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Published Friday, December 8, 2000
Van de Velde has Pentagon post
Position requires top security clearance

YDN Staff Reporter

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Former Yale lecturer James Van de Velde '82 is working for the Pentagon and has an "extremely high" level of security clearance, his superior officer has confirmed.

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Pope said Wednesday that Van de Velde, the only named suspect in the Suzanne Jovin '99 murder investigation, has been working for the U.S. Defense Department in an active military role for nearly a year.

Van de Velde works in the office of the assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence.

"We are charged with reviewing defense-related classified materials for declassification purposes," Pope said.

Van de Velde's position requires an "extremely high" level of security clearance, "above top secret," Pope added.

The government thoroughly investigated Van de Velde's past when his security clearance came up for review this past year, Pope said.

New Haven police said Van de Velde was a suspect in the Jovin case shortly after she was stabbed to death Dec. 4, 1998.

Police have not revealed any new information in the case in nearly two years, but Yale has recently hired Andrew Rosenzweig, a private investigator who specializes in solving cold cases, to look into the murder, the New Haven Register reported Thursday.

Rosenzweig is a former chief investigator with the New York district attorney's office. He is now retired and owns a book store in Newport, R.I.

Yale President Richard Levin would neither confirm nor deny hiring a private investigator Monday.

Tom and Donna Jovin, Suzanne's parents, said in an e-mail they asked Yale to hire a private investigator a year-and-a-half ago.

Van de Velde has also repeatedly called for a private investigation of the case.

Yale cancelled his classes for the spring 1999 term, saying his presence in the classroom would be a distraction to students.

At the end of the term, the political science department declined to renew his one-year contract. Administrators said Van de Velde, who had previously served as dean of Saybrook College, merely filled a temporary need in the department.

Quinnipiac University also dismissed Van de Velde from a graduate program in journalism shortly after the murder.

Quinnipiac has never offered an explanation for the dismissal.

But if Quinnipiac and Yale had qualms about their affiliations with Van de Velde, the government clearly has not.

Asked if the security investigation found any problems in Van de Velde's past, Pope replied, "None whatsoever."

Copyright © 2002 Yale Daily News Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

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