Judy Mikovits, the embattled chronic fatigue syndrome researcher who was fired from her post at Reno, Nevada’s Whittemore Peterson Institute in September, was arrested yesterday in California.
The Ventura County, California Sheriff’s Department web site lists Mikovits under booking number 1259336, charged with a felony violation of California Penal Code section 1551.1, “Fugitive From Justice.” This is that section, according to FindLaw:
The arrest of a person may also be lawfully made by any peace officer, without a warrant, upon reasonable information that the accused stands charged in the courts of any other state with a crime punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, or that the person has been convicted of a crime punishable in the state of conviction by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year and thereafter escaped from confinement or violated the terms of his or her bail, probation or parole. When so arrested the accused shall be taken before a magistrate with all practicable speed and complaint shall be made against him or her under oath setting forth the ground for the arrest as in Section 1551.
The arrest seems linked to a lawsuit. On November 14, ScienceInsider reported that the Whittemore had sued Mikovits:
A little more than 1 month after firing Mikovits, the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI) on 4 November filed suit against its former research director. According to WPI, after Mikovits was terminated on 29 September, she wrongfully removed laboratory notebooks and kept other proprietary information on her laptop and in flash drives and in a personal e-mail account. WPI, a nonprofit organization that’s based on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, also won a temporary restraining order that forbids Mikovits from “destroying, deleting, or altering” any of the related files or data.
Mikovits attorney, Lois Hart, said her client cannot speak to the media about the case, but she strongly denies any wrongdoing. In an e-mail to ScienceInsider, Hart stressed that “Dr. Mikovits’ integrity goes to the bone.”
The Ventura arrest lists a hearing on Tuesday, November 22, at 1:30 p.m., which is the same time the Washoe County Courts have a hearing scheduled in Whittemore’s case. The Osler’s Web blog reports that a clerk told them Mikovits was arrested on an “out of county warrant” from Washoe County.
Mikovits is currently housed at Ventura County’s Todd Road Jail in Santa Paula.
We will update as we hear more.