National News: Ohio Man Is Charged With A Hate Crime; Columbia Professor Who Got A Noose Has Been FiredJune 24th, 2008
Ohio man is charged with a hate crime
An Ohio man has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly sending threatening letters to a respected Muslim man who was brutally beaten in his home a month earlier. Michael Coon is accused of sending 10 threatening emails to Dr. Amjad Hussain, a retired heart surgeon, trustee of the University of Toledo and the writer of a guest column for the Toledo Blade. Last month, according to sheriff’s deputies, someone pistol-whipped Hussain and sprayed him with mace. Police say the hate mail is nothing new. “This guy has just been the victim of a violent crime and now he receives another crazy email from this guy,” Det. Mark Woodruff. Deputies say they don’t think Coon is connected to the beating.
Columbia professor who got a noose has been fired
The Columbia University professor who drew national attention after being targeted with a noose on her door has been fired amid plagiarism charges. Madonna G. Constantine, who taught psychology and education with an emphasis on ethnic issues at Columbia’s Teacher’s College, received a reprimand four months ago following a year and a half investigation into whether she stole the writings of two former students and a former colleague. Although she had been censured, she was allowed to keep her job. But acrimony grew as Constantine defended herself and filed a grievance against the university president, Susan Fuhrman. Constantine’s firing, announced in a letter to faculty Monday, was “purely retaliatory,” her attorney, Paul Giacomo, said. “During the months since the college levied sanctions against her, Professor Constantine continued to make accusations of plagiarism, including in at least one instance to the press, against those whose works she had plagiarized,” the letter stated. “We are terminating Madonna Constantine’s employment with Teachers College for cause, subject to a hearing before a faculty committee,” it said. “In the interim Professor Constantine is suspended, effective immediately.” Regarding the noose incident of February, a criminal investigation is ongoing. Constantine initially linked it with the plagiarism case. “I believe that nothing that has happened to me this year is coincidental, particularly when I reflect upon the hate crime I experienced last semester involving a noose on my office door,” she said in a February email to faculty and students. “As one of only two tenured Black women full professors at Teachers College, it pains me to conclude that I have been specifically and systematically targeted.”