Paul L. Caron

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Law Prof Convicted of Failure to File Tax Returns Sues Dean, Police

Magee Following up on my prior posts:

National Law Journal, Law Professor Charges Collusion Between Dean and Police:

A Hamline University School of Law professor has filed a civil lawsuit against law school dean Donald Lewis and the head of the St. Paul. Minn., police union, claiming the two colluded to have her removed from the faculty. Robin Magee's suit, filed on April 15 in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, claims that the defendants pushed for her termination because of her public criticism of the police department's handling of several cases and her charges of police misconduct. ... The suit claims Lewis agreed to work with Titus to terminate Magee because he wanted to please the police department. Magee's attorney, Jill Clark, declined on Friday to specify how the two men allegedly worked together.

Magee remains on the law school faculty, but has not taught there since 2009, when she was suspended after being charged with failing to pay state taxes. Magee is a former tax attorney, but told a judge during her sentencing this month on four misdemeanor counts that she did nothing wrong and would appeal the conviction. ... Magee's civil suit claims that the tax charges were in retaliation against her because of her criticism of police, and that Lewis began pushing to fire her following the jury verdict.

Pioneer Press, Hamline Law Professor, Recently Sentenced as Tax Scofflaw, Is Cited for Bad Driving:

A law professor, recently sentenced for failing to file state tax returns, had another run-in with the law Wednesday. St. Paul police cited Robin Magee for unsafe change of course while driving, a petty misdemeanor. A passenger in the car who is an assistant Ramsey County public defender, Edith Brown, was tagged for obstructing legal process, a misdemeanor.

Magee, a Hamline University School of Law professor, filed a federal lawsuit April 15 that names the head of the St. Paul police officers union. Magee's attorney, Jill Clark, said Thursday: "We are certainly investigating whether or not this was a retaliatory stop or whether these are retaliatory charges."

St. Paul police spokesman Andy Skoogman responded: "It's unfortunate that Ms. Magee's attorney would make such an allegation when it's clear from the police reports that Ms. Magee was driving recklessly, one of her passengers was in violation of the seat belt law and her other passenger was uncooperative and verbally combative with our officers." ...

Clark said, "It appears the St. Paul police involved in this incident drew conclusions too quickly and took actions too quickly without being thoughtful about them and considering things like the law." ...

Magee was sentenced to two years' probation and 80 hours of community service April 15 for four gross misdemeanor counts of failure to file a tax return. A former tax attorney in private practice, she filed a notice of appeal Wednesday.

Magee's suit against Hamline University, the law school's dean and St. Paul Police Federation president Dave Titus claims they "worked in concert ... to get Magee terminated from her position at Hamline, in order to retaliate against her for her exercise of First Amendment rights, or in prior restraint of speech."

Magee is still a tenured Hamline faculty member, but she has not taught in a classroom at the school of law since fall 2009, according to a spokeswoman at the St. Paul university.

Legal Education | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Law Prof Convicted of Failure to File Tax Returns Sues Dean, Police:


Do the police really have influence over the tax office? Of all people, a tax attorney should know that taxes need to be filed. If they weren't filed, I don't really see her argument for it being anyone's fault but her own.

Posted by: Adam | May 3, 2011 5:10:33 PM

Actually, she teaches Criminal Law (imagine that!). In 20 years at Hamline, Professor Magee has never taught a tax course.

Posted by: Hillbilly | May 2, 2011 7:41:24 PM

I live in St. Paul, and have been unaware of Prof. Magee's criticisms of the St. Paul police. The St. Paul force is generally much more highly regarded than the Minneapolis force.

I think that the professor must have come down with some mental illness. (Non-professional's observation, based only on news stories. I have never met the woman.) How else can you explain a tax law expert failing to file returns at all? If she had filed with aggressive positions that were not sustained, business as usual. But not filing at all?

Posted by: Loren | May 2, 2011 9:26:50 AM

What a streak of bad luck she's been having!

Posted by: Mark Allen | May 2, 2011 12:20:14 AM

@ ronnor: "Once tenured they can't be removed even for a crime."

At which institutions is this true? It is certainly not the case at the major public or private schools with which I am familiar. Get convicted of a crime and your tenure isn't worth squat. Indeed, tenure actually has no serious teeth in the face of financial or public-relations woes. They can easily find a way to get rid of you, as apparently they should for Prof. Magee.

Posted by: crawdad | May 1, 2011 9:06:12 PM

"Laws are for the little people."

Posted by: DC Handgun Info | May 1, 2011 1:53:54 PM

Obama cabinet nomination in 3 ... 2 ... 1....

Posted by: BlogDog | May 1, 2011 12:15:41 PM

No "racism" somewhere in there ... ?

Posted by: Anon | May 1, 2011 12:13:41 PM

It's not good to tweak the nose of the lion.

Posted by: AD | May 1, 2011 11:44:19 AM

Anybody wanna bet that she's still getting paid, even though "she has not taught in a classroom at the school of law since fall 2009"?

Posted by: jWarrior | May 1, 2011 11:29:08 AM

When Geithner leaves she can take over. She has all the qualifications for this

Posted by: PTL | May 1, 2011 10:53:41 AM

Once tenured they can't be removed even for a crime. Tenure and the unions have not worked out well for the students or the community.

Posted by: ronnor | May 1, 2011 10:48:58 AM