Court on climate-research case: UVa. cannot be served with CID
The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled on Friday that the University of Virginia and all other state agencies cannot be served with civil investigative demands which compel agencies to provide information for fraud investigations involving government funds.
Although the court recognized Virginia’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act contains “functional inconsistencies” on the issue, in its ruling, the court said that the university and other state agencies are not considered “persons” under the act. In doing so, the court explicitly recognized that in some instances in the act, the term “person” will “always [be] construed to include Commonwealth agencies” such as the University of Virginia, while in other instances, it will not.
“From the beginning, we have said that we were simply trying to review documents that are unquestionably state property to determine whether or not fraud had been committed. Today, the court effectively held that state agencies do not have to provide state-owned property to state investigators looking into potential fraud involving government funds,” Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement.
Consistent with the court’s opinion, the attorney general’s office will move to dismiss the CID case still pending in Albemarle County Circuit Court.