I had withdrawn my original post about this from several days ago, because many details were unclear, and there was a risk then, I was led to believe, that publicity would adversely affect the interests of Prof. Sartwell and perhaps others. But now I am persuaded that the matter warrants public scrutiny, and I hope reporters from CHE or IHE will investigate what is going on.
Here, briefly, is what is now a matter of public record.
Prof. Sartwell, on his blog, accused two philosophers, Alexander Nehamas (Princeton) and Linda Zagbeski (Oklahoma) of plagiarism of different aspects of his work; both denied the allegation, and I have no reason to think the allegations are true since I have not investigated them for myself. It also does not matter. As a matter of academic freedom, Prof. Sartwell has a right to accuse other professors of plagiarism; if the allegations are not true, he should be sued for libel. It is not for Dickinson College to discipline him.
In complaining about Prof. Zagbeski's alleged plagiarism, he concluded by posting a country-music video by a singer named Melissa Lambert called "Time to Get a Gun." Prof. Sartwell writes about country music, and posts lots of music videos. Prof. Sartwell denies making any threats, and if, on the basis only of the original blog posting, Professors Riggs and Zagzebski from the University of Oklahoma actually reported him to the police, as alleged, they acted wrongfully. And, worse, if Dickinson College, put Prof. Sartwell on a temporary leave on the basis of this blog post, the College also acted wrongfully. (I have experience with mentally ill cyber-stalkers posting apparently threatening messages; I have never, however, reported them to the police, but I have taken prudent measures to investigate what's going on. The behavior in question was quite a bit more serious than posting a music video.)
Prof. Sartwell has now been put into the unpleasant position of having to defend his sanity--his defense of it seems quite sane to me. He is apparently negotiating with Dickinson about a severance package. There are allegations in the student newspaper that he has been targeted for his political views. This may have no merit, I do not know.
But the matter deserves scrutiny from journalists who cover higher education. It may be that there are other factors that explain both the behavior of the philosophers at Oklahoma and the behavior of Dickinson College. But the academic community deserves to know at this point, since what is public so far is alarming and suggests a possibly serious breach of academic freedom and the rights of tenured faculty.