Edward Rozek, a professor of political science at the University of Colorado and a prominent conservative political figure, was charged today with 22 felony counts in connection with his activities as director of a right-wing political organization with ties to leading conservatives around the country.
Rozek was charged with three counts of theft for allegedly diverting to his own use money donated to the tax-exempt Center for Science, Technology and Political Thought, which Rozek helped establish in 1972, and to the university's Institute for the Study of Comparative Politics and Ideologies. Rozek is alleged to have spent the money on vacations.
He also was charged with three counts of forgery and seven counts of soliciting money for the center that was used to pay for his legal expenses. In addition, Rozek was charged with embezzlement of public property.
In a statement, Rozek claimed that the charges that led to the investigation by a special prosecutor were "concocted" by his former wife, who was unavailable for comment.
A 13-page list of potential witnesses in the case, which was filed in Boulder County Court, reads like a Who's Who of conservative politicians and businessmen.
Included are former secretary of state Alexander M. Haig Jr.; Colorado industrialist Joseph Coors; J.R. Fluor, chairman of the Fluor Corp. in Los Angeles; Richard Mellon Scaife, a right-wing philanthropist who heads the Carthage Foundation and is associated with Coors as a contributor to the Heritage Foundation; Philip Winn, a former assistant secretary in the Housing and Urban Development Department under President Reagan and an unsuccessful candidate last year for governor of Colorado; former U.S. representative Dr. Walter H. Judd; former national security affairs adviser Richard V. Allen; nuclear physicist Dr. Edward Teller; several Denver oilmen, and Philip Anshutz, a Denver-based mining billionaire.
The possible witnesses also include some Saudi and Taiwanese officials.
Rozek, a 1951 graduate of Harvard, has taught at the University of Colorado since 1956. He has authored several books on the Soviet bloc, and first gained notoriety in the early 1960s as a staunch supporter of the Vietnam war.
With the help of Coors, Rozek established the center, then called the Edward Teller Center for the Study of Science, Technology and Politics, in 1972. The center was not an official arm of the university, but contracted with the school for use of facilities to bring conservative speakers to the campus.
In 1973, Rozek was criticized for diverting money donated to the Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems and Ideologies to his center. The institute is a university-accredited summer program whose activities closely parallel those of the center. Teller demanded that his name be withdrawn from use by Rozek after a dispute over direction of the center in 1975.
The following year, Rozek announced the formation of the Alexander Solzhenitsyn Society for Freedom and Justice to honor the exiled Nobel Prize winner. However, Solzhenitsyn disclaimed any association with Rozek's society and denied authorizing him to use his name.
Rozek was embroiled in controversy in 1979 when he used the names of arms control specialists Paul H. Nitze and Eugene V. Rostow to solicit funds for a conference to be sponsored by his center. Both Nitze and Rostow wrote Rozek that they had not given him permission to use their names.
At the time, Rozek explained to a Boulder newspaper that he used the men's names on the assurance of Jay Lovestone, a former adviser to the late George Meany of the AFL-CIO, that both men would attend.