Case dismissed: Roth v. Board of Regents

UW Oshkosh English professor Christine Roth filed a restraining order against the UW System Board of Regents to block the release of documents requested by a reporter on Nov. 26, 2018.

On Wednesday morning at 11 a.m., during an oral hearing before Judge Barbara Key, several of Roth’s motions were denied: that the University did not provide notice to other individuals, the motion to exempt records and the court also found that the public interest in releasing records outweighs public interest in non-disclosure claim to be dismissed.

An order to seal records will remain in effect until the appeal period passes.

According to court documents filed in the Winnebago County Clerk of Court’s office on Nov. 26, a Wisconsin State Journal reporter submitted a request to the Board of Regents on Oct. 9 for public records pertaining to UWO’s investigation into allegations of plagiarism done by Christine Roth.

During an interview on Dec. 5, Roth told the Advance-Titan that the court action is an attempt to prevent further harassment from a disgruntled colleague.

“The court action is an attempt to prevent further harassment from a disgruntled colleague who continually refuses to accept decisions that have already been made and accepted by all,” Roth said.

The request asked for the following documents to be handed over: a University complaint, an agreement between the University and Roth’s attorney, an investigator’s report filed by faculty members, a committee report of pre-tenure review, at least one email from Roth to the English department sent after the investigation’s findings and “any and all records from Roth’s personnel file that indicate salary changes, promotions, and/or demotions.”

Prior to the oral hearing, Roth’s attorney, Peter Culp, argued 10 specific policy interests that he said override the public’s interest in disclosure, including that the records may contain information about the employment, performance evaluation and or potential discipline of one or more public employees.

At that time, Culp also argued if the documents were disclosed to the public, it would likely have a substantial adverse effect upon Roth’s reputation.

A tickler review date is scheduled for May 1, 2019 at 8 a.m.