Patrick Michaels: appointed by…nobody?

Charlottesville City Councilor Kevin Lynch has been looking into the matter of Patrick Michaels, our useless state climatologist. Funny thing — UVa says he’s appointed by the governor, while the governor’s office says he’s appointed by UVa. On, Kevin writes:

Everyone I contacted at UVA, from Envi Sci dept all the way to the VP, said the position is a Gubernatorial appointment. The Governors office is equally adamant that it must be a UVA appointment, since there is no record of the office in the “Blue Book” of executive appointments and no record in the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office of there ever having been such an appointment. (BTW, in the Dispatch article, the Governors office didn’t say they didn’t think there was nothing wrong with his actions – they said they didn’t think they had anything to do with his actions). Hmm.

Only one thing to do, which was to ask Prof Michaels himself, who told me that “State Climatologists are appointed via a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Climatic Data Center, the relevant University, and the Executive Branch”. Unfortunately, Prof Michaels doesn’t have a copy of said MOU, so Jack’s questions remain unanswered. Apparently, neither UVA or the Governor’s office have a copy of said MOU either, or else haven’t been able to locate it yet. Supposedly, the MOU would have been done in 1980. Prof Michaels suggested that I contact NCDC to see if they have a copy, which I will do tomorrow. In the meantime, it does raise some interesting questions in addition to Jacks’: Who exactly has oversight of this 91K line in the State budget and who does the State Climatologist answer to?

So we can stop paying this yahoo now, right?

10 thoughts on “Patrick Michaels: appointed by…nobody?”

  1. “I looked into it more deeply and I found what happened was he got layed
    off about five years ago and no one ever told him about it. But through a glitch in Payroll, he still gets a paycheck. I went ahead and fixed the glitch.”

    So if anyone in Governor Kaine’s office is reading this, well, you know what to do. And if that doesn’t work?

    “We always find it’s better to fire people on a Friday. It’s statistically shown that there’s less chance of an incident if we do it at the end of the week.”

    I call it … running government like a business.

  2. Waldo, are you running a myth factory? Or is it a religious crusade? Laid off but still gets a paycheck? I guess that proves he’s an impostor, or that public funding is worse than the bankroll from the utilities. Where’s your credibility? Where’s the love? Where’s the tolerance for diversity?

    UVa Prof Takes Money from Utilities See comment 37 for a quick rebuttal of the character assassination and inuendo practiced by Waldo and Kevin.

  3. Blair,

    Waldo didn’t say he was laid off. That was Adam Sharp’s comment and he was quoting the movie ‘Office Space.’ It was a joke that those who have seen the movie will get.

    I read comment 37 and replied to it. Whoever wrote that comment has completely ignored the fact that Michaels is a paid public official who accepted $150,000 in bribes from corporations that have a vested interest in his official findings and statements. THAT is the problem. It’s not about global warming. It’s about the fact that Michaels accepted an official appointment on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia and then betrayed us by taking money from power companies. Maybe he would have come to the same conclusions either way. Maybe Duke Cunningham would have voted to give federal contracts to MZM even if they hadn’t bribed him. It doesn’t really matter. The acceptance of a bribe by a public official is what counts.

    The fact that nobody seems to know how he’s been re-appointed since 1980 is just the bizarre icing on the cake.

  4. Jack, the person who posted that is Blair. He’s the sketchy, unshaven, wild-eyed guy who used to stand outside of Council chambers after meetings and push copies of his mimeographed conspiracy theory sheet, “The Witness Report,” accusing Councilors of working with the Illuminati to take away private property rights to give them to the space aliens.

    He’s also the guy who tried to get the Republican nomination for the House of Delegates a few years ago, to the shame and horror of local Republicans. It turned out he was too incompetent to even file the paperwork, though that didn’t keep him from, bizarrely, trying to get the nomination anyhow.

    I imagine he’s upset that he didn’t spot this particular conspiracy theory first such that he could include Masons and Mitch Van Yahres into an otherwise-reasonable accusation. It’s tough being crazy, I guess.

  5. Thanks for the feedback. I didn’t see anywhere a mention of global warming or anything weather related or scientific. Oh, did you mention, I also kill puppies and eat babies while I’m not playing devil’s advocate. I’ve never called Mitch a bad name. I simply pointed out his record (the only bad thing I could find) and acknowledged that he believed in his heart what he was doing was and is the right thing to do, results be damned. I realize many people prefer candidates to be unopposed when they run for elected office. What we have here is a clash of cultures, and hatred of one toward the other. Guess which one.

  6. Well, Dr. Michaels is allowed — what’s the exact number, fifty-odd days a year of outside consulting work.

    Check the dates on his web postings and publications? Maybe he’s been careful only to opine for the Western Fuels folks on his consulting days.

    I wonder if those are calendar days or total billable hours per year.

    The problem arises in practice when it’s not apparent which of his hats he’s wearing, in the publications that are quoting him and saying who he is, I’d think.

  7. Is there any new information on who appointed Michaels and what the term of appointment is?

    As to Hank Robert’s point, Michaels is not an ordinary professor. In his position he speaks for the state on climate matters and that is a very different kettle of fish.

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