hankbrownWhen asked if he participated in a scheme to “railroad” Ward Churchill out of his job on false pretenses, former University of Colorado president Hank Brown denied it, claiming that any notion of a conspiracy to fire Ward Churchill is “absurd,” (via Boulder’s Daily Camera).

Brown’s comments came yesterday in court as former professor Churchill battles to get his job back. Brown recommended to CU’s Board of Regents in 2007 that Churchill be fired for academic misconduct and plagiarism, which eventually happened.

Churchill denies he cheated, arguing his firing was the result of the political firestorm surrounding an essay he wrote comparing some of the victims in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to Nazi operatives. Brown added that he never read Churchill’s essay, according to 7News.

Meanwhile, a couple of lawmakers–Representatives Scott Tipton and Frank McNulty–took pot shots at Churchill in the Legislature after someone said that a CU employee dumped hazardous waste into the Boulder Reservoir during a bill hearing, reports The Denver Post. Tipton, a Cortez Republican, joked that perhaps the offender was Churchill. “No,” interjected McNulty, a Highlands Ranch Republican, “Ward Churchill was the hazardous waste dumped in the reservoir.”