student sues 'U'
to regain degree
The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 2, 1983 - Page 5
EPA official on
By CHERYL BAACKE
A suit brought against the University
by a former geology student who had
his degree revoked came to trial this.
week in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
Wilson Crook, who received a
master's degree from the geology
department in 1977, filed suit against
the University in September, 1980 after
a faculty committee began hearings on
charges that Crook allegedly made up
data for his thesis.
THE UNIVERSITY regents voted a
month later to revoke Crook's degree.
Crook is charging that the University
did not have the authority to take away
his degree because he was no longer a
student, according to Roderick Daane,
the University's general counsel. Crook
also charges in the suit that the way in
which the University revoked his
degree was procedurally and substan-
tively defective, Daane said.
"The University asserts it does have
authority to revoke a degree, and that
the manner in which it did so was fair,"
ACCORDING TO Prof. Robert Van
der Voo, chairman of the geology
department, Crook used an instrument
that measures the chemical make-up of
minerals and incorrectly reported the
data in his project.
"Some minerals (Crook) claimed to
have discovered looked surprisingly
like some other minerals," said Van
wider Voo. "He used (the instrument) but
"didn't use the actual measurement, he
;ust fabricated data."
Faculty in the geological sciences
department reported to Rackham
graduate school officials that the
measurements were incorrect. A
special faculty committee then conduc-
ted hearings and came to the same con-
CROOK DOES not address the
allegations that he fabricated the data
in his suit, Daane said.
"By implication he's denying that but
it has not been addressed," he said.
Peter Davis, also a University attor-
ney, described Crook's suit as "a major
case requiring major effort."
Other universities have revoked
students' degrees in the past, Davis
said, but this is the first time a case like
this has gone to court.
Davis said Crook is currently em-
ployed by Denver Oil in Colorado.
Crook's attorney, George Bushnell,
could not be reached for comment.
From AP and UPI
After deliberating for almost seven
hours, a federal court jury found fired
EPA official Rita Lavelle guilty of lying
last February about the date she first
learned her former employer, Aero-Jet
General Corp., was involved in a
California waste dump.
The jury convicted her on two counts
of lying before Senate and House com-
mittees about this fact and on one count
of lying about the date in a sworn
statement submitted to Congress.
Lavelle also was convicted of trying
to obstruct a congressional inquiry by
sending the false statement to
The only count for which the jury did
not return a guilty verdict was a charge
that Lavelle lied last February when
she denied using her post at the En-
vironmental Protection Agency to help
However, on four of the five felony
counts brought against Lavelle by a
grand jury last August, the 10 women
and two men on the jury found her
Fired by President Reagan last Feb.
7, the blond 35-year-old is the only EPA
official indicted as a result of the scan-
dal over mismangement of toxic waste
cleanup that engulfed the EPA this
year, resulting in the firings or
resignations of 21 top officials.
Summer in Colorado
K'weAk~lG SUMWRexperiene in the COLORAlk
ountain; ~for sphmoeand older College.'
',tudentC workini wit hldre~n in a C.an
Defense attorney James Bierbower escorts former Environmental Protection
Agency official Rita Lavelle from federal court in Washington yesterday
after Lavelle was found guilty on charges of perjury and obstructing a
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