This involves the theft by copyright infringement and plagiarism of my doctoral dissertation by my thesis mentor at a major university in the US. I filed a complaint at the time with the Office of Research Integrity ....a Dept of Oversight for DHHS over universities. ORI is mandated to investigate reports of scientific misconduct when they are reported to them. Universities are expected to set up their own alleged non biased panel for investigation as well. Recently I made a FOIA request for the ORI file in my case. I received a letter from FOIA redacting most of the file by claiming privacy under (b) (6) and also claiming another exemption (b) (7) (C) [withholding of personal information , in records compiled for law enforcement/investigatory purposes, the release of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. ORI is not a law enforcement agency to the best of my knowledge. Under the personal privacy exemption (b) (6) they claim they have the right to withhold respondent and complainant names....but since I was the complainant this makes no sense as I know who each of us are - as I filed the complaint. Furthermore personal privacy is defined under FOIA as personnel and medical files, each of which would not have been relevant to my complaint. Since personnel and medical files should not have been part of or relevant to this investigation I cannot imagine how this exemption would hold and furthermore as per the second exemption claimed....since ORI is not a law enforcement agency it is unclear how FOIA can claim this exemption. How can one appeal to these erroneous exemptions by citing relevant laws that apply? How do I learn how to define what ORI is when in fact it is not a law enforcement agency as a means to counter their exemption?
As per the above....an article appeared in todays NY Times entitled "some faculty at Harvard Oppose Policy on Assaults". The article is stating that the Law School faculty oppose the sexual misconduct policy because it violates the basic principles of fairness and does not allow for due process. They believe the cards are stacked against the accused whereby in my case where the university conducted its own investigation the cards were stacked in favor of the accused. Many investigatory docs were redacted by FOIA and during the investigation I as the complainant was never given the opportunity to respond to the secret deliberations of the university. Basically the university has a conflict of interest in these matters because if they find the accused guilty of scientific misconduct they can be hit with huge fines besides having to refund to the government federal grant monies that the faculty member might have been awarded. So it is not in their interest to find the accused guilty. In any case my question involves the secrecy and lack of due process. If the procedures that are in place by a university are flawed and prevent due process...and if people like myself (the complainant) were prevented from confronting the accused and the defenders of the accused with rebuttal.....what can be done to create fairness? Since the ORI is not a federal law enforcement agency and since the universities are not courts of law....is the only remedy to the secrecy and unfairness of these situations to file a lawsuit? Who do you sue? The university and the government or just one of them? How does one go about claiming justice when a kangaroo court set up by the university at the instruction of the ORI creates an unjust end?
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