Northwestern University Wednesday afternoon accused Medill professor David Protess of “knowingly making false and misleading statements to the dean, to University attorneys, and to others.”
The statement issued by vice president for university relations Alan Cubbage continued, “Such actions undermine the integrity of Medill, the University, the Innocence Project, students, alumni, faculty, the press, the public, the State and the Court.”
Protess’s alleged misdeeds turn on the university’s response to a subpoena issued by State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez two years ago. Alvarez wanted a variety of documents that supposedly would help her evaluate a dossier submitted by Protess and students of his Medill Innocence Project concerning a 1978 murder in Harvey. After a three-year investigation, the Innocence Project concluded that Anthony McKinney, convicted of that murder, was innocent. Protess resisted the subpoena, and Medill and the university at first took his side; but they would come to the conclusion that Protess had been hiding the fact that the Innocence Project had improperly turned over far more information to McKinney’s lawyers than it did to Alvarez’s office.
For much more on the court fight, and on the breach that’s opened between Protess and McKinney’s lawyers and between Protess and the Northwestern and Medill administrations, see my column this week.