NEWS

Daily Wildcat receives new evidence in stolen newspaper case

The Daily Wildcat has received new evidence against the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity in the mass theft of 10,000 newspapers on Oct. 8.


Students who said they have knowledge of the crime sent e-mail messages to the Daily Wildcat in which they chronicle how and why the theft took place.


This comes after the University of Arizona Police Department closed the case without questioning any Phi Psi members.


Phi Kappa Psi is responsible for the theft and Arizona Student Media's loss of $8,500, the e-mails said.


The fraternity organized a mass effort to steal the newspapers in order to hide a Police Beat item in which a woman said she had been drugged at a Phi Kappa Psi party, an pre-nursing sophomore wrote in an e-mail. She said she knows of the situation because her cousin is in the fraternity.


Phi Kappa Psi's theft of the newspapers was also a revenge act to get back at the Daily Wildcat for a story that ran in March concerning a Phi Kappa Psi member who died, the e-mail said.


The theft was a collaborative effort ""under the orders of fraternity leadership,"" said Brennan Vincent, a mathematics freshman, in an e-mail confirmed via a telephone interview to the Daily Wildcat. ""I am ashamed of the Phi Kappa Psi members whom I know personally and offended that an officially sanctioned campus organization would stoop so low.""


Phi Kappa Psi has a hearing tonight with the Greek Standards Board, where Daily Wildcat representatives will attempt to show the fraternity is more likely than not to have committed the theft, the minimum requirement needed for the board to return with a guilty verdict.


The verdict will be decided by Friday, according to the Greek Standards Board's official procedures.



The emails: 


Brennan Vincent, a mathematics freshman, wrote an email to the Daily Wildcat and also confirmed his claims in a telephone interview late last night:


""I am not in Phi Kappa Psi, but I was told of the incident before it occurred and can state with absolute certainty the following facts. The theft was carried out by members of Phi Kappa Psi, under the orders of fraternity leadership. Everyone from the president to new pledges was involved in the incident. It was an effort to contain the spread of what Phi Kappa Psi members believe to be a false accusation of rape or attempted rape on Phi Kappa Psi property.


""I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments so far expressed by the Daily Wildcat's staff as well as University administrators. The theft was an inexcusable affront to the freedom of the press so obviously necessary to a free society. There are many better ways than premeditated theft to deal with an undeservedly unflattering Police Beat writeup. I am ashamed of the Phi Kappa Psi members whom I know personally and offended that an officially sanctioned campus organization would stoop so low.


""If you are contacted by Phi Kappa Psi in the coming days demanding a retraction of stories linking them to the theft, do not give in. It is well within your mission to report their involvement.""



Email from a pre-nursing sophomore, whose cousin is in Phi Psi but wished to remain anonomous:


""Yes, several individuals in Phi Kappa Psi are responsible for the newspaper theft. Most likely pledges Nick Kovaleski and Alex Cornell were encouraged to do the stealing by a couple of older ""brothers"". Many others in the fraternity knew about this, but did not choose to participate, but also did not choose to stop it from happening in the first place.



""They basically said that the newspaper ran a slanted biased article hinting that the death of Andrew Segal was due to lack of control of alcohol in their fraternity.


""Basically they took the papers because they want articles written involving them to have both sides of the issue and a retraction made when new evidence is brought forth in contradiction to previous articles.""


Share this article