Skip to comments.Controversial CFS Researcher Arrested and Jailed
Posted on 11/19/2011 9:17:56 PM PST by neverdem
Judy Mikovits, who has been in the spotlight for the past 2 years after Science published a controversial report by her group that tied a novel mouse retrovirus to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), is now behind bars.
Sheriffs in Ventura County, California, arrested Mikovits yesterday on felony charges that she is a fugitive from justice. She is being held at the Todd Road Jail in Santa Paula without bail. But ScienceInsider could obtain only sketchy details about the specific charges against her.
The Ventura County sheriff's office told ScienceInsider that it had no available details about the charges and was acting upon a warrant issued by Washoe County in Nevada. A spokesperson for the Washoe County Sheriff's Office told ScienceInsider that it did not issue the warrant, nor did the Reno or Sparks police department. He said it could be from one of several federal agencies in Washoe County.
Lois Hart, one of Mikovits's attorneys, says her client is being held for extradition to Reno, Nevada, in relation to a civil lawsuit against her filed by the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI). Mikovits worked as the research director at WPI, a nonprofit in Reno, for 2 years until she was fired by its president, Annette Whittemore, on 29 September. On 4 November, WPI filed suit against Mikovits, alleging that she had wrongfully kept her laboratory notebooks and other information about her work for the fledgling institute on her laptop, in flash drives, and in a personal e-mail account. A preliminary injunction in the case is set to be held by Nevada's Second District Judicial Court on 22 November. On that same day, Mikovits has a hearing in Ventura County, California, where she can contest extradition, Hart says.
Annette and her husband Harvey Whittemore, who has worked as a high-profile attorney for the gaming industry and a major real estate developer, started WPI to help find causes and treatments for CFS and other neuroimmune diseases like Gulf War syndrome and fibromyalgia. Their adult daughter has CFS.
Hart strongly denied the charges against her client. "She does not have the notebooks, nor any 'proprietary items' from WPI," Hart wrote ScienceInsider in an e-mail. "She is entitled to a copy of the information she created."
On 7 November, a judge from the Nevada court granted a request for a temporary restraining order against Mikovits to prohibit her from "destroying, altering, disseminating, or using trade secrets and confidential information." The order contended that "immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to WPI if it does not get this relief." But the order does not explicitly forbid Mikovits, who lives in Ventura, California, from leaving the state of Nevada.
After Mikovits and her research team's Science study appeared in October 2009, many other groups around the world reported that they could not find the mouse retrovirus, dubbed XMRV, in people who had CFS. Mikovits and colleagues subsequently participated in a multilab study that resulted in a September Science Express paper describing how none of the teams could reliably find XMRV in blinded samples from CFS patients. One lab Mikovits collaborated with in the 2009 Science report simultaneously retracted its contribution after discovering that a contaminant explained its XMRV findings.
UPDATE, November 19, 7:39pm EST:
Annette Whittemore, president of the Whittemore Peterson Institute, has issued the following statement:
"The Whittemore Peterson Institute was required to report the theft of its laboratory materials to law enforcement authorities. These authorities are taking the actions that they deem necessary."
Maybe they should look at hyperparathyroid disease as the source of chronic fatigue.
I should know, I have it and have had it for at least 13 years.
The mystery is that Mikovits’ XMRV work at WPI is considered to have been debunked, as she was deemed to have failed to replicate her own results, yet WPI is now willing to accuse her of stealing her own seemingly worthless proprietary papers that supported the failed XMRV claims.
There is something more to this than meets the eye, IMO.
Agreed. Not passing the smell test.
And the lawyers for the 'wronged' woman probably need to make sure that they review the rules and make sure that they stay on the right side of the ethics lines dealing with use of criminal process to gain an advantage in a civil action. Although casino lawyers are probably used to playing hardball and know the rules.
It does seem that way.
Makes very little sense for them to complain she stole useless proprietary information, unless maybe that’s where the real data is and the actual secret recipes which work. But it would be all speculation on their part, and how would they have learned about it?
I don't know?
Maybe we're missing something.
I've read recent 'other' publications that say there's no CFS virus. So....
Maybe the CFS virus got tired of it all and committed suicide (duck’n & runn’n)
I don’t know about the merits or lack thereof of this woman’s research. But ever since I read a report of how investigators from the CDC made up their minds about CFS before they even met with any patients, I figured that there probably is a physical cause for it.
She should work for Hadley CRU!
>> “There is something more to this than meets the eye, IMO.” <<
And I think that I can guess what:
The Big Pharma A$$ kissers at the FDA have figured out that they can pull the same kind of lucrative hoax on CFS as they have with AIDS.