WASHINGTON, Sept 12( Reuters) – In emails to his colleagues over the years, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has defamed students and staff at the Christian university he passes, referring to one student as “emotionally imbalanced and physically retarded” and calling the school’s police chief a “half-wit.”
The barbed statements, contained in email exchanges reviewed by Reuters, emerge as the evangelical political leader is seeking to stem a rash of news reports about his stewardship of the Virginia-based university.
Falwell said this week he has asked U.S. federal authorities to investigate whether onetime board members and employees at the nonprofit university may have broken the law and disclosed internal institution the documentation to writers. The entreaty came after recent reports by Reuters and Politico describing how Falwell has managed Liberty.
Falwell told The Associated Press on Tuesday that “hes had” contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that the email revealings constituted an “attempted coup” aimed at securing his ouster from Liberty, where he has sufficed as chairman since 2008. The FBI declined to comment.
As he complains of being targeted by pundits, Reuters has found that Falwell himself was depreciating Liberty students, staff members and parents for years in emails to Liberty administrators.
The several dozen emails reviewed by Reuters encompass almost a decade-long period begins in 2008. In the emails, Falwell slanders some Liberty students, announcing them “social misfits.” In others, he shells faculty members and elderly Liberty staff 😛 TAGEND
Ronald Sones, then the director of the engineering school, was“a bag of hot air” who “couldn’t spell the word ‘profit, ’”Falwell wrote in 2011. Sones is no longer the dean and could not be reached for explain.
Richard Hinkley, the campus police chief, was “a half-wit and easy to manipulate” and shouldn’t be allowed to speak publicly. Hinkley could not be reached for commentary.
Of Kevin Keys, then Liberty’s associate sportings chairman, Falwell wrote in 2012: “Only get Kevin involved in something if you demand it not to work.” Contacted by Reuters, Keys said: “I don’t know anything about that and I would prefer not to comment.”