Bubblegate Delivery of Sanctions

Dec. 3, 2008 Request for Comment to Bralts (He did not respond.)

Aug. 25

[portion of message]

Bralts, Vincent F. wrote:

When: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 10:00 AM-10:30 AM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Where: NUCL 140C

Aug. 25 From: Rusi Taleyarkhan [mailto:rusi@purdue.edu]
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 10:50 AM
To: Bralts, Vincent F.
Cc: Scott, Bryan K.; rusi@ecn.purdue.edu
Subject: Re: Accounts

Vince: What is this message about?

Aug. 25


I believe that this is a Microsoft Office request for an appointment to discuss one of your accounts. I asked Darla to set this up, and I have asked Bryan to attend, as well. This should not take the whole time.

Would you be able to drop by on Wednesday morning at 10:00 in Room 140C per the e-mail?



Aug. 25 Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 13:39:28 -0400
From: rusi@purdue.edu
To: bralts@purdue.edu
CC: rusi@purdue.edu
Subject: Secrecy related to your meeting request to discuss my accounts? (rpt->vbralts;8.25.08)


This is to document that we spoke in your office around 12:30 p.m. today.

1) I requested you to clarify what was the motivation for this meeting on accounts so I could prepare, and you refused to share this basic information with me. You stated that all of the information was not in. What information? Why such secrecy? Such refusal to share basic information lends itself to a threatening environment of intimidation. Before meeting with you, I asked Sophia and Bryan, and they expressed surprise, also.

2) I mentioned to you that this [request to meet] was one of the most unusual requests to make to a professor [about] his own account [because] the reason for the meeting itself could not be disclosed, leaving the receiving party [me] with a feeling of anxiety and intimidation. I told you that I wished to know what the motivation for this meeting is so I could prepare for a meaningful discussion. You refused to answer. I mentioned to you that I [experienced] this stand as grossly insulting. Just last week, we had an exchange related to charging [work by Nuclear Engineering] staff (J.Jenkins) to one of my federal accounts regardless of whether Jenkins had spent the time. Hopefully, you have confirmed the level of Jere's contribution and asked Sophia to reverse the instruction to bill for non-worked time.

3) I agreed to meet with you and Bryan after my class was over at 12:30 p.m., despite my reservations.

It's amazing to have to encounter this episode [one] business day after our departmental retreat, in which the need for openness, respect and working together was stressed as being of the highest priority.

  (Sources: Taleyarkhan, unless otherwise noted)

Aug. 27, 2008
12:30 p.m.

Meeting Starts. Location: Nuclear Engineering Building, Vince Bralts' office. Present: Vince Bralts, Bryan Scott, Rusi Taleyarkhan

  Taleyarkhan walks in and asks, "What is the nature of this meeting?"
  Bralts says, "Sorry, I lied to you; it's not about your accounts. Please open this package."
  Taleyarkhan initially declines.
  Taleyarkhan says he was taken aback and aghast/incredulous that Bralts would stoop to such low levels to trick him and said so to Bralts.
  Bralts says he is sorry but he is just following what he was told to do by Provost Randy Woodson.
  Taleyarkhan states that matters relating to C-22 investigation were to be communicated through Taleyarkhan's lawyer as already agreed on with Purdue.
  Taleyarkhan calls John Lewis, his attorney, around 12:40 p.m. and explains to him what is happening.
  Lewis asks to speak with Bralts. Lewis asks Bralts to confirm that he (Bralts) asked for this meeting to discuss accounts. Bralts confirms. Lewis asks Bralts to confirm that he (Bralts) knew that this meeting was not about accounts. Bralts confirms. Lewis asks why he (Bralts) did this. Bralts states that he was following instructions from Woodson to formally hand package to Taleyarkhan and have Taleyarkhan open and acknowledge package in front of witness. Lewis asks Taleyarkhan to step out into hallway. (Source: Lewis)
  Taleyarkhan goes out into hallway. Lewis tells Taleyarkhan that this must be witnessed by Brian Wallheimer, local reporter with Layfayette (Indiana) Journal & Courier.
  Lewis uses second phone line and calls Wallheimer. Lewis explains situation to Wallheimer. Lewis explains to Wallheimer the history of meeting arrangements that transpired in the days before. Wallheimer agrees to go to nuclear engineering building to witness events and speak with Taleyarkhan and Bralts. (Source: Lewis)
  Taleyarkhan remains in hallway until Wallheimer arrives.
  Wallheimer arrives about 15 to 20 minutes later, at about 1:15 p.m. Wallheimer and Taleyarkhan walk into meeting room.
  Lewis is listening through the speakerphone on Taleyarkhan's mobile phone.

Wallheimer asks Bralts his name and position. Bralts states them. Wallheimer asks whether Bralts arranged the meeting to discuss Taleyarkhan's accounts but that the meeting was really for something else. Bralts responds, "No comment." Wallheimer asks Bralts whether the meeting was actually arranged to present Taleyarkhan with the sanction package from Woodson and to have Taleyarkhan physically present. Bralts responds, "No comment." Wallheimer asks Bralts why the sanction package was not sent to Taleyarkhan's lawyer. Bralts responds, "No comment. If you [Wallheimer] have questions, then you should contact Purdue's press office." (Source: Lewis)

  Lewis tells Taleyarkhan it is now okay for him to open package.
  Taleyarkhan opens package, says, "This is the appeals committee report and sanctions letter, and the results are what I expected. This is a witch hunt and an attempt to bypass my access to legal counsel."
  Taleyarkhan leaves Bralts' office with Wallheimer. Wallheimer asks to see the contents of the package and begins to ask Taleyarkhan questions. Taleyarkhan states he first needs to review the contents, send it to Lewis and discuss it with Lewis before revealinh what he thought was supposed to be confidential documents.
  On the way to Taleyarkhan's office, Wallheimer gets a phone call on his mobile phone. His office staff has called him. He speaks with them, and they tell him that the Journal & Courier had just received the Purdue press release, the sanction letter and the appeals committee report.
  Wallheimer walks with Taleyarkhan to his office in the nuclear engineering building. Taleyarkhan calls Lewis as soon as he arrives in his office.
  Wallheimer looks at the sanction letter and report before Taleyarkhan reviews them in depth. Wallheimer begins to ask interview questions. Taleyarkhan is dumbfounded and unable to provide coherent responses or a rebuttal. Taleyarkhan states that the conclusion had been decided months earlier.

Taleyarkhan recalls his March 2008 meeting with Dean Leah Jamieson, who had conveyed the same punishments to him. This communication from Jamieson transpired before a) the investigation committee completed its work, b) before Taleyarkhan had provided his rebuttal to the investigation committee report, and c) before the report was sent to the Office of Naval Research for its approval.

~ 1:45 p.m Wallheimer leaves Taleyarkhan's office
1:50 p.m.

From: Kealey, William P. [mailto:WPK@stuartlaw.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 1:50 p.m.
To: John Lewis
Subject: In the matter of R.P. Taleyarkhan: C-22 appeal and sanction

<<Committee Report 8-21-08.pdf>> <<sanctions w-e-sign LTRHD.PDF>>

Dear Mr. Lewis,

The C-22 appeal committee has completed its review of the appeal filed by Dr. Taleyarkhan. The appeal has been denied.

Dr. Taleyarkhan has been informed of the outcome of the appeal and of the sanctions for the research misconduct.

Purdue will issue a press release this afternoon.

Attached to this email are copies of the appeal committee report and the Provost’s letter identifying sanctions.

I understand that Dr. Taleyarkhan has refused to accept receipt of copies of these two documents when they were made available to him today.

Purdue has received a request under Indiana’s public records statute for these documents. Therefore, these documents will be released this afternoon.
William P. Kealey

End of day By the end of the day/evening, Taleyarkhan receives phone calls/e-mails from many other reporters who have also received the documents.
Aug. 28, 2008 From: Steve Krivit
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 10:39 PM
To: Kealey, William P.; lewis-lewisandwilkins.com; lselander-duanemorris.com
Subject: FW: In the matter of R.P. Taleyarkhan: C-22 appeal and sanction

Dear Mr. Kealey,

Can you comment on the fact that this transmittal, apparently sent yesterday from you to John Lewis, states that Taleyarkhan "has been informed of the outcome" and it also states "Taleyarkhan has refused to accept receipt of copies of these two documents." The two sentences appear to contradict each other.

Thank you,
Steven Krivit
Editor, New Energy Times

Aug. 29, 2008 Subject: RE: In the matter of R.P. Taleyarkhan: C-22 appeal and sanction
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 10:04:19 -0400
From: "Kealey, William P." <WPK@stuartlaw.com>
To: "Steve Krivit"

Dear Mr. Krivit,

My statements below are precise and need no elaboration. Dr. Taleyarkhan’s referenced conduct speaks for itself.

William P. Kealey

Oct. 27, 2008 Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 11:49:41 -0400
From: "John Lewis"
To: "Steve Krivit"
"Rusi P. Taleyarkhan "

This was all a set-up. It was done so Rusi could not have counsel or provide a response. Remember, their attorney, after Rusi had taken package, sent e-mail that misstated that Rusi had denied package.

John H. Lewis