Murray Weiss, New York Post, March 31, 2008
A Manhattan grand jury has subpoenaed the university records of the controversial black Columbia Teachers College professor who found a noose hanging from her office door—signaling that the investigation is broadening to examine possible links between the teacher, her closest friends and the racially charged incident, The Post has learned.
According to sources, the subpoenas obtained recently by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force and prosecutors demanded the college hand over a laundry list of records pertaining to embattled professor Madonna Constantine, whose colleague found a 4-foot hangman’s noose on her office doorknob last October.
The incident happened at the height of the school’s probe of plagiarism charges against her.
In addition to the plagiarism report, investigators want to examine all the information gleaned during the university’s probe and by a law firm and private investigator hired by the school to investigate the plagiarism allegations.
They also want Constantine’s financial contract with the school—which would include her salary, benefits and pension—and any other administrative personnel and academic records.
Sources said the records would provide investigators with a timeline on the tightly guarded 18-month plagiarism probe and what Constantine—one of only two tenured black Teachers College professors—stood to possibly lose if she were found guilty and her job were threatened.
The revelation that Constantine had been under university review provides a possible motive for a sympathetic friend to consider placing a noose on her door—thinking it could whip up support for her, sources said.