is a well respected researcher who is willing to 
ask the tough and dramatic questions about the federal government's 
treatment of ethnic minorities.

Former C.U. president Hank Brown is outside the courtroom and waiting 
to testify.

10:00 a.m.

Professor Walker has finished with his testimony. The trial is now in recess.

10:22 a.m.

The trial has now resumed with another character witness for Ward 
Churchill. Former student Hillary Old told jurors that Churchill was 
her most significant mentor. She said Churchill provided her with a 
healthy discomfort and challenged her to dig deep in the way she 
looked at the world.

10:26 a.m.

Old now works in public relations in New York City. She was in New 
York City on the day of Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

10:37 a.m.

Former C.U. President Hank Brown is now testifying. Brown recommended 
to the Board of Regents that they fire Churchill.

11:15 a.m.

Brown says he never read Ward Churchill's controversial essay.

11:23 a.m. David Lane has finished his examination of Brown. The two 
battled at length over Brown's role in recommending that Churchill be 
fired. Brown said he listened closely to the imput that was provided 
by the review and tenure committee before making his recommendation 
to the Board of Regents.

Brown says there was no grand scheme to fire Churchill. Says it would 
be absurd to think that,






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