ddFirst thing I note is that the review was completed two weeks ago.

This should be interesting. More to come ASAP.

Update: Well, it took over a month and they still spelled Mary Newsom’s name wrong.

I don’t know which I am more underwhelmed by, the original transit study or this 12-page report on the 30-page study. There is no mention of the substantial input CATS chief Ron Tober had on the study, indeed it seems the investigators are unaware of it.

Let’s say that again: The subject of the UNCC Transit Study reviewed and commented on the study, received pre-release copies of the study, and the report looking into possible research misconduct involving the study does not mention these facts.

The authors claim to have listened to Edd Hauser’s interviews on WFAE and found nothing at odds with the written report — nothing except that Hauser repeatedly failed to disclose the Chamber’s role in the study.

The report does make clear that the Chamber did receive a draft of the report on April 9 and corrected a cost number for the a runway at Charlotte-Douglas Airport. That, Hauser told the inquiry, was the sum total of Chamber’s input on the final version. The report’s authors did not see a copy of the April 9 report, however. Plus, as noted above, the report makes no mention of the input and suggestions Ron Tober made to the report.

More confusing still is the report’s determination that corrections made to the original report — which had both the original cost per mile and length of the South line wrong — and that were not identified as corrections were the result of “carelessness or sloppiness in report preparation rather than an intent to falsify findings.”

Hold on.

The original mistake can be put down as a sloppy error — we know the transit study was a rush job, intended to form the centerpiece of a pro-transit tax PR blitz — but correcting the mistakes some time in early July after they received negative publicity here and elsewhere cannot be anything but intentional. Likewise the failure to label the correction as a correction. If that is merely sloppy in the world of UNCC research, keep these folks away from health care issues at all costs.

The report concludes that the study should have disclosed the corrections and should have disclosed the Chamber’s involvement and should have better disclosed where the sample-set data came from, but other than that, the study did not evince deliberate research bias.

Faint praise, indeed.

Bonus Observation: I take at face value all the representations of Dale Johnson’s comments and concerns about the transit study. If the authors have erred in any way on that front, I pity them and the UNC system. They have no idea what they have done.

Update: Here’s the Observer’s front-page take. UNCC provost Joan Lorden seems to completely miss the point. There was no “pressure” to reach a certain conclusion because everyone involved understood what the conclusion would be in advance.