The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 21, 1989, Image 1

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November 21,1989 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Vol. 89 No. ©£/
Ex-UNL employee files suit
against former police officer
By Jerry Guenther
Senior Reporter
A former library security guard
has filed a lawsuit in U.S.
District Court against a for
mer University of Ncbraska-Lincoln
police officer for alleged harassment
and intimidation that he contends
ended up costing him later jobs.
Raymond Mahlbcrg, who began
working as a security guard at Love
Library in January 1987, is suing
Edward Mentzer and the NU Board
of Regents for attorneys’ fees and at
least $750,000 in damages.
According to the suit, Mahlbcrg
was working in Love Library in May
1987 when he discovered that a door
in the library that had been forcibly
opened.
Mahlbcrg then notified the UNL
Police Department, which dis
patched Mentzer to investigate the
incident, the suit alleges.
Mentzer then concluded “without
probable cause,” according to the
suit, that Mahlbcrg had himself com
mitted the break-in.
Mentzer brought Mahlbcrg to
UNL police headquarters where he
was interrogated for more than two
hours, the suit alleges.
Mahlbcrg was not notified of his
rights and Mentzer refused to allow
him to contact an attorney, the suit
alleges.
Alter Mahlbcrg notified Mentzer
that he would either have to be ar
rested or he was leaving, Mahlbcrg
left police headquarters, according to
the suit.
The Lancaster County Attorney’s
office later informed Mentzer that no
action would be taken against
Mahlbcrg, and Mcnlzcr began under
taking an independent investigation
into Mahlbcrg’s background, includ
ing accessing his academic and per
sonnel records at UNL, the suit al
leges.
Mahlbcrg contends, according to
the suit, that he was fired as a security
guard because of statements that
Mentzer made to his supervisor.
During his investigation, Mcnlzcr
allegedly contacted some of
Mahlbcrg’s friends, classmates and
co-workers to solicit evidence of
possible wrongdoing that Mahlbcrg
committed, the suit says.
Mentzer later had a search warrant
issued so he could search Mahlbcrg’s
home for a specific floppy disc or
discs, the suit alleges, although
Mentzer should have known that
“the facts set forth in his affidavit in
support of the search were false.’’
The suit also says that Mentzer
and a UNL police officer searched
Mahlbcrg’s house for three hours,
removing about 180 floppy disks,
computer program manuals, text
books and personal notebooks.
Mentzer also checked serial num
bers of Mahlbcrg’s computer, televi
sion, stereo, guns, tools and camera
equipment during the search, the suit
alleges.
Upon ending the search, Mentzer
arrested Mahlbcrg without probable
cause and took him to UNL police
headquarters where he was locked in
a closet for about an hour, the suit
alleges.
Mahlbcrg later was taken to the
Lincoln Police Department where
Mentzer caused him to be charged
with felony theft by receiving stolen
property, the suit alleges.
Mahlbcrg also contends in his suit
that Mentzer contacted a supervisor
at a later job he held at the University
of Nebraska Medical Center, in
formed the supervisor of a criminal
investigation into Mahlberg’s activi
ties, which he alleges led to his subse
quent firing.
The suit also contends that
Mentzer conducted a search of
Mahlbcrg’s office without a warrant
and retrieved documents that
Mahlbcrg had printed on his office
computer.
Later that summer, Mentzer alleg
edly contacted the executive director
of the Nebraska Association of Farm
workers, and notified her that
Mahlbcrg had been arrested for a
crime, the suit contends.
Mahlbcrg was then a member of
NAF’s Board of Directors, but be
cause of Mentzer’s contacts with the
executive director, he was asked to
resign, the suit alleges.
On Feb. 10, 1988, a district court
ruled in favor of Mahlbcrg’s motion
to suppress the evidence seized dur
See SUIT on 3
Temporary maintenance department employees Mar*
Sterkel and Brent Weissert move sideline benches off Memo*
rial Stadium’s playing surface and into storage Monday.
Chinese student criticizes Bush s motives
By Jana Pedersen
Senior Reporter
The Bush administration, which is at
tempting to block the passage of a bill
that would make it easier for Chinese
students to become U.S. citizens, is playing
“geological politics,” according to one Uni
versity of Ncbraska-Lincoln Chinese student.
Ding Liu, chairman of the UNL Chinese
Students and Scholars Association, said recent
attempts by the Bush administration and some
members of Congress to block the passage of
the bill arc politically motivated.
“The Bush administration wants to sacri
fice these 40,000 Chinese students for geologi
cal politics,” said Ding, a physics graduate
student.
A White House spokesperson issued a state
ment condemning the bill last weekend before
it was passed by both Congress, Ding said. The
bill must still be signed by President Bush.
The bill would waive the two-year wailing
period usually required after visa expiration
before Chinese students can apply for U.S.
citizenship. Students arc required to return to
China during that time.
Ding said the bill is necessary to protect
Chinese students from facing retaliation for
pro-democracy actions when they return to
China.
Ding said about 40,000 Chinese students
currently studying in the United Slates would
be affected by the bill, Ding said similar legis
lation already has been passed in Canada and
Australia.
The Bush administration is afraid that if the
bill is adopted, it may harm relations with the
Chinese government, Ding said.
Bush believes that “China has an important
position in the Far East, and a good relationship
between China and America is important to
benefit the U.S.,” Ding said. “But the Chinese
government doesn’t like the bill.”
If Bush signs the bill, he said, it will be a
“heavy blow” to China.
Ding said that approval of the bill would
send a message to Chinese officials that
“whenever you do things like they did this
year, you will lose something, you will suf
fer.”
“It would make the Chinese government
pay for what they did in June," he said.
In June, Chinese demonstrators, mostly
university students, were attacked by Chinese
government troops in Tiannanmen Square in
Beijing.
If garnering U.S. citizenship was easier for
Chinese students, Ding said, they wouldn’t
have to return to China and face potential
hostility.
Students whoarc forced to return when their
visas expire will be afraid to participate in any
further pro-dcmocracv actions while they are
in the United Stales, hurling the pro-dcmoc
racy movement here, he said.
“If the bill is killed, you can no longer
expect Chinese students to do anything anti
government because they will have no protec
tion,” he said.
Fear already has practically slopped the pro
democracy movement in China, he said.
“It’s almost impossible to raise a voice of
democracy on political and economic reform
in China now,” he said.
After Ding wrote a letter to his family that
contained anti-government comments in June,
he said, he received only a brief response that
they had received the letter.
Before writing that letter, he received about
one letter a month from his family, he said.
But now his family is too afraid of the
government to write him back, he said.
“You know it’s a poor situation ... when a
family member is afraid to dare to write his son
or brother,” Ding said.
Because the movement can’t be continued
in China, he said, Chinese students abroad, the
majority of whom arc in the United Slates,
must be allowed to continue it.
But they will be loo afraid to continue the
protest if Bush signs it, he said.
“They won’t hurl themselves,’’ he said.
The control of communications in China is
another reason the movement has suffered
there and another reason students in the United
Slates should be allowed to stay. Ding said.
Because the government controls the
amount and type of information allowed into
China, he said, many Chinese citizens don’t
know how bad the situation is.
Having a line of communication open with
the world outside of China will help keep
democratic feelings alive there, he said.
“If 40,000 students stay abroad, it will be
more difficult for the Chinese government to
cut oi l the information flow,” he said. “They
can’t prevent letter exchange between family
members.”
See CHINA on 3
Parking policies debated
By Amie DeFrain
Staff Reporter
he Parking Advisory Com
mittee Monday discussed
ways to stop holders of
reserved stalls from parking in
other stalls, and to allow others to
park in empty reserved stalls dur
ing off hours.
The plan would create a Mon
day-Friday, eight-hour reserved
parking permit, in addition to the
24-hour, scvcn-days-a-wcck re
served permit.
Many committee members
agreed that the first reserved per
mits were being “misused” by
faculty, students and staff mem
bers.
Ron Fuller, staff assistant to the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Police Deparunent, said many
holders arc not using reserved
stalls during the day because they
find other stalls closer to campus.
Fran/. Blaha, faculty represen
tative to the committee, said he
would agree to having the new
reserved stalls reserved during
“business hours” and open after
ward to all other permit holders.
The committee decided to dis
cuss the matter more in the future.
A motion to convert “part of”
Memorial Mall, the grass-covered
area cast of the Memorial Stadium,
into a faculty parking lot failed.
See PARKING on 3
Officials say minimum wage increase
to have little impact on UNL salaries
By Diane Brayton
Staff Reporter
Some UNL officials agree lhal
a minimum wage increase
would have a limited impact
on the university because many jobs
associated with the university al
ready pay close to the proposed
amount.
The minimum wage increase from
$3.35 to $4.25 by April 1991, along
with a proposed lower wage for teen
agers with less than six months work
experience, has passed the U.S.
House of Representatives and is ex
pected to pass the Senate before
Thanksgiving.
Under this proposal, the minimum
wage will increase to S3.SO April 1,
1990, and to $4.25 by April 1991.
Doug Zaicchka, director of hous
ing, said wages in housing and other
UNI. departments “are already
above that (1990) minimum.”
“(Those wages) will continue to
go up, UH>,” he said.
By the tunc the possible S4.25
wage is installed, “the hourly rale (on
campus) will probably be above and
beyond the minimum wage,” Zai
cchka said.
Zaicchka said competition for
good student workers with the com
mercial market and other UNL of
fices is responsible for the present
highcr-than-minimum wages.
Although a federal minimum
wage increase would not directly
result in higher costs for students, the
resulting higher wages that offices
must offer to stay competitive after
1991 could, he said.
“That means students will pay
more money for housing and tuition
because that money will have to
cover the increased cost,” he said.
Daryl Swanson, director of Ne
braska Unions, said the first mini
mum wage increase won’t have a big
effect on student employees because
present wages arc at or close to $3.SO
now.
“The greater effect is going to be
a year later,” Swanson said. ‘‘That
See WAGES on 3