Conservative Colorado University Regent Tom Lucero is sure to mention on the stump in the Fourth District where he’s campaigning for Congress that he was the guy who got lefty CU Professor Ward Churchill fired. A recap of the “Ward Churchill mess” takes up the first third of the TV campaign ad Lucero ran last month, one of the first ads aired in the race to replace Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey.
“I cleaned up that mess in Colorado,” Lucero says over the words Churchill Fired! “and now I want to lead the fight to clean up Washington D.C.” But uh-oh for Tom Lucero because the Ward Churchill “mess” isn’t really all cleaned up yet.
A Denver jury found in April that Churchill had been railroaded. They said he was fired for speaking his mind not for any alleged academic transgressions. But no one in the courtroom seemed to much like Churchill, so they gave him $1 in damages and Judge Larry Naves refused to order CU to give Churchill back his job. As Westword’s Michael Roberts put it Monday, that’s the kind of ruling begs for an appeal!
High-powered attorney David Lane has taken the case.
“We won the jury trial but then the judge tossed it and gave it to CU — and he gave the university’s regents immunity,” Lane told Westword. “We’re arguing that the judge shouldn’t have done that. It’s very important that the regents be held accountable when they violated an amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
By “regents,” Lane means Lucero!
So Churchill may be reinstated and self-proclaimed defender of Constitutional liberties Lucero may be held in violation of the right to free speech. That sounds like a continuing mess in Colorado, one that wasn’t cleaned up very well, one that smacks of politics as usual and one that may work to keep Lucero far away from Washington D.C.