This document is online at

A more detailed version: (Rebut-Unsigned-Roter-Report)


Rebuttal to the Roter report:

 The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. – Winston Churchill


The investigation report is flawed:


The report is not signed:   It was delivered by Chancellor Shields, who had motive to “edit” the report as he is named in a federal lawsuit[1] by Dr. Burton.  


Chancellor Shields did not ask Dr. Roter to sign the report before he proceeded to recommend termination (Hearing transcript of 9-19-17 pg102 ln 14-16).


The report is vague and confusing:   The report states “All those interviewed in the Criminal Justice program noted the department environment was “chilling” and “dysfunctional,” and “Interviews of all parties, including Dr. Burton, report that they felt threatened directly and indirectly (exhibit B pg4 para3)."    The report doesn't identify who threatened whom, does not identify what sort of threats were alleged nor what caused the dysfunction.  


The report stated about Dr. Burton: “Colleagues described the threats and harassment as attempt to undermine them professionally and to do damage to their reputation and careers, including calling some unethical and imply that she could adversely impact tenure and promotion processes and decisions. [sic] (exhibit B pg4 para4)” This passage states as though fact, that Dr. Burton threatened and harassed colleagues with no determination whether the allegations were true, and no supporting evidence to support any conclusion.   The sentence uses poor grammar that clouds its intended meaning. 


Conversely, the report presents indisputable facts favorable to Dr. Burton as though they are unproven.  The report states “Mr. Burton did respond, though it appears it was from his own personal email. (exhibit B pg4 para3)” The evidence clearly verifies that Dr. Burton forwarded the email to her husband and that he responded from his own personal email account, yet this indisputable fact was presented as though it might not be true, lending improper credence to the unreasonable and unsupported allegation that Dr. Burton gave her husband unauthorized access to her email account [2].


Numerous inaccuracies:  The report says that the grad student recorded his conversation with Dalecki "without permission (exhibit B pg6 para2)." This is incorrect; the student had his own permission and that is all he required [3].   The report also states “It is clear that Dr. Burton did record a series of conversations, meetings and proceedings without prior consent or notification (exhibit B pg6 para4) [4].”  This is incorrect.  Dr. Burton had her own prior consent.  The report fails to explain that Wisconsin law allows one party consent to record.


The report misquotes Dr. Burton, stating “Dr. Burton asked Jannell Crowley, Human Resources, to take the Letter of Direction out of her personnel file last spring and thought with its removal it was no longer in effect” and ”Dr. Burton also stated that … she thought she was no longer held to that letter as she requested the letter be removed (exhibit B pg5 para2).”  Dr. Burton never told anyone that she thought the LOD was not in effect or that she was no longer held to it because she knew that was not the case [5]


The report states that “Dr. Burton said that she had her husband immediately take down the items in question when she was directed to do so by the University (exhibit B pg3 para4) .”  This is wrong.    Dr. Burton told Dr. Roter “As soon as I got the letter, the complaint, from the Chancellor, I received it by mail, email on Jan 4th , I requested that my husband immediately take down anything that was of a problem. So  I don’t want to violate any rules. laws and so on.  What I don’t understand, if it’s so problematic: Damage could have been foiled way earlier.  I mean obviously the letter was written in mid December and it could have, by email either a request or order to take down the problematic audio recordings and transcripts and I would have of course, complied with that order.  So, even the complaint of the chancellor does not include such an order or request [6].” As of 10/21/17 Nobody has ever asked, directed or demanded that Dr. Burton, or her husband, take allegedly confidential materials off the website. 


The report is not objective:  Opinions were lop-sided against Dr. Burton.  The investigator’s charge was as a fact finder (exhibit B pg6 para4), [7] but the report contains many opinions that lean heavily toward strong bias against Dr. Burton.


During her discussion about the Throop LOD Dr. Burton said that on one email she was "kinda direct," "pretty short," “kinda short” and “brief” mainly because Deb Rice had “cussed (her) out.”  The report misquoted Dr. Burton, saying she “noted that she has a tendency to be direct and short which could be perceived as threatening (exhibit B pg5 para1).”  Dr. Burton never said this [8].   Then Chancellor Shields, in his statement of charges, misquoted the report writing "You admitted to investigator Roter that you are direct and short with colleagues, and that you could be perceived as threatening." [9]  Dr. Burton never admitted this as shown in the audio [10].


In reference to the audio recording of a meeting that a graduate student had with Dr. Dalecki [11] the report writer offered this opinion “Upon listening to the transaction it appears to be mentoring rather than punitive or threatening (exhibit B pg6 para3).”  The report failed to mention that the grad student was fired from his position soon after the meeting[12].  The report did not indicate that the meeting could be viewed as threatening by reasonable people.


Factual issues were not resolved:  Irrelevant facts were included and relevant facts were excluded from the report.  The excluded relevant facts all support Dr. Burton.  Credibility of disputed facts was not assessed.    There were no Findings of Fact in the report.  There is no clear explanation of what facts are disputed or undisputed. 


Dr. Burton spent 40 minutes telling Dr. Roter about her concerns over Throop’s Letter of Direction (LOD) to include the serious allegation that her right to a grievance hearing had been unfairly denied in violation of due process laws[13].   But the report is silent on this very serious matter.


The report states “All those interviewed described threatening and harassing emails and interactions examples are in the materials Though none were reported feeling afraid that Dr. Burton would inflict bodily or physical harm on them or their property (exhibit B pg4 para3).”  This does not identify who sent the alleged emails or two whom they were sent.   Without this information, a rational decision of culpability is impossible.  The exhibits do not support these assertions and are not identified in the text of the report.


Sabina told Roter that communication training had been mandated for the department due to the dysfunction of the department but that the administration had failed to conduct the training [14].  There was no mention of the administration’s failure to conduct this department wide training in the report.


Dr. Burton discussed, with Dr. Roter, the documents available on [15] but none of its voluminous evidence was included in the report except the pages provided by the administration.


The report failed to explain why the Throop/Gormley complaint against Dr. Burton included the same material that Dr. Burton was alleged to have improperly disclosed and that the material was unredacted (exhibit C pgs8-19).  The report also contains the same unredacted materials, as does Chancellor Shields’ statement of charges.   None of these people are under threat of termination for this. 


Credibility of witnesses was not addressed:  Dr. Burton had previously filed official complaints about all interviewees so they all had motive to lie, making their testimony incredible.  The report does not include testimony from Dr. Gormley, or any other person against whom Dr. Burton has not filed a complaint.



The report is incomplete:  The report states “Dr. Burton said that colleagues called her mentally ill; asserted that her father was a Nazi SS; questioned her credentials; and appeared to be limiting her expression and professional development (exhibit B pg5 para1)” but did not address these serious allegations. 


Dr. Burton told Dr. Roter about serious problems with her personnel record [16].    The report does not mention the improper handling of Dr. Burton’s personnel record.



The investigation was not fair:


The investigation was circumscribed and was not thorough:  The investigation seems to have been circumscribed to include only people adverse to Sabina.  Dr. Gormley, co-author of the complaint, was not interviewed by the investigator and she was also not available to testify at either hearing.  So, not only was the investigation circumscribed but so has been the appeal process.


The investigation did not include students, the only people who could verify Dr. Burton’s claim that she didn't talk about her dispute in class, even though Dr. Burton suggested that Dr. Roter should talk to students to get this information [17].  The report says that Dr. Roter “did not have a chance to interview students (exhibit B pg5 para5)” but the investigation was conducted at a time when students were easily available.



The process was conducted under the guidance of counsel: When Dr. Burton tried to contact Dr. Roter her email was replied to by Attorney Lattis [18]; Lattis was involved improperly in what was to be an “informal” meeting [19]; in a prior investigation[20]; and in Dr. Burton’s first grievance hearing in 2013 [21].


Attorney Lattis wrote to the hearing panel on May 19, 2017 “I have been informed that the investigator will, when he is able, send the complaint back to the OLR with a recommended finding that no rules of professional conduct have been violated [22].” Two weeks later the investigator signed his dismissal recommendation letter. On July 21, 2017 the Special Preliminary Review Panel referred the matter for further investigation [23].   Attorney Lattis seems to have had improper communication with the investigator.  This supports the argument that she is improperly involved in the case against Dr. Burton.


Attorney Lattis said at the Hearing of 9-19-17 “she (Dr. Burton) received a copy of the rules, there was no violation of her due process, which would have been of course to have received a copy of the rules, and the fact that it didn't come with the charge but came with the original complaint is a harmless error (pg12 line2-7).”  However, a similar technicality was a core point in the appeal of the Marder v Board of Regents case in which Attorney Lattis made arguments for the Board to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin [24].   Dr. Burton did not receive all of the appeal procedures available to her until 4-21-17 [25].  


Prior Investigation reports were also flawed [26]:  One of the investigators admitted that his report was “edited by a third person” after submission.  He verified text had been materially altered [27].  This indicates that the report in question may also have been edited by a third person after Dr. Roter submitted it.  The complaint was dismissed shortly after the investigation report was shown to have been edited after submission [28]

None of the three investigation reports against Dr. Burton have been signed [29].  

The Burke and Barraclough investigation reports were withheld from Dr. Burton in violation of law [30].


Dr. Roter was under investigation in a lawsuit where she was named as a defendant while she was investigating Sabina [31].  


Chancellor Shields did not give Dr. Burton opportunity to request that the investigator be disqualified on grounds of lack of impartiality or other cause.      States: UWS 7.05 (1) (b)  “Upon appointing an investigator and notifying the faculty member, afford the faculty member 3 working days in which to request that the investigator be disqualified on grounds of lack of impartiality or other cause. In the event that the chancellor determines that a request for disqualification should be granted, the chancellor shall, within 2 working days of the determination, appoint a different investigator. The faculty member shall have the opportunity to request that any second or subsequent investigators be disqualified on grounds of lack of impartiality or other cause.”      This is for people convicted of serious crime but then, so is banishment from campus.   At the very least this indicates that there is a problem with biased reports.  Unsigned and biased reports should also be a problem.





[2] B pg42

[3] Wis Statute 968.31(2)(c).

[4] (pg12-para4)


[6]  (part1 13:01 to 14:12)

[7] -(filepg 15 – exhibit A – exhibitspg1)


[9]  -  (5:35 to 7:00)




[13] -  (part 1 at 29:30 to 51:15) and (part 2 at 00:00 to 21:00). 

[14] – pg2, - pg1.

[15]  -  (pt 1 – 4:30 to 5:00)

[16] – (part 2 – 16:15 to 17:30)

[17]  -   (1:00:00 to 1:03:50). 

[18] ,











[29], (exhibit B),


[31] pg3.