moore1For those interested in former professor Bernard Moore, consider this collection, already highlighted by Will, of articles from the Record: College professor pleads guilty to fraud in federal court, College dismisses visiting professor mid-semester, Students reexamine Moore’s term as College professor

Highly recommended! These articles are stunningly good: well-written and thoroughly researched. If there is a national competition for college newspapers, the Record ought to submit these stories.

But you don’t read my EphBlog posts for effusive praise of undergraduate prose. You read me for a) the juiciest highlights and b) wild-eyed rants constructive media criticism on how the Record might do better. There is so much interesting material here that I will need to space these posts out over the next several days. Contain your excitement!

From College dismisses visiting professor mid-semester by Lina Khan:

Bernard Moore, former visiting assistant professor of political science, was dismissed from the College on Monday after pleading guilty in federal court in the District of Columbia early last week to fraud in excess of $820,000.

How does the Khan know that Moore was “dismissed” rather than that he resigned? This is a critical difference and it would be nice to know for sure.

The statement of facts that Moore agreed to as part of his plea offered a detailed account of his extensive history of fraud schemes, which began in 1985 and, according to online court records, included a credit card fraud conviction in 1987, for which he went to prison.

How did the Kahn get these “online court records?” Needless to say, I was hoping that the Record would get them from EphBlog and credit us. But I am certainly ready to believe that they got them from elsewhere. But, where exactly? Does the College provide PACER access?

Also, can we get more details on just when Moore was in prison, where he was incarcerated, and how he escaped?!?

Moore’s departure marks the first time in at least 25 years that a faculty member has been dismissed mid-semester.

Interesting. I assume that this phrasing is because the Record does not know when the last time was? But that’s just the sort of history EphBlog specializes in! When was the last time a faculty member was dismissed mid-semester? Calling Dick Swart, Frank Uible and Henry Bass . . .

After confirming with Moore that he was the same Ernest B. Moore referenced in the article, the College suspended Moore for five days before announcing his dismissal on Monday. Jim Kolesar, director of public affairs, said the College had had no prior knowledge of either the federal investigation or Moore’s past legal troubles.

How I wish that EphBlog had broken this story. Any prosecutors out there investigating Williams employees should be sure to contact us. Does this imply that Kolesar confirmed the dismissal? Kolesar might have emphasized the “five days” part to demonstrate how quickly the College acted.

According to Ira Cohen, Davis’ spokesman, the Congressman and his staff were aware of Moore’s prior conviction as well as of the possibility that he was under investigation, but they did not find out that he had pled guilty until the story appeared in the Post. Moore’s position has since been terminated.

Thanks for the heads up, Congressman Davis! Key question: When did Congressman Davis learn that Moore was under investigation? Recall (page 4 of this pdf) that Moore was informed that he was under investigation in July 2007, more than a year before he started at Williams. What are the odds that Congressman Davis knew about the investigation before November 2008? I would guess that they are fairly good (unless Davis himself was also under investigation). Wouldn’t federal prosecutors normally tell representatives/senators when someone on their staffs was being investigated, at least once that someone was notified? If they didn’t, then there would be some pissed congressmen out there!

Assume that Davis knew before November 2008 that Moore was under investigation. He then comes up to Williams for the big CBC roundtable. Lights, camera, celebration! But then he fails to mention to any of his gracious Eph hosts that Moore is under criminal investigation. Thanks!

Also, the Record should push Ira Cohen a bit. Recall how Politico reported that Davis was, perhaps, guilty of breaking House rules by having an unpaid staffer.

It is unknown when Moore first became aware of the investigation against him, though the plea agreement filed with the U.S. District Court on Nov. 9 shows Moore to have signed the document on Sept. 30. According to Ifiok Inyang ’11, a student in Moore’s “Black Leadership” course this semester, Moore had canceled their Nov. 9 class meeting beforehand and had instructed students instead to meet with a reference librarian regarding their class research projects.

That’s what I call classroom management!

Why don’t Record reporters read EphBlog? We explained last Friday that Moore became aware of the investigation in July 2007.

Elsie Scott, president and CEO of the CBC Foundation, confirmed this account and said she had spoken briefly with the College about the possibility of rescheduling the event. Given the upcoming holiday season and next year’s midterm elections, however, Scott expressed doubt that the panel could be held before November 2010.

If you think that the CBC is going to appear at Williams anytime in the next few years, you are nuts! Any such appearance would inevitably bring up their close (?) relationships with by-then-imprisoned Bernard Moore.

More later. (Thanks to Tammy Daniels at iBerkshires for the Moore photo.)

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