supporting documents

Greg Land of the

Fulton County Daily Report wrote two articles that discussed two aspects of the ongoing case, the first one appeared in January 2011 and the second in April 2011, after Joy had prevailed with the backpay issue.

http://www.gaslowitzfrankel.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Tech_01041111.pdf;

Monday, April 25, 2011
Georgia Tech prof reaches settlement with regents
Agreement will pay $181K in salary to professor who says he was
unfairly suspended over allegations he misused university funds
By Greg Land, Staff Reporter

(Zachary D. Porter/Daily Report)
Craig Frankel: Settlement vindicates Joy Laskar.

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A Georgia Tech electronics professor, who sued the Board of Regents
after being suspended and arrested in connection with allegations that
he conspired to funnel about $2 million in school funds to a company
he co-owned, has reached a settlement with the state that will pay him
all of his back pay, benefits and legal fees, and may return him to
his duties as a tenured professor.

The settlement entered on April 11 will pay Joy Laskar $181,161 in
back salary, $16,739 in matching contributions to his retirement
account, and $6,887 in prejudgment interest; his attorneys will
receive $53,451 in fees and expenses.

Attorney Craig M. Frankel said the settlement represents everything
Laskar had sought, and essentially justified his client’s position
that he had been unfairly suspended. However, the attorney general’s
office said a criminal investigation of Laskar and two colleagues is
ongoing.

“I think their decision to pay us 100 cents on the dollar for our
damages is an acknowledgment of our position that they violated their
own policies and the rules of their faculty handbook, and their
decision to pay our attorney fees at 100 cents on the dollar is an
acknowledgment that they acted in bad faith,” said Frankel. The
settlement has already been paid, he said.

Laskar, founder and former director of the Georgia Electronic Design
Center at the school, was barred from campus on May 17, 2010, when
Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson placed him on unpaid
suspension pending an investigation into “evidence of malfeasance”
allegedly uncovered by the school’s Department of Internal Auditing.

The same day, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued search
warrants for nine locations on the Georgia Tech campus and two
residences. In September, Laskar and two other Tech employees were
arrested and charged with racketeering in connection with diverting
funds to Sayana Wireless. The company’s co-owners include Laskar and
Georgia Tech research engineer Stephane Pinel, who also was arrested,
along with office administrator Chris Evans.

In December, Laskar sued the Board of Regents, arguing that Tech had
violated its own policies by suspending him without pay before he had
been afforded a dismissal hearing, and by publicizing his suspension
and the allegations of wrongdoing before the conclusion of the
termination proceedings.

According to the terms of the settlement, Laskar will continue to draw
his customary salary until the conclusions of a “duly appointed
faculty committee” are presented to Peterson, who will decide if he
should be terminated.

Lauren Kane, spokeswoman for the office of Attorney General Sam Olens,
which represented the Board of Regents, said the settlement “speaks
for itself,” and declined further comment on the matter.

Kane said that because the criminal allegations against all three
remain under investigation, she could not discuss them.

Laskar, 47, joined the Georgia Tech faculty in 1995 and founded the
Georgia Electronic Design Center in 2003. The center focuses on
research into communications technology and has partnered with dozens
of corporate entities including IBM Corp., Samsung, Intel Corp.,
Nortel and Raytheon Co., among others.

Laskar, an Indian-born U.S. citizen, has more than 50 electronic
patents awarded or pending, according to his complaint, and since 2007
has held the Schlumberger Chair in Microelectronics at the School of
Electrical and Computer Engineering.

According to Frankel, Laskar was responsible for generating more than
$200 million for Georgia Tech in research funding, grants and venture
capital. One of many companies growing out of the center’s VentureLab
startup generator was Sayana Wireless, a company specializing in the
manufacture of high-efficiency computer chips, launched by Laskar and
Pinel but which is partly owned by Georgia Tech.

Last May, according to the complaint, as preparations were under way
for a private offering of Sayana stock, Tech officials called in the
GBI and charged that the school had been improperly billed for nearly
$2 million in computer chips.

Laskar, Pinel and Evans were arrested and charged with violating
Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute, but
have yet to be indicted.

“I’ve seen the evidence Georgia Tech has; I do not believe they have
any evidence that Dr. Laskar did what they said he did,” said Frankel.

The school alleged that it paid nearly $1.9 million for chips used by
other entities, said Frankel, “but our investigation showed Georgia
Tech received chips worth $1.4 million that were used exclusively by
Georgia Tech students and researchers. Why is it wrong for Georgia
Tech to buy chips for its own faculty and students? This is standard
and accepted procedure.”

Laskar’s attorney for the still-pending criminal charges, Gillen,
Withers & Lake partner Craig A. Gillen, said there haven’t been any
new developments in the case.

“Hopefully,” said Gillen, “after all the material is thoroughly
reviewed by knowledgeable individuals, we can sit down and discuss the
matter with the attorney general’s office. I’m confident that they’ll
determine—as we have—that he is not responsible for any criminal
activity, nor was anyone related to Sayana, and that no crime has occurred.”

Pinel’s attorney, Chilivis, Cochran, Larkins & Bever partner Anthony
L. Cochran, said that, in accordance with university rules, he was
barred from discussing his client’s case. Pinel has not filed suit
against the state.

“The Georgia Tech Faculty Handbook specifically provides that these
matters are supposed to be kept strictly confidential,” said Cochran.
“For that reason, we have no comment.”

“We’re just waiting to see when and if the attorney general’s going to
present it to a grand jury,” said Evans’ attorney, Robert G. Rubin of
Decatur’s Peters, Rubin & Sheffield. “We’re hoping to meet with him to
discuss it before he does.”

Evans, whose claim for unemployment benefits was denied by a hearing
officer, appealed that decision; last month, Fulton County Superior
Court Judge Michael D. Johnson ordered a rehearing on his
claim.

Laskar’s settlement agreement stipulates that he will be reinstated
and provided “the full array” of accompanying benefits, unless and
until Peterson—after receiving the recommendation of the faculty
committee—decides to terminate him.

As to when that decision might be forthcoming, “the simple answer is
that we don’t know,” said Frankel.

Frankel said Laskar has spent the months since his suspension “mostly
trying to defend his reputation. He wants the opportunity to clear his
name.”

The case is Laskar v. Board of Regents, No. 2010CV194600.

Collateral: A Personal Essay by Devi Sen Laskar

Not quite nine o’clock in the morning: the special agent from the GBI with blue eyes and a wisp of a mustache is pointing his assault rifle at my head, the sidewalk already sizzling and glaring from the sun, the smell of green grass poaching in the air, the men with blue uniforms, guns and bullet­‐proof vests crawling like tactical ants in the front yard and through the front‐door, some women in the neighborhood standing at the tops of their driveways, glistening in tennis whites, and laughing as if they were watching a reality show; one agent’s cell phone ringing unanswered, and another agent with big hands searching my body and my car, ostensibly for weapons, while others readied themselves to finish raiding my house; the female agent in charge offering to let me stay and watch as they searched and then

seized our belongings, but only if I agreed to be placed in handcuffs; a television news crew armed with cameras and a satellite dish squatting on the sidewalk.

Thinking first that my husband had died.

Thinking second that my old life, everything up to that very minute, was gone forever, and that whatever happened from that moment forward was part of a new life that bore no resemblance to my former life in any way except that I was still in it.

For several months prior, the climate at the university had been darkening as colleagues had been treating him with a sort of rudeness and callousness that surprised us both; and I had been encouraging him to leave for another institution. He had a few offers, in the Midwest. But in the end he didn’t want to go. He liked the university that he’d been a part of since 1995, although inexperienced men replaced the seasoned management who had originally hired him. Men who we’d known for years and who did nothing to hide their envy of my husband’s successes that included graduating 41 PhDs, teaching full time, founding three start­‐up companies, and bringing in more than $50 million in research funding. Men whose behavior ranged from disrespectful to bizarre – my husband I were academic brats, our whole lives had been steeped in our parents’ academia – and we were increasingly alarmed. But still he wanted to ride it out.

That Monday morning, my husband is called into a meeting, supposedly, to get the results of an internal audit to explain some cost overruns and accounting changes. It’s the same Monday investment bankers on the West Coast are to auction Sayana Wireless, my husband’s university­‐incubated start­‐up, to a Fortune 500 company. All the hard work and long hours and time spent on the road about to pay off, and the university, a minority owner, would benefit financially as well. Monday morning and my husband goes to work, and I drop off our children at school, and stop at the store for groceries. As I chat with the cashier in the checkout lane, our houseguest, a medical student who is living in our basement, calls to say something is wrong, and that I need to come home.

I had been a reporter many years before, and had covered some crime stories, especially when I lived and worked in South Florida, Hawaii and Illinois. I had witnessed raids like this before: usually these events were precipitated by at least one of the following conditions: money, drugs, guns, women. I knew I didn’t have any money in the house more than what was in the kids’ piggy banks, and nothing stronger than Albuterol for my daughter’s asthma. No firearms. There were young women in the house, our daughters; one in middle school, and two in elementary school – but no circumstances nor set of conditions that would warrant the state police showing up. The deadliest object in the house was the fire extinguisher we kept in the garage, to be used in case of an emergency.

I had been out of the newsroom for more than a decade when the Kevlar­‐clad police appeared in my driveway. I wasn’t sure how I website was going to react, but I was grateful that our children weren’t at home. I wasn’t sure until the agent points his gun at me. Something inside me clicks, and I realize that my reporter skills are all I have to get an answer to why this raid is taking place. I neither cry nor scream nor demand an explanation because that’s what the appearance of a large group of agents and their big trucks usually elicits, tears and a confession. I remember what my editor said to me once: “If you ever want an answer, you have to be willing to out-wait the other person.” So, I simply remain silent, and watch everything these agents do.

Some of them readjust their vests, and some of them walk the perimeter of my front lawn. Some of them speak loudly to one another because I had opened the garage door remotely when I pulled into the driveway, out of habit. I simply pressed the button and the garage door opened and an agent standing on the sidewalk raised his weapon and pointed it at me and motioned for me to exit the car.

Their searches of my body and the car are not gentle, and their tone is impolite. The female agent in charge presents me with the search and seizure warrants, and asks me time and again where my husband is. I don’t answer her the first few times, and finally say, “He’s at work. But you know that.” She then makes a big show of saying she is looking for anything related to Sayana and CMP. CMP is an acronym that refers to a French company that the start­‐up worked with, but it wasn’t my job to educate her, so I remain silent, and listen to her repeatedly ask me, “What do you know about CMP?” There are groceries in the trunk of my car, but the agent won’t let me enter my kitchen to put the frozen toaster strudel in the fridge.

Rather than remain at the house in handcuffs, I opt to leave the female agent my telephone number so she can call me when she’s done, and then I drive away. I remember that it’s the Monday my occasional housekeeper is supposed to come over, and I call her to tell her my house is under siege. The medical student calls to tell me that she is on her way to class, that she was offered the “handcuffs” option and she too opted out. I go to a coffee shop nearby and call my family friend who is an attorney and wait for him to drive down from South Carolina. I try to call my husband but his cell goes to voicemail.

I am summoned. Just before lunchtime. My husband not dead but being detained by GBI agents, the news of purported crimes crashing the airwaves on television and the radio; an agent whose face I can no longer recall opening my front door for me and like a waiter ushering in a patron at a restaurant, motioning for me to come in to my own house; entering to see a couple of uniformed police boxing up some papers, and another agent photographing the living room as if it were going to be showcased for a magazine, hearing agents upstairs talking and chuckling and one of them say, “uh­‐oh,” after hearing something crash from the direction of our youngest daughter’s room. The woman boxing the papers in this couple stopping and laughing nervously, picking up a stack of papers and handing me the illegible pink copies of search and seizure inventory and asking me to sign them, defending herself with an impassive “I’m sorry” when I began questioning her about opening my mail, and taking my things.

Later, my husband coming home and learning our passports and computers have been seized, not answering the door and pushing my husband away from the windows when another news crew rings the bell and takes moving pictures of the reporter standing in front of the girls’ patriotic art taped on the front door; measuring my words like cloth before the girls enter the house after school to see the debris that was once our family life after the agents’ tornado‐like search.

Just before falling into a brief ugly sleep, watching him and three of his staff from work being accused of “malfeasance” and “misappropriating funds” on the late evening news, their smiling faces frozen on our television screen.

The people inside the university who instigated the raid, the subsequent and ongoing dog–and­‐pony show with the media, his arrest (without indictment) on state racketeering charges, the quasi­‐legal hearing inside the university and his eventual dismissal a year later, knew all about Sayana Wireless and my husband’s work. They’d hailed him as a hero, until making him an enemy to hide their own malfeasance.

The first year or so after the police showed up on my doorstep was a whirlwind of reaction, meetings with lawyers, and days spent in civil court as his side fought the university over the suspension without pay (which is illegal), the way he was being railroaded out of the university (also illegal), the circus that was his university tenure hearing, and the revocation of his tenure. He won his back‐pay and attorney fees, he won the lawsuit about the university concealing its records and the university has since released 515,000 emails.

But even there, there are problems. They have repeatedly and to this date ignored the judge’s order and failed to release the specific records we have asked for. It is not following the spirit of the law to photocopy one email six to 10 times or even 25 times rather than release the email communication that was specifically asked for. It follows the university’s same pattern of arrogance that has been documented for the past three years. The way he was terminated didn’t follow the law, and, once again, we will be seeking a remedy in civil court.

The local media has played its part, too. I have been largely disappointed and dismayed by the local press, especially the television news stations – of the coverage we received and then the silence that has followed. No one in the daily news business did any real reporting, or fact checking. No one bothered. One TV reporter’s coverage was so biased that when my husband’s attorney called to correct him on some misinformation that he’d aired repeatedly that weekend, his supervisors yanked the piece from the website and it hasn’t been seen since.

The media has moved on, to immigration issues, to a public school cheating scandal. So no one has bothered to do the math: the state of Georgia has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars already with their attacks upon my husband and yet nothing has really changed: there is no indictment to date, and instead, they have had to pay his salary and some attorney fees, and they are having to answer our lawsuits in court.

We were silent before but no longer, the initial shock has worn off and we have realized we are in this for a long fight. This is my husband’s fight but it has become our fight, our family’s. We endured the offhand comments, the “shunning” as many people we’d known for years in the Georgia Tech community and in our circle of acquaintances stopped speaking to us and wouldn’t return our telephone calls; more strange behavior as others assumed something about the news reports had to be true and therefore we were no longer welcome. We had to sell our home and move, and leave the friends and family who had stood by us. We had to start over.

One of the lawyers recently asked my husband how I was, and made the comment that I was “collateral damage” in this prolonged fight. Not directly targeted but directly impacted just the same.

This my new life.

Biography: Dr. Joy Laskar

Joy Laskar received his

B.Sc. in Computer Engineering (with Physics and Math Minors) from Clemson University and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-­‐Champaign. Dr. Laskar is currently the Vice President of Advanced Technology at InSite Partners, an investment and advisory group in Silicon Valley. From 1992 to 2011, Dr. Laskar held various faculty positions at the University of Illinois, the University of Hawaii and most recently at Georgia Tech.

At Georgia Tech he was the Schlumberger Chair in Microelectronics, and founded one of the largest mixed-­ signal design centers in the U.S., the Georgia Electronic Design Center. Dr. Laskar’s technical expertise and research contributions are at the intersection of Radio Frequency Electronics, Analog Electronics and Electromagnetics.

Since 1995, Dr. Laskar has co­‐founded 3 start-­‐up companies that have transferred results of his research to commercialization. Dr. Laskar has co‐authored 5 textbooks, has published more than 600 peer-­reviewed journal and conference papers, 52 patents (issued or pending) and has been the major advisor for 50 Ph.D students, 41 of whom graduated from his research group at Georgia Tech. He has presented more than 50 invited or plenary talks, and shared in 9 best paper awards (either conference finalists or student awardees from his group).

He has helped pioneer the development of integrated high efficiency integrated Power Amplifier (PA) technology in both GaAs (co­‐founder of RF­‐Solutions, now part of Anadigics, a primary PA solution for the Intel Centrino platform) and CMOS PA technology (soon to be available for the highest volume cellular platforms) and has investigated aggressive mixed-­‐signal communication architectures resulting in Quellan (now Intersil’s Analog Center of Excellence). Most recently he has pioneered the development of low power millimeter wave gigabit wireless circuits, and is the most published author on 60GHz Silicon ICs and module technology (as verified on IEEE Xplore).

Biography: Devi Sen Laskar

Devi Sen Laskar holds a B.A. in journalism and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an M.A. in South Asian Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University.

She has worked http://www.matrita.com/online/ as a journalist for newspapers in N.C., Florida, Hawaii, Georgia and Illinois, is a published poet and is working on a book.

How to Help

Read through the stories and essay. Cut and paste the templates to write your own letter and send using your own email. Sign the petition and share the joylaskarstory.com with your friends!

OpEd: by Devi Sen Laskar

Right now, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Research Corporation (GTRC) is being sued in a federal court in California over what should have been its most successful startup ever. Seven years ago, my husband, Dr. Joy Laskar, founded Sayana Wireless, a company that perfected the lowest-­power, highest-­speed short-­range wireless data solution ‐-­‐ in other words, a way to instantly sync all of the information on a smart phone to a laptop without wires or a physical connection.

My husband was the Schlumberger Chair in Microelectronics at GT. He had graduated 41 PhD students from 1995 to 2011. Sayana was his third successful start­‐up that, along with his previous companies RF Solutions and Quellan, brought in millions of dollars of research funding, and created dozens of high‐paying skilled jobs in the state of Georgia.

In May 2010, Sayana was poised for sale, and Georgia Tech, a minority owner in the company, stood to gain millions from the sale and see the technology corridor on its campus and the state widen considerably. On the day that a dozen Fortune 500 companies were scheduled to bid on Sayana, GT suspended my husband on trumped­‐up charges of malfeasance, had the Georgia Bureau of Investigation raid his offices and our home at gunpoint, and disseminated the news to the media.

As a former newspaper reporter in Atlanta, I’ve been largely dismayed by the lack of local coverage – how our story, and our side, hasn’t received the same attention as GT’s claims that my husband was hiding something and misappropriating money.

It was our collective family strategy, as well as the strategy of our legal team, to outwait the drama we continued to witness on the evening news over the ensuing years. Surely, people, especially our longtime friends and colleagues at GT, would realize that he hadn’t broken any laws, and would speak out.

Perhaps out of fear of reprisal or perhaps out of professional jealousy, only one person did – but not publicly.

Since then, our lives have been turned upside down as my husband was forced to leave a job and students he loved, to move from the place that we have called home for nearly two decades, to endure the spectacle of a public arrest on state racketeering allegations, and pay hundreds of thousands in legal fees to defend himself against baseless charges – all while living under a cloud of suspicion.

For nearly three years, the state Attorney General’s Office has been investigating my husband. To this date he has not been indicted.

Why?
Because he hasn’t done anything.

This is a case of office politics gone nuclear. We may never know what the true motivations were behind this baseless smear campaign, but we continue to question and seek answers. Perhaps these people were pointing their fingers at my husband to keep external auditors from looking at them.

As for my husband, he has appealed his termination from GT, and the matter is now in civil court. Earlier, the university settled a lawsuit with him for breach of contract, and he was awarded back pay, lawyer’s fees, and pre-‐judgment interest. Months later, a Georgia judge ordered the university to release some 515,000 emails as part of his lawsuit for violations against the state’s open records act.

To this day, GT has refused to return Sayana’s assets that were seized in 2010. Its strategy has been simple: GT stood to gain a lot more of the pie if my husband were out of the way. It appears the university has been trying to sell his technology on its own for nearly three years. Meanwhile, California­‐based Centric Technologies acquired Sayana’s intellectual property assets; and Centric is now suing GTRC for breaching the license agreement and for its interference with a possible sale.

This is what can happen in the expanding world of universities creating incubators not just for research and academic advancement but the profits they stand to gain.

Template for the AJC Letter to the Editor

Your  Street

Address

Your city, Your state your zipcode

The date

To: Letters@ajc.com

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is XX, and I am writing you concerning Professor Joy Laskar, formerly at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). His case exemplifies violations of academic freedom and absence of due process; it is my hope you will take the time to properly cover this important story.

To date, the AJC’s coverage and the coverage of its sister organization, WSB-TV, has been sorely lacking. There has been little coverage beyond the press releases issued by or at the behest of the university.

Dr. Laskar was employed by Georgia Tech from 1995 to 2011 and was not only tenured but held the Schlumberger Chair in Microelectronics. Until May 16, 2010, Dr. Laskar graduated 41 Ph.D. students, brought in more than $50 million of funding to the university, and was one of the most prolific researchers at the institute.

On May 17, 2010, officials within Georgia Tech and its licensing arm, the Georgia Tech Research Corporation, made allegations of malfeasance against Dr. Laskar. Part of Georgia Tech’s complaint states, “Dr. Laskar ‘disrupted teaching and Institute research’.” The findings from the university’s 2011 tenure hearing have been to the contrary to such claims.

Georgia Tech and GTRC have made allegations that Dr. Laskar has misappropriated funds for his own benefit and for the benefit of his start-up company, Sayana Wireless, which was to be auctioned on May 17, 2010. Yet, Georgia Tech and GTRC management remain fully aware  (1) Sayana is a Georgia Tech incubated company, and (2)  Georgia Tech itself is a minority owner of the company, and stands to benefit from its sale and (3) Dr. Laskar acted appropriately and within the known  Georgia Tech and GTRC guidelines. (4) The sworn testimony of the former ECE department head, Gary May, confirms this.

For the past three years, Georgia Tech and GTRC have acted without regard to the laws of the state of Georgia, and disseminated untruths to the media and discussed the status of Dr. Laskar’s employment and dismissal with third parties. Georgia Tech and GTRC have wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and wasted thousands of hours of time of the Office of the Attorney General of Georgia by weaving together untruths, listening to office politics and encouraging Dr. Laskar’s arrest (without indictment) September 24, 2010, in an attempt to disgrace him.

Dr. Laskar has already won two civil suits against the institute, for violating its own policies for suspension without pay, and for its failure to adhere to the Georgia Open Records Act. It is my hope that the state racketeering charges against Dr. Laskar will be dismissed; that his tenure will be reinstated; that their personal and company property will be returned to him; and that Georgia Tech and GTRC will publicly apologize for their reprehensible behavior.

Thank you very much for your time and for giving this matter the attention it deserves.

Sincerely,

Template letter to the Office of the President, GT

Your Street Address

Your city, Your state your zipcode

The date

To: Bud Peterson

President, Georgia Institute of Technology

(http://www.gatech.edu/president/contact-president)

Dear Dr. Peterson,

My name is XX, and I am writing you concerning Professor Joy Laskar, formerly at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). His case exemplifies violations of academic freedom and absence of due process; it is my hope you will take the time to properly address this situation.

As you know, Dr. Laskar was employed by Georgia Tech from 1995 to 2011 and was not only tenured but held the Schlumberger Chair in Microelectronics. Until May 16, 2010, Dr. Laskar graduated 41 Ph.D. students, brought in more than $50 million of funding to the university, and was one of the most prolific researchers at the institute.

On May 17, 2010, officials within GT and its licensing arm, Georgia Tech Research Corporation, made allegations of malfeasance against Dr. Laskar and claimed he had misappropriated funds for his own benefit and for the benefit of his start-up company, Sayana Wireless, which was to be auctioned on May 17, 2010.

Yet, GTRC and Georgia Tech management, including you, remain fully aware  (1) Sayana is a Georgia Tech incubated company, and (2) GTRC itself is a minority owner of the company, and stands to benefit from its sale and (3) Dr. Laskar acted appropriately and within the known Georgia Tech and GTRC guidelines. (4) The sworn testimony of the former ECE department head, Gary May, confirms this.

For the past three years, officials from your university and GTRC have acted without regard to the laws of the state of Georgia, and disseminated untruths to the media and discussed the status of Dr. Laskar’s employment and dismissal with third parties. As you know, the institute did not follow its own procedures and rules in terminating Dr. Laskar. Officials from Georgia Tech and GTRC have wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and wasted thousands of hours of time of the Office of the Attorney General of Georgia by weaving together untruths, listening to office politics and encouraging Dr. Laskar’s arrest (without indictment) September 24, 2010, in an attempt to disgrace him.

As you know, Dr. Laskar has already won two civil suits against the institute, for violating its own policies for suspension without pay, and for failing to adhere to the Georgia Open Records Act. You are the head of one of the top public schools in the country, and you have the authority to make right this terrible injustice.

It is my hope that you will encourage the Attorney General’s Office to drop the state racketeering charges against Dr. Laskar; that you will reinstate Dr. Laskar’s tenure and restore his reputation so that he may seek other opportunities in academia; that you will direct your staff to return his personal and company property to him; and that the people who instigated this mess will publicly apologize for their reprehensible behavior.

Thank you very much for your time and for giving this matter the attention it deserves.

Sincerely,

Template letter to U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D – Ga.)

Your Street Address

Your city, Your state your zip code

The date

The Honorable John Lewis

U.S. House of Representatives

The Equitable Building, Suite 1920

100 Peachtree Street NW

Atlanta, GA 30303

Dear Congressman Lewis,

My name is XX, and I am writing you concerning Professor Joy Laskar, formerly at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). His case exemplifies violations of academic freedom and absence of due process;

it is my hope you will look into this matter and take appropriate action to restore Dr. Laskar’s good name.

Dr. Laskar was employed by Georgia Tech from 1995 to 2011 and was not only tenured but held the Schlumberger Chair in Microelectronics. Until May 16, 2010, Dr. Laskar graduated 41 Ph.D. students, brought in more than $70 million of funding to the university, and was

one of the most prolific researchers at the institute.

On May 17, 2010, officials within Georgia Tech and its licensing arm, Georgia Tech Research Corporation, made allegations of malfeasance against Dr. Laskar. Part of Georgia Tech’s complaint states, “Dr. Laskar ‘disrupted teaching and Institute research’.” The findings from the university’s 2011 tenure hearing have been to the contrary to such claims.

Georgia Tech and GTRC have made allegations that Dr. Laskar has misappropriated funds for his own benefit and for the benefit of his start-up company, Sayana Wireless, which was to be auctioned on May 17, 2010. Yet, Georgia Tech and GTRC management remain fully aware  (1) Sayana is a Georgia Tech incubated company, and (2)  Georgia Tech itself is a minority owner of the company, and stands to benefit from its sale and (3) Dr. Laskar acted appropriately and within the known  Georgia Tech guidelines. (4) The sworn testimony of the former ECE department head, Gary May, confirms this.

For the past three years, Georgia Tech and GTRC have acted without regard to the laws of the state of Georgia, and disseminated untruths to the media and discussed the status of Dr. Laskar’s employment and dismissal with third parties. Georgia Tech and GTRC have wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and wasted thousands of hours of time of the Office of the Attorney General of Georgia by weaving together untruths, listening to office politics and encouraging Dr. Laskar’s arrest (without indictment) September 24, 2010, in an attempt to disgrace him. Along with numerous industry sponsors and research funding Dr. Laskar was expected to garner, the state of Georgia was expected to gain $225 million by 2015.

Dr. Laskar has already won two civil suits against the institute, for violating its own policies for suspension without pay, and for failing to adhere to the Georgia Open Records Act. It is my hope that the state racketeering charges against Dr. Laskar will be dismissed; that his tenure will be reinstated and his reputation restored so that he may seek employment in academia; that his personal and company property will be returned to him; and that Georgia Tech will publicly apologize for its reprehensible behavior.

Thank you very much for your time and for giving this matter the attention it deserves, to prevent the waste of our tax dollars and to restore not only Dr. Laskar’s name but the reputation of Georgia Tech.

Sincerely,