by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Chuck Ross details for Daily Caller readers the disturbing connection between an official in the U.S. Department of Education and the now-discredited Rolling Stone fable about a University of Virginia gang rape.
A top-ranking official at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has emerged as a potentially key figure in Rolling Stone’s false article, “A Rape on Campus.”
Catherine Lhamon, who heads the Department’s civil rights wing, was identified in a letter sent last month by University of Virginia Dean of Students Allen Groves to Steve Coll and Sheila Coronel, the two Columbia Journalism School deans who conducted a review of the Nov. 19 article, written by disgraced reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely.
Groves’ letter was included as a footnote to the Columbia deans’ report, which was released on Sunday and cataloged the failures and lies that led to the article’s publication.
In the letter, Groves wrote that he has suffered “personal and professional” damage as a result of Erdely’s reporting and comments Lhamon made about him which were included in the article.
As the Rolling Stone article fell apart, Lhamon’s involvement has gone virtually unmentioned. But a deeper look reveals her ties to Emily Renda, a University of Virginia employee and activist who put Erdely in touch with Jackie, the student whose claim that she was brutally gang-raped by seven members of a fraternity on Sept. 28, 2012, served as the linchpin for the 9,000-word Rolling Stone article.
President Obama nominated Lhamon to become the Education Department’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in July 2013. The Senate approved her unanimously the following month.