Tuesday, November 6, 2007

O'Malley v. Karkhanis in the New York Post

Dareh Gregorian has written an article in the New York Post about Susan O'Malley's lawsuit against Sharad Karkhanis (also see earthtimes.org coverage here). While the article is a good one (see below), Gregorian fails to ask a few critical questions:

(1) Why haven't O'Malley and her attorney contacted the producers of Judge Judy, which is a more appropriate venue for a case that O'Malley herself describes as "silly" than is the New York State Supreme Court?

(2) Why are the people of the state of New York being asked to subsidize a case that the plaintiff describes as "silly"? Here are the synonyms of "frivolous" from dictonary.com :

barmy*, childish, dizzy*, empty-headed*, facetious, featherbrained*, flighty, flip, flippant, foolish, fribble, frothy, gay, giddy*, harebrained*, idiotic, idle, ill-considered, impractical, juvenile, light, light-minded, minor, niggling*, nonserious, not serious, paltry, peripheral, petty, playful, pointless, puerile, scatterbrained*, senseless, shallow, silly, sportive, superficial, tongue-in-cheek*, trivial, unimportant, unprofound, volatile, whimsical

(3) Why is the Professional Staff Congress unable to provide a dispute resolution mechanism that will spare the public the cost of resolving this "silly" dispute through the courts?

(4) One of the chief justifications of unionism is the provision of low-cost dispute resolution mechanisms. If unions like the Professional Staff Congress utilize the court system as a dispute resolution method of first resort, can such unions be justified from the standpoint of public policy?

(5) Has the Professional Staff Congress ever established guidelines for competent hiring?

November 5, 2007 -- A CUNY professor has filed a $2 million lawsuit against a fellow Ph.D. who's been lambasting her for allegedly trying to "recruit terrorists" to teach within the City University system.

In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Susan O'Malley charges that professor emeritus Sharad Karkhanis defamed her by accusing her of having an "obsession with finding jobs for terrorists" in recent issues of a newsletter he's been e-mailing to CUNY faculty members for 15 years.

Citing O'Malley's efforts to land jobs for convicted activist lawyer Lynne Stewart's co-defendant Mohammed Yousry and former Weather Underground member Susan Rosenberg, Karkhanis wrote:

"Has Queen O'Malley ever made a 'Job Wanted' announcement like this for a nonconvicted, nonviolent, peace-loving American educator for a job in CUNY? . . . Why does she prefer convicted terrorists bent on harming our people and our nation over peace-loving Americans?"

The retired Kingsborough Community College political-science professor said O'Malley, an English professor there, "is recruiting naive . . . faculty into her Qaeda-Camp to infiltrate . . . Personnel and Budget Committees in her mission - to recruit terrorists in CUNY. Given the opportunity, she will bring in all her indicted, convicted and freed-on-bail terrorist-friends."

O'Malley believes the terrorist-recruiter claim to be libelous. But an unapologetic Karkhanis, 73, told The Post: "Give me a break. I'm going to fight this vigorously."

He added that he considers what he wrote to be satire but that he was also "raising questions I believe are appropriate."

He said O'Malley crossed the line when she tried to land a job for Yousry, who's out on bail pending appeal of his conviction for helping Stewart disseminate messages from 1993 World Trade Center bomb plotter Omar Abdel-Rahman.

O'Malley, on leave from CUNY, could not be reached for comment.


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