Dear News-Gazette/Jim Dey

Mr. Dey:

If you’re concerned about money, why not focus on the $1.3 MILLION the UI paid its OWN lawyers in the Salaita case.  You might think most of this money was spent because of SALAITA, but the truth is that a lot was spent for UIUC’s outside lawyers to 1) conduct an ethics review of Wise’s hiding documents, and 2) to play damage control to the Federal Court in the Salaita case as a DIRECT result of that document-hiding.

Consider the “ethics review” that we know UIUC had conducted about Wise’s using personal emails to avoid FOIAs, and about her statements that she was destroying emails, at least those relating to the FOIAs on the medical center.  Who conducted this ethics review that we’ve never seen?  If it was done internally, it would be a HUGE conflict of interest, since UIUC’s own attorneys (Scott Rice) knew that Wise was using emails.

So let’s assume the review was done by high-costing external counsel.  HOW MUCH MONEY WAS SPENT?  100K?  200K?  More?  Why not use your extensive journalist chops and find out.

To that point, consider the second thing, that outside counsel DEFINATELY had to spend lots of time and $ covering UIUC’s butts and their own about what were distortions to the Federal court about documents.  In litigation both sides have to produce document lists and the documents themselves, at least documents to the court.  UIUC certainly claimed there was no evidence of document destruction, when in fact Wise had written she was absolutely destroying medical-center-related documents.  How much did it cost for those high-priced Chicago lawyers to go back through everything they’d been told by UIUC to figure out what they’d NOT been told, and what they told the court that wasn’t true?

Given that the state’s in a budget crisis and students and taxpayers are being crushed even more to pay for college, don’t you think your wind would be better spent investigating the DIRECT COSTS of Wise and other top adminstrators breaking laws?

(from Salaita Brought a Chasm to Campus)

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