Florida university dismisses ‘truther’ professor who taunted parents of 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim
Florida Atlantic University has dismissed a professor who said massacres at a Connecticut elementary school and a county office building in San Bernardino, California, were staged, the university said.
Media professor James Tracy’s last day at the university in Boca Raton will be Friday, the school said in a statement after alerting him of the decision in a letter on Tuesday.
Tracy, 50, has worked at the university since 2002. He could not be reached on Wednesday and his attorney, Thomas Johnson, declined to comment.
Tracy’s website, MemoryHoleBlog.com, gained notice in 2013 after he claimed the December 2012 massacre by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was staged by “crisis actors” hired by the Obama administration. The attack killed 26 people, including 20 children.
Last month, the university said it would seek to fire Tracy after he sent a letter to the parents of 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim Noah Pozner demanding proof they were his parents. On his blog, Tracy called them “alleged parents” and accused Lenny and Veronique Pozner of fabricating their son’s death certificate to cash in on the tragedy.
The Pozners accused Tracy of harassment. “He has shown no remorse and continues to conceive conspiracy theories out of each new mass shooting,” they wrote in a Dec. 10 letter in the Sun-Sentinel newspaper.
Tracy also said the San Bernardino incident, in which a militant Muslim couple killed 14 people last month, was a hoax.
The university gave Tracy 10 days to respond to its Dec. 16 announcement of his planned firing. He never replied, the school said.
The official reason for Tracy’s termination was that he twice failed to submit forms explaining outside activities in order for university administrators to address potential conflicts of interest.
“By simply submitting the completed activity form, you would have been compliant with no further discipline,” university Vice Provost Diane Alperin wrote in a letter on Tuesday.
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Bill Trott)