Ward ChurchillBOULDER, Colo. (Legal Newsline)-The controversial University of Colorado professor who likened victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to a Nazi leader has been awarded just $1 in damages for wrongful termination.
A jury panel of four women and two men in Denver found Thursday that Ward Churchill was fired as a professor of ethnic studies at the Boulder campus in retaliation for his remarks. The jury deliberated for a day and a half.
For its part, the university's board of regents claimed it fired 61-year-old Churchill for academic misconduct, including plagiarism.
The judge in the case, Chief District Judge Larry Naves, still must decide if the university must give Churchill back his $96,392-per-year tenured professorship, and whether the university must pay his legal fees.
Churchill was fired in 2007 over an essay he penned the day after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The paper, "Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens," said the attacks were the result of U.S. foreign policy. He called victims in the World Trade Center "little Eichmanns," making a reference to Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann.
A University of Colorado official said the regents are considering their next move in the case.
"While I am disappointed by the jury's decision, I am still confident that the process we used to review allegations of research misconduct was appropriately applied in this case," said University of Colorado at Boulder Interim Chancellor Philip DiStefano. "The university attorneys will evaluate the next steps in the legal process."
From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.