Professor Accused of Leaking Report

Thursday, August 17th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CLEVELAND (AP) — A lawsuit accuses a Cleveland State University professor of leaking a secret government report on drug trafficking allegations against one of Mexico's most prominent families.

The federal suit, filed this week in Cleveland, says Donald Schulz, chairman of CSU's political science department, gave the draft of the report written by the National Drug Intelligence Center to newspaper reporters and congressional staffers.

The leak jeopardized U.S.-Mexico relations and ruined the reputation of Carlos Hank Rohn and his family, the suit charges.

Schulz has denied leaking the document and referred questions to his attorney, James West, of Harrisburg, Pa., who said Thursday that he had no comment.

The lawsuit was filed by Laredo National Bank of Laredo, Texas. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and to clear the names of the bank and Hank, who has been chairman of the independent bank holding company for the past decade. His father is a former Mexican Cabinet minister.

The report accused the Hank family of being drug kingpins who laundered money through the Laredo bank.

According to a June 1999 article in The Washington Post, the report said the family ``poses a significant criminal threat to the United States,'' adding, ``Its multibillion-dollar criminal and business empire, developed over several decades, reaches throughout Mexico and into the United States.''

The report was prepared by NDIC, a strategic drug intelligence center under the Justice Department and based in Johnstown, Pa.

The lawsuit alleges that in 1999, NDIC supervisor Donald Huffman gave the report to Schulz, who was writing a book on cocaine and politics in Mexico. At the time, Schulz was an instructor at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

A note accompanied the report that said: ``Please do not disseminate this to anyone without our approval,'' according to the lawsuit.

Huffman has repeatedly denied involvement in the leak but was fired in November.

According to the lawsuit, Schulz made copies and passed them out to several newspaper reporters. The timing of the leaks, the lawsuit said, were ``strategically engineered.''

Congress at the time was debating the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, which later became law. It allows the government to freeze bank accounts and other assets of people it labels significant drug traffickers.