CU Billing Churchill For Attorney Fees

University Says It Wants To Reimburse Taxpayers

The University of Colorado plans to bill Ward Churchill for out-of-pocket costs the university incurred fighting the lawsuit Churchill brought against it.

CU attorney Patrick O'Rourke told 7NEWS the exact amount will be determined in the next 15 days. It is at least $10,000 but could go up to $50,000. The final figure would have to be approved by Chief Denver District Judge Larry Naves.

O'Rourke said the costs include flying witnesses in and out of Colorado and creating deposition transcripts.

The bill would go directly to Churchill.

CU is the prevailing party and is entitled to have Churchill cover its costs but not attorney's fees, O'Rourke said.

Churchill wrote an essay after the 2001 terrorist attacks calling the World Trade Center victims "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi who helped orchestrate the Holocaust. University officials were pressured to fire Churchill after that essay gained wide attention in 2005, but they concluded they couldn't because of First Amendment protections.

However, they launched an investigation into the research behind his other writings, and in 2007 he was fired on the plagiarism charges and other research misconduct allegations.

Churchill sued, alleging his firing was improper and seeking his job back. A jury ruled Churchill shouldn't have been fired, but under Colorado law, the decision on whether to reinstate him was left up to Naves.

On Tuesday Naves refused to reinstate Churchill saying that the decision by the university's governing Board of Regents "occurred with sufficient procedural protections." He also noted that jurors awarded Churchill only $1 in damages.

Churchill's attorney, David Lane, said he will appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Lane said the judge's ruling means the regents could fire Churchill if they don't like what he says, or even because of his race or religion.

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