DENVER – A University of Colorado professor facing possible dismissal after being accused of plagiarism and lying about his American Indian heritage denied those charges Monday and submitted a lengthy report to a committee investigating his actions.
Ward Churchill (search), who first came under fire for an essay comparing Sept. 11 victims to the Nazi bureaucrat who planned the Holocaust (search), offered a 50-page, single-spaced report to a university committee investigating the allegations.
His lawyer, David Lane, said Churchill also submitted his tribal membership card showing he is an associate member of the Keetoowah Cherokee (search) band. Lane said Churchill's membership was based on an investigation by a tribal genealogist.
"Permeating the entire response is 'Look, this is motivated by my First Amendment rights being trampled on. For me to even have to answer this is a denial of my First Amendment rights, but since you asked, here is my answer,"' Lane quoted Churchill as saying.
Churchill, who Lane said was out of town, did not immediately return phone messages left by The Associated Press.
In his response to the plagiarism allegations, Lane said Churchill in one instance simply took articles written by other people and put them together for a chapter of one book, which Churchill did not take credit for.
"His name does not appear as the author of the piece. He was asked to edit it, and he did. He checked for typos, punctuation, grammar, those type of things. He never claims himself as the author," Lane said. "That is not plagiarism."