Researcher Accused of Scripting False Misconduct Defense

New York state officials this week charged that a researcher from the University at Buffalo hired three actors to testify as peers—falsely—in his defense in a scientific misconduct investigation in 2004. That testimony led to a finding that William Fals-Stewart, an expert on addiction, was not guilty of fabricating data, according to a statement released this week by the New York Attorney General.

After the misconduct hearing, Fals-Stewart sued the university, claiming the investigation had done $4 million in damage to his career. In defending the university, the New York attorney general claims to have come upon evidence that witnesses in the misconduct hearing were scripted by Fals-Stewart and coached to play parts in what they thought was "a mock trial." Fals-Stewart was arrested on 16 February and charged with attempted grand larceny, perjury, identity theft, and other crimes. Fals-Stewart did not respond to an e-mail sent to an address at the Friends Research Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.