I STAND WITH DR. SABINA BURTON - If you care about student safety, protection from sexual abuse, tenure rights, academic freedom or First Amendment rights you should take a stand with her too. – Roger Burton (Sabina’s husband) #ISTANDWITHBURTON
Dr. Sabina Burton is fighting for her job, and the right to advocate for victims of sexual abuse.
Tenure does not protect faculty members of the UW System while attorney Jennifer Sloan Lattis, Deputy General Counsel, University of Wisconsin System Administration, is allowed to falsify documents and deprive faculty of due process.
This is not just a UW Platteville problem, it affects every employee and student in the UW System.
Come to Dr. Burton’s hearing before
the Board of Regents on:
Thursday, May 10, 2018, at 2:00 p.m., in room 1820 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison, WI
Here’s a quick look at the way Sabina was railroaded on the university level:
Several people, over the past five years, filed bogus and false complaints and directives against Sabina. Requests Sabina made to address her complaints were ignored but the complaints against her were acted on swiftly. The Chancellor ordered investigations into complaints against Sabina. After the investigator submitted the report someone “edited” the report so it contained false statements and biased opinion that twisted the truth half-way against Sabina into vague statements of implied guilt. The investigation reports make Sabina seem guilty of something without specifying exactly what she is guilty of. The investigation reports were all withheld from Dr. Burton illegally. She finally received them by involving the AG’s office. The second investigator admitted that his investigation report was “edited by a third person.”
The Chancellor was not ready to act on the first two complaints, so he just sat on them until Dr. Burton finally received the investigation reports. He dropped the first complaint saying it had some merit, but didn’t say what the merit was. He dismissed the second complaint against her without valid explanation blaming her equally with the person who filed the complaint.
The Chancellor failed to get the investigators to sign any of the investigation reports even though he (meaning students’ tuition) paid $10,000 for one of them. The Chancellor and Attorney Lattis both refused to provide the third investigator’s original report.
The Chancellor’s attorney, Attorney Lattis, made a ridiculous argument that the investigation report is not to be relied upon by the appeal panel but that it could be relied on by the Chancellor in his charges against Sabina.
Who altered the investigation report? Was it Chancellor Shields or Attorney Lattis? They both claimed that the unsigned investigation report delivered into evidence was provided by the investigator. Only their verification of the report’s validity exists in the record. The investigator was mysteriously unavailable to testify or to be cross-examined in a hearing. She ignored Dr. Burton’s and her attorney’s requests for verification of the validity of the report. I believe Attorney Lattis and Chancellor Shields conspired to produce a forged investigation report.
The Chancellor based his statement of charges on the third twisted investigation report and twisted the reports’ half-twisted findings another half-twist. In other words, he made at least one completely 100% false statement in the statement of charges against Sabina.
The Chancellor (through his chosen go-to-person) hand-picked an appeal hearing panel in violation of policy. He withheld the appeal procedures from Sabina, in violation of policy. The chair of the appeal panel relinquished his power as chair to the Chancellor’s go-to-person and allowed violations of policy to go uncorrected. I think he was placed as chair so the blame for policy violations would fall on him (a scapegoat). The told the Platteville Journal that Chancellor Shields had already fired Sabina, which was not true. When he finally realized he had no authority to abide by policy and the law he recused himself. Dr. Susan Hansen, a lobbyist for the university, was placed as chair of the hearing panel in his place without explanation how she was selected. Hansen ignored or denied all of Dr. Burton’s requests that the panel follow the law and policy. All Sabina could do was lodge objection after objection that fell on deaf ears.
Attorney Lattis misdirected the hearing panel on the definition of “just cause.”
The administration paraded several witnesses before the kangaroo hearing panel and they told wild, outlandish things that were far outside the scope of charges while Dr. Burton was not even present at the hearing due to severe illness. Sabina had previously complained about each of the administration’s witnesses for their prior indiscretions. They were not credible.
The UWP lobbyist, Hansen, unnecessarily and arbitrarily limited the amount of time for Dr. Burton to address the many wild, false and bogus charges against her. Then the hearing panel’s boss, Chancellor Shields, instructed the panel to violate the law, as shown in this video:
Behind all this, is an attorney named Lattis who is very good at orchestrating this sort of injustice. She purposely misinterprets the law regularly. She falsely blames the Board of Regents for her misinterpretation of just cause. She has made false allegations against Sabina. UWS Legal counsel Lattis enables the administration to violate laws and policies right and left. Laws and policies are no protection unless they are enforced. What I describe here is corruption, the likes of which I would never have believed possible in America. This is not what I risked my life in a foreign war to protect.
Maybe the Board of Regents will be fair. I hope so. One thing I am confident of: Attorney Lattis will do everything in her power to violate Sabina’s right to a fair hearing. I hope she doesn’t have the kind of influence over the Regents that she seems to have over Chancellor Shields and the UW Platteville appeal kangaroo panel. According to Lattis, a targeted employee’s only recourse to violation of their due process rights is to take the matter to court. She seems to believe that violating a faculty member’s due process rights is acceptable practice until a judge tells her otherwise. I hope the Board of Regents will set her straight on that.
These blatant violations of due process rights could happen to any UW employee or student who complains about anything the administration wants covered up. Attorney Lattis is good at cleverly twisting truth, obfuscating facts to trick and deceive. The attorney’s oath calls it “artifice.” Lattis is very good, and very well practiced at the art of artifice. She is generally very good about keeping her actions hidden from the targeted employee. Sabina and I have been able to peer through much of the veil of secrecy and documented enough of her actions, I believe, to warrant her disbarment.
Attorney Lattis knows it is expensive and very difficult for a targeted employee to take these matters to court. Most targets just give up out of despair and move to another job somewhere else; many are broken by the process; some contemplate suicide and all of them need support. You can support Sabina, protect students, protect tenure rights and protect freedom of speech by simply showing up and standing beside her at the hearing before the Board of Regents. The more people you bring with you the better.
A hearing with the Board of Regents has been set for Thursday, May 10, 2018, at 2:00 p.m., in room 1820 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison.
If you care about student safety, tenure rights, free speech or corruption in the UW System you should educate yourself on this matter and come to the hearing.
As Dr. Burton’s representative, I filed two briefs with the Board of Regents that explain a lot of what has happened. Attorney Lattis filed two briefs on behalf of UW Platteville in support of firing Sabina. Anyone interested in reading these briefs can make an open records request to the Board of Regents. Send your request to the Board of Regents’ Records Custodian, Jess Lathrop at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask for the four briefs, two by Roger Burton and two by Attorney Jennifer Sloan Lattis, that were submitted to the Board of Regents in March and April 2018 regarding Dr. Sabina Burton. Here is more info on requesting open records: https://www.wisconsin.edu/general-counsel/legal-topics/records/793-2/. Also see Wis. Stat. 19.35.
“I love teaching. There are so many good people at UW Platteville; faculty, staff and students. They deserve protection from the few bad apples.” - Dr. Sabina Burton
In October of 2012 Dr. Burton advocated for a student victim of sexual harassment and her world was turned upside down. Now she is under serious threat of job termination. She wants to return to work. She wants to be free to help victims of sexual abuse without threat of retaliation.
On May 11, 2016 Dr. Burton wrote to her chair, Dr. Strobl saying: “A big part of my anxiety this week comes from dealing with veiled death threats that I have received.”
On June 3, 2016 Chancellor Dennis Shields admonished Dr. Burton writing “I have received reports that you have engaged in unprofessional and concerning interactions with your campus colleagues. Specifically, you have sent the attached email some of which I view as uncollegial and inappropriate at our campus… Some of the statements in your email that I find concerning include: “… A big part of my anxiety this week comes from dealing with veiled death threats that I have received.”
Chancellor Shields officially admonished Sabina for telling her boss that she had received veiled death threats! And, without investigating whether it was true, he ordered Sabina never to make this sort of report again.
Let that sink in.
NPR Radio program - MeToo’s Next Step.
Very good info here.
UW-Platteville Chancellor Dennis Shields suspended Dr. Sabina Burton, banned her from campus. I believe he wants to fire Sabina because she advocated for a student victim of sexual harassment and complained of the retaliation she received for her advocacy. There are also other reasons he wants to fire her but the real reasons are not in his statement of charges against her.
Shields wrote in his charges against Sabina: “You have publicly misrepresented the facts of a 2012 alleged sexual harassment incident to students” However, Dr. Burton tells the true story with hard facts and evidence. Shields has yet to identify any statement Sabina has made that he believes to be inaccurate.
As of 1-30-18, Nobody has identified even one single statement I have made in my website as being untrue or inaccurate. Not one! – Roger Burton
Former dean and provost Throop said on 12-2-13 “What Dr. Burton has listed as her qualifications are really very important qualifications about her amazing abilities as a teacher. I think there is no question that her presence in the classroom is absolutely astounding. From what I can tell she is an inspired teacher.” Chancellor Shields wants to fire an “inspired teacher.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” -William Arthur Ward
Something needs to be done about corrupt administrators and corrupt attorneys who seem to care more about keeping the university’s sex harassment/violence statistics low than about protecting our children from predators and retaining inspired, caring teachers.
Sabina is very ill as a result of the stress she is under and the stress is a result of the unfair treatment she has been receiving. I don’t think a fair hearing wouldn’t stress her as much, because she has truth on her side, but the university has done much to add stress and deny her a fair hearing. Lies, policy misinterpretations, forged investigation reports without signatures, gag-orders, veiled-death-threats, violations of policy and law, denials of reasonable requests, disappearing witnesses, ignored requests, testimony outside the scope of the charges, bogus and false charges, suspension, banishment from campus and the university’s “spin” have all added to Sabina’s stress.
This photo was taken on 6-12-17 just prior to Sabina’s endoscopy which revealed that her severe ulcers are still a life-threatening problem. The administration was aware of her condition but continued to pressure her unnecessarily. How does she keep going? It is touch and go. She needs encouragement and support.
As a Marine, I have great respect for authority and I have come to expect good leadership. I enthusiastically followed my superiors’ orders that put me in harm’s way in the Gulf War, and I would do it again. I am surprised and shocked when I see bad leadership. Corrupt leaders bring disgrace on the position to which they have been entrusted.
I have great respect for the office of the Chancellor of UW Platteville but Chancellor Dennis Shields has acted outside his authority. He seems to believe that leadership and intimidation are synonymous. He seems to believe that cronyism and dishonesty are good leadership practices. He seems to believe that employees of UW Platteville are his personal servants that he can fire whenever he wants to, for whatever reason he chooses. He seems to instruct his subordinates that they don’t need to follow policies and procedures because “faculty governance is not a legal contract.”
Sabina has followed Chancellor Shields’ discriminatory directives yet Chancellor Shields still pushes for Sabina’s termination on completely unreasonable, ludicrous, shifting and fishy reasoning, inconsistent and false explanations, misdirection of law, non-specific, unsupported and vague allegations that are based on irrelevant factors that are unworthy of credence and arrives at irrational conclusions without regard to relevant evidence.
Shields based his charges on an investigation report that he admits is not signed by the investigator. The report is full of false statements and wrong opinions that shouldn’t even be in a “Fact Finding” report. He made no attempt to get a signature from the investigator. I believe Shields knows the investigation report is a forgery. Though I respect the position of UW-Platteville Chancellor, I don’t respect or trust Dennis Shields. Chancellor Shields seems to believe he is in a Thunderdome with Sabina; that either Sabina loses her career or he loses his.
On 3-30-17 Chancellor Shields accused Sabina of discussing her disputes in class with students writing “You have discussed your personnel concerns during class when they had no relevance to course topic.” However, a student in Dr. Burton’s class wrote that Dr. Burton “did not share knowledge or facts pertaining to any pending/ongoing legal cases that she was involved in.” We have signed statements from six of Sabina’s former students that prove Shields’ accusation is false. He claims that he got his information from the unsigned investigation report but even that uncorroborated report doesn’t support his allegation.
Another student wrote “Dr. Burton is one of the rare people who can walk a fine line between professor and friend. She is an amazing mentor with high standards and always does what is right and just. She goes out of her way to make sure her students’ needs are being met and exceeded. Her character and integrity are unquestionable. The fact that UWP officials are now attempting to attack Dr. Burton’s character proves they know they made a terrible mistake in the handling of the original issue. Instead of learning from their mistake, they’ve decided Dr. Burton’s presence at the school will be a constant reminder of this failure for all those involved-and that is not fair to her. Dr. Burton was doing her job to make sure all students feel and are safe on campus. The others should be doing the same. I stand with Dr. Burton.”
On 3-4-17 Chancellor Shields delivered to Dr. Burton a document he called “Dr. Petra Roter’s report.” But is it? The report is not signed. Dr. Roter has not confirmed that it is her report and has not responded to multiple requests for her authentication of the report. Dr. Roter seems to have vanished and the administration can’t, or won’t, produce her to testify about the investigation report that bears her name but not her signature.
Chancellor Shields wants to fire my wife on bogus and false allegations and bases his decision on an investigation report that is not signed and whose alleged author, a former UW Chancellor, has mysteriously disappeared.
Isn’t it interesting that Dr. Roter is also named as a defendant in a lawsuit (Case No.14-cv-1020)? Why did Chancellor Shields choose someone to investigate Dr. Burton while that person was under investigation herself? Did Shields pull strings to get Roter out of her own tight spot? I don’t know, but somebody should look into this.
Chancellor Shields seems to be putting together the legal equivalent of a turd sandwich to feed to the UWS Board of Regents, hoping they will swallow it quickly, before their gag reflex causes them to spew it back into his face.
If Chancellor Shields had not refused Sabina’s Aug 9, 2013 request to meet, the ingredients of this sandwich could have been a gourmet half-million-dollar Cyber-Security Program. Why didn’t Shields meet face-to-face with Dr. Burton to try to resolve this issue in 2013 but to give her no option than to file a complaint with the EEOC?
Why did Shields fail to comply with his 30-day deadline to respond to the grievance committee’s recommendations?
Why did Shields decide “not to weigh in” on Jul 10, 2013 10:28 PM when Sabina complained of unfair treatment?
Why did Shields publicly blame Dr. Burton equally with Dr. Caywood, who “admitted that he poorly handled the student complaint,” after a grievance committee recommended that steps be taken to “restore Dr. Burton’s professional reputation?” Shields knew about the “dysfunction” within the CJ department since April 19, 2013. Why didn’t he provide the recommended communication training?
Why did Shields refuse to consider Dr. Burton’s complaint that Dean Throop violated policy and law? A grievance committee agreed that Throop had violated policy and law but nothing was done to correct the violations. Even Dean Throop later agreed that an election should have been held. Why did Shields “applaud” Dean Throop’s violations? Why was Dr. Burton not allowed a fair opportunity to be elected chair of the Criminal Justice department?
Dean Throop wrote that she wanted Dr. Caywood to get training so he could run the CJ department at a “minimally acceptable level.” Is “minimal acceptability” also Chancellor Shields’ goal?
Who deleted incriminating emails from Dr. Burton’s email account? Did this have anything to do with Shields’ belief that “emailing is problematic?” Did Chancellor Shields order Dr. Burton’s email account “hacked?”
Why did Shields non-renew Dr. Gibson even though the CRST and Faculty Appeals Commission (FAC) recommended retention?
Why did Shields ignore and deny Dr. Burton’s complaints, on Oct 2, 2014, Oct 11, 2014, and many others but in contrast, quickly order investigations into Dean Throop’s allegations against Dr. Burton - Jan 15, 2015, Deb Rice’s allegations against Dr. Burton - 8-8-16 and Throop/Gormley’s complaint against Dr. Burton - 12-19-16? Isn’t that disparate treatment?
Why didn’t Shields tell Dr. Burton who filed the false allegation that Dr. Burton had cancelled class? Why didn’t the investigation report name the informant? Why did Dean Throop, under oath, claim the informant was Deb Rice but Rice, under oath, claimed she didn’t do it? Why are there so many holes in Shields’ findings?
Did Chancellor Shields order the Public Information officer to deny Dr. Burton’s requests for documents based on a Wisconsin Statute that guarantees her access to those documents? Why did Dr. Burton need to ask for these documents four times?
Why isn’t Dr. Barraclough’s investigation report, dated Nov 24, 2015, signed? Why was this report, into allegations that could get Dr. Burton fired, not provided to Dr. Burton until December 9, 2016?
Why isn’t the Burke investigation report signed? Why isn’t the Roter investigation report signed? How many investigation reports has Shields forged? Did someone else forge these document? Who might that be? Attorney Lattis seems to be Chancellor Shields’ personal attorney. Did she alter the reports?
Is the UW Platteville administration above the law?
I have so many more questions like these.
Dennis Shields and Attorney Jennifer Sloan Lattis seem to be very good at standing behind others to limit their own liability. I wish people would stop lying for them.
I wish people would stop blindly acting on Lattis’ misinterpretations of laws and policies. I wish they would read the laws and policies themselves, and act accordingly.
Ray Cross said: “Without civility it is virtually impossible for the university to pursue its mission: the pursuit of truth." I wish administrators at UW Platteville would listen to Ray Cross. I mean the part about the pursuit of truth.
UWS President Cross called for a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment. A week or so later, Chancellor Shields sent him a recommendation that the Board fire Dr. Burton, the only faculty member in UW Platteville who seems to be willing to stand up for students’ rights. Chancellor Shields seems to have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment victim advocates.
If Sabina loses her job she will find another job. If we lose everything, we’ll start over. What they do to Sabina, and me – her husband, is harsh and it hurts but I’m not exposing corruption to regain anything. I oppose corruption for students’ safety. I oppose corruption for my own daughters’ safety. That’s a big deal to me. I oppose corruption in hopes that I can make a small dent in it and protect some innocent people from corrupt administrators and the predators they protect. I oppose corruption with its most potent virus, transparency, and hope that someone will finally hold corrupt administrators accountable for their misdeeds. I don’t want to harm anyone and I certainly don’t expect to gain from this experience. I want the UW Platteville administration to stop harming my wife, her fellow employees and students. I expect to suffer more pain and expense and I expect that, and pray that, eventually, truth will finally win over lies. But I wonder why we must go through this painful process. Sabina is a good, caring person who cares deeply for victims of sexual abuse.
Federal Case #1 – (3:14-cv-00274-jdp) Dr. Burton’s first case (2012-2014) was dismissed in summary judgment. It may seem to be old news but the verdict was not based on all the evidence Sabina presented to her former attorney. Sabina’s former attorney Tim Hawks seems to be responsible for sabotaging the case by excluding key information in the briefings and failing to dispute false information provided by the defense. In short, I believe Hawks misrepresented Sabina’s case and that is why it was dismissed on summary judgment.
Dr. Burton asked Governor Walker for help in person on 5-16-15 and followed up her request for help in an email on Aug 22, 2015.
to UW Platteville Police records:
Federal Case #2 – (3:17-cv-00036-jdp) Sabina filed a second lawsuit on Jan 17, 2017. This case complains that Sabina’s due process rights were violated. She asked for grievance hearings but her requests were denied, in violation of law and policy. Her due process rights were violated because she helped a student report an incident of sexual harassment and because she complained of retaliation.
This case has been amended to include Chancellor Dennis Shields’ decision to suspend her, ban her from campus and process her for dismissal.
Wisconsin State lawsuit
Sabina plans to file in state court for multiple violations of law and policy that resulted in Sabina being processed for termination unfairly.
The chair of the Criminal Justice Department at UW Platteville, Dr. Staci Strobl said “I know a lot about, unfortunately, active shooters. I know a lot about workplace violence. It's something I studied in graduate school. It's something I keep abreast of as part of my intellectual interest. And I saw somebody -- and a husband of somebody, to be completely frank, Roger Burton, who fits the profile of somebody who eventually snaps in a really violent way in the workplace." (emphasis added)
I believe Dr. Strobl willfully, maliciously and intentionally made this claim to convince the hearing panel to recommend Sabina’s dismissal. Two of my former real estate clients were in the room and heard her comments. I guess I won’t be getting repeat business or referrals from them. I asked Dr. Strobl to retract her statement but she didn’t respond. I believe this constitutes defamation against both Sabina and me. But defamation is just a misdemeanor. There seem to have been several felonies committed against Sabina.
Dr. Strobl told this to a hearing panel that was tasked with recommending whether Sabina should be fired. She said this when Sabina was not present at the hearing because she was too sick to attend. I was not present either because I was tending to my wife. Sabina was not allowed to cross-examine any witness, including Dr. Strobl.
I am one of five sons in my family, no sisters. All of us served in the U.S. Military. My eldest brother was an officer in the Army. He won the Iron Mike when he went through Airborne training. My next older brother joined the Navy and switched to the Marines where he served as an artillery officer in Desert Storm and retired a Colonel. I joined the Navy and switched to the Marines where I flew the A4 Skyhawk and the AV8B Harrier (Jump jet) and also served in Desert Storm. My two younger brothers served in the US Coast Guard and the US Air Force. I have an honorable discharge.
I was an airline pilot but after my second airline employer went bankrupt I decided to support my wife in her pursuit of a teaching career at UW Platteville. Now I’m a Realtor in good standing and I work the family farm. We have two beautiful daughters and a small hobby farm with horses, dogs, a cat and two guinea pigs.
I don’t fit the profile of someone who is about to “snap in a really violent way.” I fit the profile of someone who is trying against all odds to proceed in the right manner to effect needed change to protect my daughters, other students and faculty and their advocates. Dr. Strobl seems to think that a person who is fighting severe systemic corruption is a physical threat. I’m not. But I think what I have to say threatens a lot of powerful people’s careers, including Dr. Strobl’s. She has motive to lie.
Sabina is not about to “snap in a really violent way” either. She has been injured emotionally and physically by this ordeal, but she has been very controlled considering what she has gone through.
We also have other considerations that need to be heard in Wisconsin State Court rather than, or in addition to, the Federal case. I have highlighted only one of the many complaints we have for a state lawsuit.
Sabina was on crutches for seven years due to leg injuries she sustained in high school. Doctors told her she would never run again but she worked so hard at her therapy she not only ran again, she was asked to be on the German Olympic Rowing Team. She was one of 24 female cadets to enter training for the German Federal Police (Germany’s equivalent of our FBI). Sabina was the only woman who was able to complete the training course and became the first woman in the German Federal Police. She worked undercover terrorist operations that she still can’t tell even me about. Sabina worked as an intern for Margaret Thatcher’s right hand person, Baroness Janet Young during Operation El Dorado Canyon and was present at many high level meetings concerning this operation.
Sabina’s mother and father survived WWII on the losing side. Her father flew the ME-262 and was shot down once and crash landed another time. He was hunted by Nazis. After the war he hosted top level international negotiations, in his home in Tutzing Germany, for the release of countless prisoners of war. He gave up an opportunity to make a mint working for big business pharma so he could do research that would really benefit society. He wrote “the book” on Peptide Chemistry. I have been told that his work set the stage for recent advancements in DNA but to be honest, I don’t know what a peptide looks like. I got some of my best sleep in chemistry class. Sabina grew up in a home where top level diplomats from around the world were common house guests. Her father spoke five languages fluently, earned two PhDs and was nominated for a Nobel prize for his work in chemistry (Erich Wünsch patent Her father passed away at the time Sabina’s UW Platteville colleagues and supervisors were severely retaliating against her (Erich Wünsch-obituary). Sabina’s mother is an acclaimed organist who suffers from severe Alzheimer’s disease. Sabina told me that growing up in post WW-II Germany conditioned her to recognize and oppose the kinds of corruption that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler. Unfortunately, she has recognized this type of corruption at UW Platteville. She cannot help but oppose it and I cannot help but support her, because she is right. She has stories of courageous relatives who lost their lives and saw their children die, before their eyes, because they did the right thing. Will we repeat the mistakes of Pre-WW-II Germany or will we learn, from people like Sabina, where to draw the line? Will we allow lies and cover ups to shape our futures or will we finally allow victims to speak openly without fear of retaliation?
Sabina married me in 2003 and became an American Citizen in 2009. She received her PhD from one of the top Criminal Justice programs in America, University of California Irvine. She taught for UCI while we lived in California and has a fantastic recommendation from them. She began teaching in UW Platteville in 2009. We moved here to get a nice place of our own with enough land to keep our horses. She was on track to get a half-million-dollar grant to start a cyber-security program at UW Platteville that would have trained Criminal Justice students for high paying jobs. But after she advocated for the student victim of sexual harassment she became a target and her efforts to build a cyber security program were destroyed and her reputation was assassinated.
She is not going to “snap in a really violent way,” as Dr. Strobl wrongly advised the appeal hearing panel, she is injured and afraid. She is not a physical threat but instead she is physically threatened. She wants to stay in the fight because so much is at stake. She wants to protect future potential victims of sexual abuse by helping society clean up some of its corruption that covers up abuse.
This is a small piece of the Berlin Wall:
It is a symbol of hope that change is possible.
Transparency and Accountability brought down the Berlin wall. I hope they will work to clean up the corruption at UW Platteville and in the UW System legal department. I hope UW Platteville can become an example for universities across our great land.
What is the definition of “Just Cause” to fire a tenured faculty member?
At the beginning of the 5-25-17 appeal hearing, which was conducted in the appellant’s absence due to severe illness, Attorney Lattis told the hearing panel “The standard of dismissal … that the Board of Regents uses for termination of a tenured faculty member is whether that faculty member is engaged in behaviors that impair the efficient functioning of the university. That is the definition of just cause” Spoiler alert: UW System Policy has a very different definition of just cause to fire a tenured faculty member.
At the end of the May 25 hearing Attorney Lattis told the hearing panel “I remind you again that the standard of just cause for termination of a tenured faculty that the Board of Regents will apply, because it has applied it in every other case, is that the behaviors of the faculty member have impaired the efficiency of the operation of the workplace.” Attorney Lattis seems to blame the Board of Regents for her misrepresentation of the standard of just cause. Has Attorney Lattis advised the Board of Regents that this is the standard of just cause to fire other tenured faculty members? Did they believe her? Has the Board of Regents fired tenured faculty members using this standard of just cause, as Attorney Lattis alleges? Did they do so because of Attorney Lattis’ misrepresentation of the standard? Should there be an investigation to determine if other tenured faculty members have been unfairly fired due to misapplication of the standard of just cause? Should all of the tenured faculty members fired under this definition of just cause have opportunity to re-try their cases?
Will the Board of Regents apply Attorney Lattis’ standard of just cause in Sabina’s appeal?
UWS 4.01 says “This policy shall be observed in determining whether or not just cause for dismissal exists.” But the policy contained in UWS 4 was not observed. UWS 4 and other applicable statutes and policies were repeatedly ignored and violated.
I ask the Board of Regents to please explain to Attorney Lattis that she should not be saying such things at a video recorded appeal hearing the appellant couldn’t attend. I don’t see how my wife can get a fair hearing if Attorney Lattis is allowed to influence the appeal panel or the Board of Regents by making misrepresentations of law, policy and fact. I ask the Board of Regents to please assign a different attorney to represent UW Platteville in this matter. I think Attorney Lattis is too personally involved to be fair.
Fraud Waste and Abuse
As of this writing Dr. Burton, one of the best instructors on campus, is being paid to sit at home wishing she could teach our students. Chancellor Shields suspended Sabina, with pay, on bogus and false charges after spending tens of thousands of dollars to produce investigation reports that aren’t even signed. Seriously, none of the investigation reports are signed. Shields spent $9,682.38 on one investigation alone that could have been resolved, at no expense to the university, with a grievance hearing. Shields dropped the charges against Sabina and quickly ordered another investigation against her. I estimate that the time and legal costs to the university and the state so far total at least $300,000. Why is Shields wasting these resources?
Fraud Waste and Abuse on steroids
Dr. Burton was very close to winning a half-million-dollar grant to build a cyber-security program at UW Platteville that would have helped our graduates get high paying jobs in the cyber-security industry or law enforcement agencies. Shields decided to ignore Dr. Burton’s cries for his help against other administrators’ efforts to destroy her ability to obtain the grant. UW Platteville could have been a leader in cyber security training but Chancellor Shields decided instead to waste university and state resources to try to fire one of the best instructors in the university. Why?
Appeal panel composition is under protest:
Sabina has argued repeatedly that the UW Platteville appeal panel was selected in violation of policy and asked that it be re-constituted in compliance with policy. But she was denied without explanation. This seems like jury tampering to me. The panel chairs refused to render a decision about this issue until finally, the panel made a decision, on 9-19-17, to deny Sabina’s request without explanation.
Chancellor Shields failed to provide Sabina with the procedures for appeal as required. Why did he violate this policy? I think it was because he didn’t want Sabina to know her rights. I think he planned to violate a lot of policies in his attempt to railroad her and if she knew the policies she would be able to object to his violations.
Policy allows that deliberations on an appeal for a tenured faculty member could take several months to complete. But it seems the administration wants to get Dr. Burton fired quickly and quietly without giving her fair due process. The administration has piled tons of bogus and false allegations and false and un-crossed testimony on Sabina’s head. How can someone address so many bogus and false charges when their time to testify is arbitrarily limited to less than two hours and they are not given a chance to cross-examine hostile witnesses?
The hearing panel was hand-picked by an administrator, Dr. Laura Anderson. They heard hostile witnesses make wild and unsubstantiated allegations way outside the scope of charges in a hearing that Sabina wasn’t even able to attend. Then they unanimously recommended to dismiss Sabina giving as reason a “findings of fact” document that contains biased opinion and false statements.
It seems that Chancellor Shields or Attorney Lattis, forged the investigation report.
Two previous investigation reports were similarly unsigned and contained biased opinion and false statements. One of the investigators admitted, in writing, that the report he submitted was “edited by a third person.” This seems to be a common practice that is encouraged, enabled and even orchestrated by Attorney Lattis.
Why would Chancellor Shields pay $10K of the university’s money for an investigation report that was written by someone other than the investigator? Hmmm. I think he did it to cover up the mess he created by covering up a sexual harassment incident. I think he did it to get Sabina fired on false charges to get rid of her quickly and quietly so he could go to another school where he could violate other student’s rights. He is just trying to keep from getting caught. He is just trying to unload his mistakes onto Sabina’s shoulders. How many others has he done this to? Was this all his idea or was it Attorney Lattis’ idea?
If we can address all the charges against Sabina in a fair hearing they will fall like a line of dominoes. I believe that any reasonable and unbiased hearing panel or Board of Regents or jury would understand that the charges against Sabina are bogus and fabricated if they get the whole story. But the whole story is long and complex. I can tell the story and plan to do so when this is all done. For now, I tell part of it.
– Will Sabina be fired on Bogus and False charges?
– Is tenure meaningless?
– Who will advocate for Students if Sabina is fired?
The UW Platteville appeal hearing panel members are:
- Dr. Susan Hansen, panel chair - Chair is responsible for conduct of the hearings under (UWS 3.08) and (UW Platteville Policies/Procedures)
- Dr. Abulkhair Massoom,
- Dr. Barbara Barnet,
- Dr. Sheryl Wills
- Dr. Richard Bockhop
The panel members were probably afraid that their own jobs are in jeopardy if they give Sabina fair due process. The irony is that the tenured panel members should be afraid that their jobs are in jeopardy if they don’t act fairly.
The hearing panel has set a precedent that effectively voids everyone’s tenure, including their own. They have shouted to other faculty members that standing up for student rights, and for your own rights, will result in your termination on bogus and fabricated charges. They have told students that their rights are not protected. They are stifling academic freedom.
They recommended that Dr. Burton be fired. I’m sorry to say it, because my daughter is friends with one of the panel members’ daughter, but they have violated the law and they violated policy. They should have recused themselves when they saw that there was no way to process this appeal without violating policy. But they didn’t. Their cowardice and inaction sickens me.
Why would they recommend dismissal when it is so clear that Dr. Burton’s rights were violated? They were lied to. But that’s no excuse. They were too weak or timid or afraid or corrupt to stand up for what is right. I don’t get it. I risked my life in a foreign war for what I believed was right. Why didn’t they stand up for Sabina? I don’t know. But it sickens me. They were likely threatened and/or bribed. They were chosen by Chancellor Shields go-to-person for their willingness to do what they were told. T\
Dr. Burton gave the hearing panel thousands of pages of rebuttal and evidence. They deliberated one day and came back with a recommendation to dismiss Sabina. I doubt any of them even read the rebuttals. They probably based their decision entirely on the verbal testimony. They seem to have believed the lies. Too much pressure I guess.
The editor of the Platteville Journal, Steve Prestegard, does not seem to be interested in publishing this story. The editor’s email address is email@example.com.
Would you want a Criminal Justice department chair talking to your son or daughter this way?
In Nov 2014 Deb Rice told a graduate student, and others, that Dr. Burton was mentally ill and spread other false rumors. The graduate student told Dr. Burton about the rumors he had heard. Dr. Burton complained about Deb Rice’s rumors to CJ department interim chair Dr. Dalecki. Instead of disciplining Rice, Dr. Dalecki called in the graduate student for what Dalecki called a “mentoring” session and told him to apologize to Deb Rice for sharing the information with Dr. Burton. The graduate student audio recorded the meeting and here it is: (Dalecki-grad-student). The grad student was fired shortly after this meeting. He and I both believe the reason he was fired is because he was loyal to Sabina.
Sabina gave him a letter of recommendation and the former grad student is now working as an aide for a Republican senator in another state.
I just learned a new word. Gaslighting is “a form of intimidation or psychological abuse, sometimes called
Ambient Abuse where false information is presented to the victim, making them
doubt their own memory, perception and quite often, their sanity” (urbandictionary.com). I have
many examples of the administration victimizing Sabina this way, but I didn’t
know it was called “gaslighting” until 9-25-17. Maybe I’ll make a short story to highlight the examples
when I have time. Maybe “Gaslighting a Whistleblower” would
make a good title for the book I am writing.
It is kind of catchy. I’m also
“Imbroglio” means “an extremely confused, complicated, or embarrassing situation.”
I hope my website, and the book I am writing, will become a guide for civic-minded people who seek to expose corruption and make society a better place. I plan to try to form a network of whistleblowers so new whistleblowers can be vetted and connected within the network.
Consoling broken victims will not protect our society from destroying itself from within. We need champions like my wife, but they are few. The book I am writing is intended to inspire, encourage and aid other champions to rise to their occasions.
There is no question in anyone’s mind that Sabina is an excellent instructor. She graduated with a PhD from the one of the best Criminal Justice universities in America, University of California Irvine. She has four masters degrees. She graduated third in her class from the University of Munich, a school of 66,000 students.
Chancellor Dennis Shields wrote “Sabina, your positive attitude is very rewarding and appreciated by our students. My sincere thanks on behalf of our entire campus community for making UW-Platteville the great campus that it is.”
Former Dean Elizabeth Throop said: “What Dr. Burton has listed as her qualifications are really very important qualifications about her amazing abilities as a teacher. I think there is no question that her presence in the classroom is absolutely astounding. From what I can tell she is an inspired teacher.” -
Department Chair Dr. Staci Strobl wrote: “Overall, Dr. Burton is a very interactive instructor who has good rapport with her students and presents an organized, visually instructive, and dynamic lesson for our Forensic Investigation students.”
There are so many examples of Sabina’s passion, inspiration and quality. I’ll point out one here: On April 12, 2013 Assistant Attorney General Karie Davenport Cattanach spoke in one of Sabina’s classes, at Sabina’s request. Sabina was trying to teach her students about a real-world topic, which has since become big news, Human Trafficking.
Dr. Sabina Burton is a visionary with impeccable credentials, a passion for teaching and a deep caring for her students. Her efforts to build a cyber-security program at UWP and her efforts to educate students on Human Trafficking were destroyed. Chancellor Shields seems to want to get rid of the best and brightest. Shields seems to value only faculty loyalty regardless of their passion or quality.
“People expect you to do what they would do in your position.” - Roger Burton
If the people you are dealing with are corrupt, they expect you to act corruptly. If they are fair and reasonable, they will expect you to act fairly and reasonably. We fair and reasonable people need to recognize that corrupt people don’t act like we expect them to. When we finally realize we are dealing with corrupt people we need to adjust our expectations accordingly quickly, before it is too late.
So, an early indicator that you might be dealing with corrupt people is that you will be completely confused by their actions. You will start to feel as though you are living in a different country than the USA. We can’t understand corrupt people’s actions until we know they are corrupt. Once we understand who is corrupt we won’t be so confused anymore, by their actions. So, an important element in combating corruption is to name those people who are corrupt. If you publicly name a corrupt person they will react violently against you so keep your knowledge hidden until the right time.
People who violate policies because their boss told them to, are corrupt. In order to stop corruption, we need to empower employees to stand up for what is right. In a university where the people who stand for what is right get fired you will end up with an organization that is top heavy with corrupt and incompetent people. Corrupt and incompetent people will not protect students’ rights. They will use their positions of power to suppress anything that makes them look bad. If a student, or faculty member, complains of sexual harassment the administration looks bad. So, a corrupt administration will suppress and cover up the complaint and will retaliate against anyone who doesn’t aid them in the cover up. Courageous and righteous people get fired this way. This leaves a void to be filled by someone more willing to “cast their lot in with the person who is paying them.” That person moves up in seniority. Voila, top heavy corruption.
The important part of this matter is really, quite simple at its core:
1. If Dr. Burton is fired, other employees will hear a powerful message that advocating for student victims of sexual abuse is not tolerated at UW Platteville or in the UW System.
2. Dr. Burton’s due process rights have been repeatedly violated.
3. The charges against her are bogus and false.
I, Roger Burton, was sexually assaulted when I was a young boy. I’ve told nobody about this before today, 12-6-17. If you have ever been sexually abused I know how you feel. It is time to shake off the stigma that has kept us silent. It is time to come out of the shadows and take a stand with Dr. Sabina Burton. #metoo, #TheSilenceBreakers #timesup #ISTANDWITHBURTON
“When we are embroiled in a legal dispute the words of our legal system, designed to categorize and classify and instruct can inadvertently sterilize the harsh realities of what has taken place. They can serve as a shield against the horror of what we are really discussing. And this must not ever happen. Because the truth about what Larry has done must be realized to its fullest depth if justice is to ever be served.” Rachael Denhollander At the hearing against Larry Nassar.
Let’s not forget what happens to people who are Raped or otherwise sexually abused. Victims can suffer physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. If they get fired for trying to gain fair treatment they also suffer financially. Who will we protect, the victims or the perpetrators? That is a question society needs to continually ask itself.
Sabina is speaking out about corruption and exercising her right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to protect students and other employees. Is Academic Freedom dead in America? Is it dead in the UW System? Is the First Amendment still honored? Is students’ safety important? No wonder student victims of sexual abuse are afraid to speak up in this environment. No wonder it is so hard for victims to find someone to advocate for them.
Why is an “inspired teacher” threatened with job termination? She advocated for a student victim of sexual harassment and complained about the retaliation she received for her advocacy and because she complained about the retaliation she received for the complaints. The institution wants you to believe it is because she asked a colleague to house sit, because she audio recorded open meetings (legal in Wisconsin) and because she “broke the trust of her colleagues.” Their stated reasons are all pretext.
They tried to break Sabina’s spirit and her will to protect victims. They failed.
Recent news about a similar case is quite applicable to Sabina’s case.
If you have not heard of the “Tsunami of Change” that is coming to lift victims of sexual abuse to a safer place you should google “Rachael Denhollander, USA Gymnastics.”
“You have unleashed a Tsunami of Change.” Norah O’Donnell, CBS This Morning host, speaking to Rachael Denholler. - CBS News interview 1/25/18
“There’s never only one victim.” Rachael Denhollander. - CBS News interview 1/25/18
“USA gymnastics is really an organization that’s rotting from the inside out. They created a culture of physical, psychological and mental abuse. But they also had a policy of not reporting sexual predators. At the time I was being abused up until I came forward and some of this corruption began to be revealed they would systematically file reports of sexual assault against member coaches in a file cabinet. So, when you have a culture that is abusive and then you have a policy of not reporting sexual abuse you have created the perfect dynamic for a predator to be able to flourish. “ Rachale Denhollander - CBS News interview 1/25/18
“Director Penny testified under oath at one point and actually defended this policy of not reporting sexual abuse because he wanted to “avoid a witch hunt.” When an organization characterizes people who report sexual abuse as potential witch hunters that really tells you everything you need to know about how safe it is to come forward.” Rachale Denhollander - CBS News interview 1/25/18
“This is what it looks like when institutions create a culture where a predator can flourish unafraid and unabated.” - Rachael Denhollander At the hearing against Nassar.
“There absolutely has to be accountability. If we don’t institute accountability; if we don’t learn from the mistakes that were made and make it clear that the price for making these mistakes is going to be very severe, we’re just going to keep repeating this cycle of abuse.” Rachale Denhollander - CBS News interview 1/25/18
“It was not until we were able to put the public pressure on both of those institutions to take the allegations seriously that other victims felt safe enough to come forward and we were able to stop him.” Rachael Denhollander. - CBS News interview 1/25/18
“I lost my church. I lost my closest friends as a result of advocating for survivors who had been victimized by similar institutional failures in my own community. I lost every shred of privacy….I knew that the farthest I could run from my abuser, and the people that let him prey on children for decades, was to choose the opposite of what that man, and his enablers, had become. To choose to find and speak the truth, no matter what it cost. As the calls began coming in to the Michigan State University Police Department and the number of reports grew, my horror did as well. Victim after victim came forward….Far worse, victims began to come forward who had tried to sound the alarm years before I walked into that M.S.U. clinic to meet the celebrated doctor. Not only were they suffering the devastation of sexual assault; they were suffering deep wounds from having been silenced, blamed and often even sent back for continued abuse….In many ways, the sexual assault scandal that was 30 years in the making was only a symptom of a much deeper cultural problem — the unwillingness to speak the truth against one’s own community….Now that the world has been transfixed by our case, we must make sure not even one more young woman is preyed upon as I was. The first step toward changing the culture that led to this atrocity is to hold enablers of abuse accountable….Most important, we need to encourage and support those brave enough to speak out.” - Rachael Denhollander - New York Times article: The Price I Paid for Taking On Larry Nassar
Rachael Denhollander’s words encapsulate Dr. Sabina Burton’s story. It is time for the public to get involved here, as it did at USA Gymnastics. Victims of sexual abuse at UW Platteville – The Time has come to Speak out and Stand openly with Dr. Sabina Burton!
“The Tsunami of Change is coming to UW Platteville.” – Roger Burton – firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m not an attorney and nothing on this website is intended to be legal advice.
“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Winston Churchill
“Malice and ignorance beset my wife daily, but I stand with her on the incontrovertible bedrock of truth, fully expecting at the end of this story, that Winston Churchill will be proven right again.” – Roger Burton