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February 06, 1995 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-06

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February 6, 1995

Today: Mostly sunny,
high 15°.
Tomorrow: Partly sunny,
high around 20'.

One hundred four years of editorial freedom

-Former comm. lecturer to repay 'U' for missing funds

By Lisa Dines
Daily News Editor
Former communication lecturer Nancy
Thornhill pleaded no contest Wednesday in
Washtenaw County Circuit Court to a charge of
combining University money with personal
Thornhill, who taught Communication
12: "Communication and Contemporary So-
ciety" last term, was suspended in December
with only three weeks of class left. At the
time, the University refused to discuss the

circumstances surrounding her suspension.
Thornhill was charged under a Michigan
statute that declares it unlawful to comingle
public funds with personal money.
Neither the Department of Public Safety
nor the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Of-
fice would comment Friday on the amount of
money involved, but a source within the Uni-
versity placed the figure at more than $35,000.
Thornhill, a faculty member since 1992,
voluntarily resigned from her position
Wednesday. Her salary was $31,350 for an

eight-month appointment.
Thomas O'Brien, Thornhill's attorney, said
Thornhill will repay the missing funds in full.
"She neither admits nor denies it, but for
personal reasons she has chosen not to defend
against it," O'Brien said.
The money disappeared while Thornhill
was planning a conference on human behav-
ior and evolution last summer. The prosecu-
tor and O'Brien are working to compile an
exact record of the accounts.
"They're working with her to determine

the amount that is missing," said assistant pros-
ecuting attorney Jack Simms. He said Thornhill
faces a penalty up to a $1,000 fine or a two-year
prison term. Thornhill will be sentenced March
16 by Circuit Court Judge Patrick Conlin.
O'Brien said he could not disclose a final
sum because "that's the part that is still under
analysis." He said the University advanced
Thornhill travel funds that were allegedly
"commingled" with her personal money.
L. Rowell Huesman, acting chair of the
department during the summer, said he was not

involved in the planning of the conference.
"It was all handled directly by her through
the University," he said. it was not a depart-
mental function. She just happened to be in
our department."
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson
said she could not discuss personnel matters.
but confirmed the University will receive full
restitution of the missing funds.
Thornhill has left Michigan and now re-
sides in California. She could not be reached
for comment.

Student suspended
for e-mail fantasy

By Ronnie Glassberg
Daily Staff Reporter
The University has suspended an LSA student
for posting a "slasher" story on the Internet that
included the name of another student.
Sophomore Jake Baker, an RC linguistics-
math major from Boardman, Ohio, was told of his
suspension on Thursday.
A University alum in Moscow saw the story
and complained to University officials, said David
Cahill, Baker's attorney.
"I had posted some fantasy-type stories to the
Internet," Baker said. "They would make a great
slasher story. In one of those stories I had used the
actual name of a student at the University."
Baker said the University revoked his unigname
before suspending him.
Cahill, an Ann Arbor attorney, said Baker
never intended to threaten the woman mentioned
in the story.
"He writes a lot and has a lot of trouble with
names of characters. He remembered her name
from the large lecture in Japanese 101 they had
shared last term, but he never talked to her," Cahill
In one of Baker's stories posted on the Internet,
he describes torturing the woman with a hot curl-
ing iron, and mutilating and sodomizing her while
she is gagged and tied to a chair, according to
published reports. The story ends with Baker light-
ing a match, as if to torch the woman's apartment,
and telling her goodbye.
Th University received word of-Baker's story
about three weeks ago, Cahill said.
On Jan. 23, Baker was interviewed at Univer-

sity Hospitals by Jerome Dowis, associate di-
rector of counseling services.
Following the interview, aletter was drafted
to Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen
A. Hartford, which said Baker's status should
be restricted. "They didn't ask that he be sus-
pended," Cahill said.
But after Baker left his 9 a.m. class on
Thursday, three officers from the Department
of Public Safety were waiting for him, and
handed him a letter of suspension from Univer-
sity President James J. Duderstadt.
"I was taken down to DPS, given notice that
I was not to be on campus property," Bakersaid.
Duderstadt's authority comes fromRegents'
Bylaw 2.01,which gives the president the power
to maintain the "health, diligence, and order
among the students."
Most cases of suspension are handled by the
Statement of Student Rights and Responsibili-
ties, the University's code of non-academic
conduct. "They can't winacase underthe code.
There's no threat here," Cahill asserted.
Vince Keenan, chair of the Michigan Stu-
dent Assembly Student Rights Commission,
criticized the University's action.
"We want to know why it was presidential
action and not the code," Keenan said. "This
student had rights under the Statement of Stu-
dent Rights and Responsibilities that were not
observed and we want to know why."
On Friday at 10 a.m., Associate Director for
Housing Education John Heidke presided
See STUDENT, Page 7

Escapade of Arts
SNRE doctoral student Natasha Raymond (right) discusses one of her five works with LSA sophomore Lauranna Houston at Trotter
House's "Escapade of Arts" last Friday.


'Abraha I a hires 'U'
junior as press aide

GOP state convention,
Engler look to '96

* Poll sci, comm.
student turns
campaign job into
legislative post
By Zachary M. Raimi
Daily Staff Reporter
What began as an interesting way
to pass the summer for Steve Hessler
has blossomed into a high-profile job.
The LSA junior recently began
working for Michigan's junior U.S.
senator, Republican Spence Abraham,
as an assistant press secretary for
Abraham's soon-to-be-opened Oak-
land County office.
"I think it is a tremendous oppor-
tunity," said Hessler, who is studying
political science and communication at
the University. "I think it'll be exciting
to be a part of that."
Hessler joined Abraham's Senate
,campaign last May. He said he sent
"letters to other campaigns, but "the
Abraham campaign was the most re-
ceptive to me."
Also, Hessler said he wanted to
work for a conservative candidate.
In addition to taking classes,
Hessler will work about 20 to 25
hours per week, commuting from Ann

Arbor to the office. He said he will act
as a liaison between the Michigan
media and the senator's Washington
office, and accompany Abraham to
public appearances in Michigan.
His salary has not yet been decided,
Hessler said.
Joe McMonigle, Abraham's press
secretary, said hiring someone at
Hessler's age is uncommon. "It's very
unusual for someone in college to be
able to hit the ground running. He's
very bright and he has the ability to be
a press secretary on the Hill right now,"
McMonigle said.
During the primary, in which
Abraham narrowly beat Ronna Rom-
ney for the Republican nomination,
Hessler volunteered up to 80 hours per
week, mostly doing voter contact activi-
ties in 22 western Michigan counties.
Once Abraham entered the general
election, Hessler took the fall term off
from the University to serve as an assis-
tant to McMonigle.
Hessler said he had enough cred-
its to skip a term of classes and still
graduate by May 1996. "It was a ter-
rific opportunity and I really thought
we had a legitimate shot at winning,"
he said,

During the campaign, Hessler
worked closely with Abraham. "He is a
tremendous individual," Hessler said of
Abraham. "He's extremely personable."
"One, he's hilarious," Hessler
added. "Two, he's brilliant."
McMonigle said that Abraham
gained confidence in Hessler. "Sen.
Abraham feels very comfortable and
confident in his ability and so much so
we tried to hire him before he gradu-
ated," he said.
Hessler said he. is unsure of his
long-term career goals, but said he
might "like to work in politics for a
year at least" and then attend graduate
school, perhaps law school.

By Vahe Tazian
Daily Staff Reporter
DETROIT - Family values,
lower taxes and cuts in spending were
some of the themes being echoed this
weekend, as Republicans held their
annual state convention at Cobo Hall.
Fresh from a landslide victory to
his second term, Gov. John Engler re-
ceived a heroic welcome from the
crowd. As he stood at the podium,
about 100 Upper Peninsula delegates
waved placards that read, "EnglerPresi-
dent '96."
Engler began his speech by say-
ing, "Ladies and gentleman, I'm here
today to announce ..." He then laugh-
ingly told the well-wishers, "Get out
of here."
Engler did speak on a number of
issues on which the state's Republi-
cans have introduced and passed legis-
"Everyoneknowsthat winning elec-
tions is just not a game. It's about
fighting on the side of hard-working
taxpayers," Engler said.
"It's about standing up and open-
ing the doors to growth, opportunity
and prosperity. Elections are about
standing up for the values that made
our nation great," he added.

In their most important piece of
business, roughly 2,000 delegates ap-
proved the governor's choice of Susy
Heintz of Novi for the state GOP chair.
"This is not the time to rest," Heintz
said in her acceptance speech. "The
Republican party must maintain its
competitive edge, and we have an
obligation to expand."
LSA sophomore Brian Gitlin, a
Washtenaw County precinct delegate
at the convention, said there was wide
support for Heintz. "With the election
of the new state chair, (Republicans)
were looking toward the future."
Heintz replaces former state chair-
man David Doyle, who will manage
Quayle's presidential campaign.
Engler has not officially made a
commitment to any GOP presidential
candidate for the '96 election, but said
it's a four-way race between Senate
Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas,
former Tennessee Gov. Lamar
Alexander, Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas
and former vice president Dan Quayle.
However, in an unofficial poll of
176 of the delegates at the conven-
tion, Gramm was a huge favorite to
capture the GOP nomination.
Michigan National GOP Commit-
See GOP, Page 7

The Space Shuttle Discovery may
be unable to make a rendezvous
with the Russian Mir docking as
depicted in this 1993 drawing.

Fuel leak
- The message from the Russian
Space Agency to NASA was clear
yesterday: No way can your leaking
shuttle come near Mir.
With time running out, NASA or-
dered Discovery's astronauts to tem-
porarily shut down and repressurize a
leaking jet in a long-shot effort to stop
the drainage and permit a close en-
counter tomorrow with Russia's or-
biting Mir station.
Russian officials insist that, un-
less the steering jet stops spewing
fuel Discoverv must stay at least 400

'Judge rules 'U' must allow NORML to host Hash Bash

By Michelle Lee Thompson
Daily Staff Reporter
Washtenaw County Circuit Cout Judge

Shelton wrote.
Hash Bash is a 24-year-old annual event spon-
sored by the National Organization for the Re-

nizer Adam Brook said the University demanded
$850 in pre-paid clean-up and security fees, and
an additional $150for an hour of electricity use.

siderations for weekend events.
NORML filed for a temporary injunction in
March 1992 demanding the University grant a




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