Ken Cuccinelli. (Photo by Gage Skidmore.)

It’s an absolute scandal: During tough economic times, a Virginia government employee has been caught red-handed misspending public funds to advance his political agenda on climate change.

If you think the allusion here is to former University of Virginia climate researcher Michael Mann, the author of the famous hockey stick graph on atmospheric temperatures and a favorite butt of climate-skeptic attacks, think again. Despite a hard-nosed corruption investigation led by Virginia Attorney General (and prominent climate denier) Ken Cuccinelli, every judicial body to examine the Mann case thus far, including several Virginia courts, the National Science Foundation [PDF], and a Penn State ethics panel, has rejected allegations that the professor fraudulently obtained public research dollars.