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UCLA researcher files lawsuit against UC Regents, alleging constitutional violation

By Daily Bruin Staff

June 14, 2012 8:58 p.m.

A UCLA faculty researcher filed a lawsuit against the UC Board of Regents Wednesday, alleging that the university violated his constitutional rights by firing him in 2010.

Dr. James E. Enstrom, a faculty researcher in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, was not reappointed to the research position because his research on air pollution did not align with the department, according to Daily Bruin archives.

Enstrom went through UCLA’s appeals process at the time. His position is set to end June 30.

Enstrom is now alleging that the university violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights after he was not reappointed. The suit was filed through the American Center for Law and Justice.

The official complaint alleges that the university chose not to reappoint Enstrom after he spoke out against UC air pollution research and alleged scientific misconduct by lead UC
researchers. The university has allegedly failed to pay Enstrom’s salary since June 2010, although his appointment goes through the end of this month, according to the official complaint.

“We want his job back and we want UCLA to pay him the money that it took from him,” said David French, senior counsel of the ACLJ.

UCLA officials responded to the lawsuit on Thursday. They said in a statement that the university disputes the allegations and that Enstrom went through the official appeals process. Enstrom’s “outside political and scientific beliefs”
did not influence the decision to not reappoint him, according to the statement.

Compiled by Jillian Beck, Bruin senior staff

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