Dr. Thomas Butler Breaks Silence - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/20/03

Dr. Thomas Butler Breaks Silence

"Surprised," said Dr. Roy Wilson, President of the Health Sciences Center, describing his reaction upon seeing Dr. Thomas Butler on 60 minutes. "I thought the piece in general was well balanced," he said.

Appointed as President of the Health Sciences Center five months after the plague vials went missing, Dr. Wilson says he hasn't spoken with Dr. Butler, who has since recanted his confession as to accidentally destroying the plague. So, what actually happened to the vials? "I don't want to speculate on what happened to the vials. Up until recently I felt the vials were destroyed because of his statement and then he changed his statement. So at the point I have nothing else to go on," said Wilson.

Butler's trial is set to start on November third, and the court has issued a gag order preventing any further interviews, keeping details behind closed doors. "We've respected the gag order and have not told our side of the story at any time," said Wilson.

But part of that story involves the Health Sciences Center's attempt to distance itself from Dr. Butler. "We have a separate dismissal process in terms of our intent to dismiss," said Wilson. The doctor is currently in mediation.

Meanwhile, Dr. Wilson is confidant that the Health Sciences Center's integrity is intact. "I don't think we've lost any credibility. In fact, I think when all is said and done we'll have gained respect and credibility in the science community for how we've handled this whole situation," he said.

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