To make matters worse, Curtis has actually admitted to letting the newspaper thieves into the Attorney General?s office. But Curtis denies that he saw the stolen newspapers in their possession. Unfortunately for Curtis, I have seen photographs of the stolen newspapers showing that they were stuffed by the hundreds into giant plastic bags. The words ?Carolina Review? were easily distinguishable on the hundreds of stolen copies because the bags were all transparent.
But Jonathan Curtis says that he didn?t see any of the 1500 stolen newspapers while he was letting the thieves into a locked university office in the middle of the night.
Accusations of a) stealing newspapers to alter the outcome of a student election and, b) manipulating honor court hearings are serious when levied against students. They can result in expulsion or in criminal charges. When levied against university officials who are charged with the responsibility of administering justice, they are even more serious. Clearly, the responsibility of upholding the honor of a great university cannot be entrusted to the dishonorable.
But it may be too late for Chancellor James Moeser (firstname.lastname@example.org) to give weight to these important considerations. Last week he decided to dig in his heels (no pun intended) and stand by his man Jonathan Curtis. His recent memo to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) www.thefire.org indicates that this showdown may soon be headed for federal court.
In the process of standing up for Curtis and against his Christian accusers, Chancellor Moeser will likely compound the embarrassment he brought on the university in 2003. That was when he originally tried to cover up the university?s treatment of religious organizations by making demonstrably false statements to the public. This time things will be even worse when evidence of Curtis? behavior is admitted in a court of law in a suit against the university.
But Moeser?s recent response to the FIRE indicates that he has little understanding of the university?s obligation to remain viewpoint neutral in the administration of student funds and in the recognition of student groups.
One can only hope that Moeser did not know everything that is now surfacing about Jonathan Curtis? complicity in the theft of the Carolina Review. And there may be more bad news on the way.
To be continued?
Author?s Note: The FIRE will respond to James Moeser on August 16th. That response will be posted on www.thefire.org.