Monday's decision by Senate Education Chairman Robert Plymale, D-Wayne, to pull $3 million in state funding for the West Virginia Regional Technology Park probably achieved its purpose.
Plymale reportedly took the action because of a rumor that WVU-Tech was going to move its engineering school from Montgomery to the tech park.
That was apparently nothing more than a rumor.
Phil Halstead, the park's executive director, said on Tuesday, "Speaking only for myself but as CEO of the tech park, I have not heard one word about that, and I don't know anyone else who has. So to my knowledge it is an unfounded rumor."
MetroNews quoted Carolyn Long, WVU-Tech's leader, as saying she has no idea how the rumor got started but such a move "has never been on our radar."
If the rumor has been put to rest to Plymale's satisfaction, presumably he will restore the tech park's funding and all will be well.
But will it?
Using the legislative equivalent of a nuclear weapon to clear up an unfounded rumor seems like driving a car onto a crowded sidewalk to see if anyone screams. It may work out OK, but there could be serious consequences.
The Dow Chemical Co. gave the tech park to the state in December 2010. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission received the park on the state's behalf and guided its progress until last year when a separate board of directors was named and Halstead was hired. The commission still represents the park in matters before the Legislature.