This has not been the best week for Columbia’s public relations. Now it gets worse. Ivo Sanader, former Prime Minister of Croatia and current visiting scholar at Columbia’s Harriman Institute, was arrested in Austria on Friday, and remains in custody pending extradition. Sanader is suspected of conspiring to commit crimes and abuse of office by the Croatian Office for Suppression of Organized Crime and Corruption.
Just when you thought the scandal had died down, NY Daily News is reporting that David Epstein, a professor in the Political Science Department has been charged of a ‘sexual relationship with a female relative.’
Epstein has a silver nugget on CULPA, and has received glowing reviews from past students, although these are all over five years old. He was teaching two courses this semester, ‘Scope and Methods,’ ‘Game Theory and Political Theory’ as well as a dissertation seminar, and was scheduled to teach a course on ‘Game Theory, Strategy, and Law’ in the Spring. Currently one student is enrolled in this course.
According to the News, Robert Hornsby, the University’s top spokesman, commented that Epstein is currently on leave and not teaching students. According to Epstein’s CV, he has been an advisor to undergrads in the Poli Sci major since 2004. If you’ve ever taken a class with Epstein, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update, 8:50: NYPD told Spec that the relative was his daughter, who is 24. A tipster informs us that Epstein’s wife, works across the hall from Epstein and was speaking to a private investigator in or near her office yesterday.
Update, 9:05: A student of Epstein’s has informed Bwog that Epstein was “a very nice guy,” who had prominently displayed “pictures drawn by his children” in his office.
Here’s a video of Epstein debating on Obama’s economic policies at Columbia last November. Epstein comes in at about 1:48.
Update, 9:15: Robert Hornsby replied to Bwog’s request for comment with the following: “While we cannot comment on matters within the criminal justice system, we can confirm that the faculty member is now on administrative leave and will not be teaching students.”
Epstein’s wife, multiple sources confirm, is Sharyn O’Halloran, also a PoliSci professor. Her full title is George Blumenthal Professor of Political Economics and Professor of International and Public Affairs, and according to her CV, and Wikipedia, is a big deal. She has co-authored several books with Epstein.
Update, 9:33: Spec just posted a response from Matthew Galluzzo, Epstein’s defense lawyer:
“David is a respected member of the Columbia University and national academic communities and we think he deserves privacy and respect while the investigators are investigating. We are asking people to remember that these allegations are nothing more than allegations… We’re asking his friends in the Columbia community to support him and give him the benefit of the doubt.” They also report that he “confirmed that Epstein is not in custody anymore—he was released, and no trial date has yet been set”