Professor Ioan Dascălu supervised the doctorates of two of the Romanian Chiefs of Police, that of another Chief's wife and that of the son of yet another Chief. Photo: Liviu Florin Albei / Inquam Photos

The Dynasties of the Doctors in Romania’s Secret Services

/ November 6, 2020
Professor Ioan Dascălu supervised the doctorates of two of the Romanian Chiefs of Police, that of another Chief's wife and that of the son of yet another Chief. Photo: Liviu Florin Albei / Inquam Photos
Professor Ioan Dascălu supervised the doctorates of two of the Romanian Chiefs of Police, that of another Chief’s wife and that of the son of yet another Chief. Photo: Liviu Florin Albei / Inquam Photos

The children or spouses of a number of doctoral supervisors who work for the SRI Academy, the Police Academy and the National Defense University have become doctors in the fields of Public Order and National Security, Intelligence and National Security or Military Sciences.

Gabriel Oprea, Mircea Mureșan, Mihai Vasile-Ozunu, Gheorghe Toma, Ioan Dascălu, Țuțu Pișleag and Florin Sandu are just a few of the university professors whose immediate family members (children or spouses) have obtained doctorates or have pursued academic teaching careers within the same academic institutions.

Several scientific research studies have evaluated the manner in which parents influence a child’s education and profession. The influence that spouses have on each other has been a topic that researchers have looked at. 

However, no such study has “explored” the family ties, which have sprung forth in Romanian military universities.

Assistant professor was sentenced by the DNA

The national press recently reported at length about an assistant professor from the Police Academy. He made headlines after coming to an agreement with DNA prosecutors and accepting a sentence of 18 months of imprisonment. However, the agreement was that he would only have to serve time two years after the date the final sentence was given.

The DNA accused him of having given his students the topics of their final exam, taken during the summer of 2017. This was for the course on Organized Crime.

As a result, 30 out of 32 students received a 9.70 out of 10.

The accused Ștefan Gabriel Dascălu (35 years old), who was a university-level teaching assistant at the Police Academy in 2014, was awarded the position after having received a grade average of 8.73 out of 10.

Before becoming a teaching assistant at the Police Academy, Dascălu was an officer at the Anti-Drug Service in the Romanian Police’s Office of Combating Organized Crime and later on, a special agent.

In 2012, two years before taking on a didactic position, he also acquired his PhD through the Police Academy, with a thesis entitled “The Legal Regime and the Methodology of Investigating Illicit Trafficking of High-Risk Drugs”. Professor Stefan Pruna supervised his doctoral thesis.

Ștefan Gabriel Dascălu graduated from the Law Department of the Bioterra University (2001-2005), where his father, Ioan Dascălu, was a professor; at the same time, he also studied and graduated from Police Officer Academy in Campina (2003-2005).

His appointment as a member of the didactic staff within the Police Academy had been prepared beforehand. As soon as he defended his thesis, he had it published and then quickly began to publish other articles in several academic journals, seeking to obtain the required score that would qualify him to apply for a university-level position.

Although the DNA investigated him, Ștefan Gabriel Dascălu continues to lecture to this day.

Adrian Iacob, the Rector of the Police Academy, told us “officially, the DNA has not granted him any verdict.”

He added, however, that, following the press release announcing the verdict concerning Dascalu’s guilty plea, the Police Academy will take “take measures to remain available” to Dascălu, until the final decision of the court is applied.

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Much better known than Ștefan Gabriel Dascălu is his father, Ioan Dascălu, former university professor and doctoral supervisor at the Police Academy.

Whether or not it was his wish, Dascălu Senior will go down in history (particularly that of doctoral studies in Romania) as the individual who, together with Gabriel Oprea and Costică Voicu, established a unique doctoral field on a global level back in 2002: Public Order and National Security (OPSN).

A doctoral school was created in order to accommodate this new field and it was placed under the umbrella of the Police Academy, which awarded about 340 doctoral degrees in 16 years.

Many of the individuals who obtain doctorates in the field of Public Order and National Security from the Police Academy are police officers, politicians, magistrates, important state officials or businessmen.

This military university is also caught in the scandal concerning the plagiarized theses of some of its former PhD students.

Nine doctoral theses that were defended at the Police Academy were plagiarized, as was released in the press, and for six of them, complaints were made to the National Council for the Certification of Titles, Diplomas and University Certificates (CNATDCU). But the CNATDCU has not yet issued any verdict for them. 

Ioan Dascălu supervised one of the doctoral dissertations suspected of being plagiarized. This dissertation belongs to Robert Negoiță, the Mayor of Sector 3 in Bucharest. PressOne explored this matter in an exclusive article revealing that his thesis was entirely plagiarized – from the first to the last sentence.

Moreover, Ioan Dascălu supervised 39 doctoral theses at the Police Academy.

Among those who acquired the coveted title under his guidance are two former chiefs of the Romanian Police – Marian Tutilescu and Bogdan Despescu, as well as Adriana Voicu, the wife of Costică Voicu, former Rector of the Police Academy and former Chief of the Romanian Police.

Also numbered among Dascălu’s doctoral students is the “famous” Claudiu Ţupulan, a professor at the Police Academy who attempted to remove the accusation of plagiarism from both Petre Tobă, former Minister of the Interior and Florentin Pandele, the Mayor of Voluntari.

The incriminated dissertations of these two individuals were defended at the National Defense University (UNAP).

Florentin Pandele has another doctoral degree that was obtained in 2007, his mentor being none other than Ioan Dascălu.

Dascălu Senior retired from the Police Academy in 2005 and went on to become a professor at Bioterra University, one of the most controversial private universities in Romania. Here, Dascălu was Rector and later, Dean of the University’s Law Department.

However, he remained a doctoral supervisor at the Police Academy until 2017, when, he resigned as a result of the numerous articles that were written about him in the press.  

An opportunistic career

Adriana Camelia Voicu, (50 years old), who is Costică Voicu’s wife – the latter being the former head of the Romanian Police – obtained a doctoral degree in 2006, under the guidance of Ioan Dascălu.

Her entire career experienced a radical shift after meeting her husband.

Former hairdresser at SC Igiena, according to several sources, and clerk at the same company according to her official CV (1992-2000), Adriana Camelia Voicu graduated from Law School at the Romanian-American University in 2000.

She defended her bachelor’s thesis at the Police Academy, while her husband was the Rector.

In 2002, she graduated with a Master’s degree, and in 2006, she was awarded a PhD with the thesis entitled “Economic-financial Crime, a Threat Factor to Public Order”.

While completing her post-graduate studies, Adriana Camelia Voicu became employed by the National Administration of State Reserves (2002-2004), precisely during the period of time when Gabriel Oprea, who was her husband’s good friend, was running the Institution.

In 2004, according to her CV, she became the legal advisor to the “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy (ANIMV), which was subordinate to the SRI.

At that time, Costică Voicu was the Rector of the Police Academy (2000-2008), and the heads of the SRI administration – Director Radu Timofte and his deputies Dumitru Zamfir and Ionel Marin – were completing their doctoral studies at the Police Academy under the supervision of Gabriel Oprea.

Costică Voicu former chairman of the PhD panel for all the three important SRI officials

Costică Voicu (photo) was the chairman of the PhD panel for all the three important SRI officials.

In 2007, Adriana Camelia Voicu became a lecturer at the SRI Academy (position 24 of the state of functions, published in the Official Gazette no. 216/2007), by the Senate Decision of May 5.

At that time, George Maior was running the SRI, and Gabriel Oprea had initiated the necessary steps for establishing a doctoral school at the SRI Academy.

In 2013, Adriana Camelia Voicu left the SRI Academy and became a lecturer in the Department of Legal, Political and Administrative Sciences at the “Spiru Haret” University, the largest university degree factory in Romania.

Costică Voicu is also a professor at the same university, working in the same department.

PhD in drag racing

Among Ioan Dascălu’s doctoral students was Sebastian Florin Sandu, the son of Florin Sandu. The latter was also a Chief of the Romanian Police, as well as a professor and doctoral supervisor at the Police Academy.

Florin Sandu Senior became the first doctoral supervisor in Public Order and National Security after the creation of this “scientific” field by the Oprea-Voicu-Dascălu trio.

Florin Sandu, former Chief of the Romanian Police
Florin Sandu, former Chief of the Romanian Police.

In the early 2000s, when his father was the Chief of the Romanian Police, Sebastian Florin Sandu’s name appeared in the media several times.

Launched into large-scale businesses, Sandu Junior was the partner of the PSD leaders Doru Ioan Tărăcilă and Iosif Armaș in the company Argirom International SA at the time when all the touristic sites (hotels and restaurants) in Baile Herculane were bought by this company for only 120,000 Dollars.

Today, 17 years since its privatization, the resort is in ruins.

Sebastian Florin Sandu began his doctoral studies at the Police Academy in 2009 and completed them three years later.

His thesis was entitled “Illegal Drag Racing, between Risk and Benefits for Public Order”.

Sandu Junior is passionate about cars and engines. Between 2000 and 2010, the media proclaimed that he had obtained two preferential license plate numbers from the Traffic Police, beginning with the letters POL. These license plates should have been reserved for service vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Interior.

All the Doctors in the Toma Family

Also at the Police Academy, Professor Gheorghe Toma’s two sons also obtained their PhDs just two days apart. Gheroge Toma and Gabriel Oprea are close friends.

Gheorghe Toma, Gabriel Oprea and Constantin Onișor are the individuals who contributed enormously to the establishment of the Doctoral School at the SRI Academy in 2007.

At the moment, Gheorghe Toma is the Secretary General of the Academy of National Security Sciences (ASSN), an institution established by George Maior and Gabriel Oprea.

Both of Toma’s sons are employed at the Security and Protection Service (SPP), an institution in which their father also worked between 2003-2006.

In addition, Toma Senior supervised the PhD thesis of former SPP director Gabriel Naghi, an individual who PressOne recently wrote about as it was discovered that his dissertation was plagiarized.

Robert Cătălin Toma (45 years old), Gheorghe Toma’s eldest son, obtained his PhD on September 27, 2016, at the Police Academy. His thesis supervisor was Professor Țuțu Pișleag.

His work was entitled “Considerations Regarding the Place and Role of the Protection and Guard Service Determined by the Dynamics of Risk Factors in the Security Environment”.

Professor Dan Victor Cavaropol, was the chairman of the thesis defense panel and the adjoining professors were Constantin Onișor and Nicolae Rotaru, both from the SRI Academy. In addition, there was George Marius Ţical, from the Police Academy.

Since 2011, the Education Law has prohibited two professors from the same university to be members of a PhD panel. However, this law did not stop Gheorghe Toma’s eldest son.

Robert Cătălin Toma is an agricultural engineer, a graduate from the Department of Agriculture (1991-1996) at the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest. His bachelor degree thesis is entitled “Food Security – Combating the Rotting of Sunflowers.”

He also completed Law School at the Police Academy (2001-2006), where he also pursued a Master’s degree in 2008. 

Professor Toma’s younger son, Claudiu Marius Toma (42 years old), acquired his PhD at the Police Academy two days after his brother, on September 29, 2016. However, Professor Dan Victor Cavaropol supervised his thesis.

The chairman of his thesis defense panel was George Marius Tical, and the panel members who made the decision to award the doctoral degree were professors Daniel Dumitru and Dorin Pânzariu, both from UNAP, and Ștefan Pruna, from the Police Academy.

Again, the Police Academy violated the law by inviting two professors from the same university to be members of the defense panel.

Claudiu Marius Toma is also a graduate of the Police Academy’s Law School (1995-1999).

He pursued the same Master’s program as his older brother. In 1999, he became employed by the Gendarmerie, where he worked until 2007. In 2007, he took on a position at the SPP, where today, he is the department head.

The transfer of Generations between the Police and the SRI.

Professor Ţuțu Pișleag achieved notoriety in June of his year. He was the thesis supervisor of the former Minister of Education, Liviu Marian Pop, who was not awarded with a PhD because he was accused of having plagiarized while he was defending his thesis. 

At the time, PressOne revealed the allegations of plagiarism, exclusively, and related the incident in which Ţuțu Pișleag resorted to making threats against journalists.

Țuțu Pișleag (left), at Liviu Pop's thesis defense. Photo: Emilia Șercan
Țuțu Pișleag (left), at Liviu Pop’s thesis defense. Photo: Emilia Șercan

Țuțu Pișleag’s son, George Antoniu Pișleag, is a university lecturer at the SRI Academy.

He managed to become employed at the ANIMV even before acquiring his PhD. In 2011, he obtained the position of assistant professor. In 2015 he publicly defended his thesis, and last year he was promoted to the position of lecturer.

His doctoral supervisor was Professor Constantin Onișor, and his thesis was entitled “A Study on the Legal Dimension of Modern Security. International Law and Security Strategies ”.

The chairman of George Antoniu Pișleag’s doctoral defense panel was Gheorghe Toma.  Pişleag’s father had supervised one of Toma’s sons PhD thesis.

The other professors on the panel were Cristian Popa from the ANIMV, Tiberiu Pavelescu from the Police Academy and Constantin Iordache from UNAP.

Pișleag Junior graduated from the Hyperion University School of Law in 2007, and until he became employed at the SRI, he was a legal advisor for a private firm.

He only obtained his official position at the SRI Academy on February 1, 2017, when he applied for and was granted the position of lecturer.

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Ileana Vasile-Ozunu is the daughter of General Mihai Vasile-Ozunu, former Director of the National Defense College (CNAp).

She holds the rank of Chief Commissioner and has worked in the Ministry of Interior for almost 14 years. She is currently the Manager of Service II at the General Directorate of European Affairs and International Relations.

Ileana Vasile-Ozunu obtained her doctorate degree in 2012, at the National Defense University, where her father had been a professor for 20 years.

Her thesis is entitled “The Schengen Area and European Security, the Implications of Romania’s Accession to the Schengen Area”.

Her PhD supervisor was Professor Marius Hanganu, and her defense panel was made up of her father’s close friends.

The chairman of the panel was Teodor Frunzeti, then Rector of the National Defense University, currently a councilor in the Presidential Administration’s Department of National Security.

The panel members who made the decision to grant her a doctoral degree were Gheorghe Toma, Constantin Onișor and Dorel Bușe.

Mihai Vasile-Ozunu was instrumental in the development of Gabriel Oprea’s academic career. 

Vasile-Ozunu was the Director of the National Defense College (CNAp) when Gabriel Oprea took on the role of university professor at the institution, which was not at all a university.

Oprea demonstrated his indebtedness when he became Minister of Defense, and granted Vasile-Ozunu the title of Secretary of State.

The relationship that exists between Oprea and Vasile-Ozunu goes beyond co-writing books together. They are family friends, and their daughters, Ana-Maria and Ileana, are also friends.

Mihai Vasile-Ozunu (left), during the time he was Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defense, led by Gabriel Oprea. Susa photo: mapn.ro
Mihai Vasile-Ozunu (left), during the time he was Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defense, led by Gabriel Oprea. Susa photo: mapn.ro

Mihai Vasile-Ozunu was a member of the hiring committee that awarded Oprea a university professor status. 14 years later, he sat on the thesis defense panel for Oprea’s daughter and son-in-law..

He was also a member of the ASSN, but he resigned after certain disclosures were made regarding this organization back in 2016. He is now a professor at “Spiru Haret” University.

A PhD and three Master’ in just two years

Doina Muresan, the wife of Mircea Muresan, who is the former Rector of the National Defense University (UNAp), chose an entirely different career path after meeting her husband.

She was an accountant in several military units, but after she met General Mircea Muresan, the Rector of UNap, she began registering in different university or post-grad courses. This new career journey began in 2003. 

Graduate of the Finance Specialization Program at the Military School of Officers in Sibiu (1983–1986), Doina Mureșan, maiden name Filote, went for her university degree at UNAp between March 1, 2004 – July 31, 2006, when, according to her own CV, she was registered in the Department of Command and Major State, with a specialization in Economic-Financial Management.

The above-mentioned time interval raises some concerns because no university has the possibility of enrolling students after the beginning of the academic semester, especially not in the middle of it.

However, the length of her studies, which was only one and a half years, is most problematic, even it she was completing her studies.

2006 was also the year when Doina Mureșan took several courses and specialization training workshops, simultaneously at UNAp or CNAp.

She completed an English course, one in psycho-pedagogy at UNAp, a career course at CNAp, and two Master’s programs at UNAp: one in National Security and Defense, the second in Educational and Psycho-pedagogical Management.

A third Master’s degree in Computerized Project Management was obtained at the Faculty of Cybernetics, Statistics and Economic Informatics at the Academy of Economic Studies.

All three Master’s degrees and the other training courses were completed during 2007-2008.

A true feat, if we consider that, during the exact same interval, Doina Mureșan was also pursuing a doctoral degree and finally obtained her PhD at the National Defense University.

According to her CV, Doina Mureșan acquired a PhD in just two years (October 2006 – November 2008), which is in itself an accomplishment, without taking into account the other studies that she claims to have completed simultaneously.

His doctoral supervisor was Professor Lucian Stancilă.

The chairman of her PhD defense panel was General Florin Răpan, and the panel members included professors Costică Voicu, Dănuț Chiriac and Constanța Bodea.

The doctoral thesis is entitled “The Economic Dimension of Security in the Age of Partnerships and Alliances”.

While she completed all these studies, Doina Muresan applied for a lecturer position at UNAp and on August 1, 2006, she joined the Department of Economic-Financial Management.

Also in the same extremely busy time period, she became the Deputy Director of the CNAp on February 15, 2008. After obtaining her PhD, she moved into the position of lecturer.

General Mircea Mureșan. Photo source: mapn.ro
General Mircea Mureșan. Photo source: mapn.ro

Shortly after General Mircea Muresan left his position as Rector of UNAp, he became the target of a DNA investigation, together with Gabriel Oprea, Viorel Buța, Florin Răpan and Marius Hanganu, as well as other officers and professors.

It was suspected that between 2002-2008, as doctoral supervisors and professors, they were guilty of awarding doctoral degrees or didactic titles (lecturer, assistant professor and professor), for various sums of money that total up to 15,000 euros, according to the newspaper România Libre, which cited DNA sources at that time.

The Directorate of Prevention and Investigation of Corruption and Fraud in the Ministry of Defense, led at that time by the magistrate Colonel Gheorghe Coșneanu, began its own investigation, which found other abnormalities, including several lecturers who had pursued their PhDs in order to move into the position of professor.

Despite the evidence that was available, the DNA dismissed the case.

After Mircea Mureșan left his position as Rector of UNAp, in the autumn of 2008, Doina Mureșan also made a slight change to her academic career.

She became a professor at the “Dimitrie Cantemir” Christian University. However, she remained employed at the MApN as Director of the Human Resources Management Office.

This past summer, Doina Mureșan was appointed Director of the National Defense College.

Gabriel Oprea was a panel member for his brother-in-law’s PhD

Perhaps the most well-known case of family members obtaining doctoral degrees is that of Gabriel Oprea’s daughter, Ana Maria Tudor, and son-in-law, Alexandru Marius Tudor.

They obtained doctoral degrees in Security and Intelligence Studies at the SRI Academy, an academic institution where Gabriel Oprea worked as a professor and doctoral supervisor until December 1, 2015.

The two publicly defended their theses on the same day, on October 27, 2015.

This takes place during the time period in which the there is a full-blown scandal regarding the plagiarized theses Gabriel Oprea had supervised at both the SRI Academy and the Police Academy. However, this was not taken into consideration at the time.

The Ethics Committee of the SRI Academy carried out an analysis according to which there are suspicions of plagiarism in the theses of the Tudor spouses, which is why CNATDCU was notified.

Recently, PressOne widely reported that Gabriel Oprea’s daughter and son-in-law’s theses would be analyzed by the CNATDCU.

Needless to say, there is yet another Doctor in Gabriel Oprea’s family who is unknown to the general public.

General Valeriu Nicuț, Gabriel Oprea’s brother-in-law – his wife’s sister’s husband. 

The last position that Nicuț held at the MApN was that of Secretary of State, from which he was released in March 2016.

Valeriu Nicuț obtained his PhD in Military Sciences in 2008, his thesis was supervised by Teodor Frunzeti, who followed in Mircea Mureșan’s footsteps as rector and who is now a counselor in the Department of National Security of the Presidential Administration.

General Valeriu Nicuț (right). Photo source: mapn.ro
General Valeriu Nicuț (right). Photo source: mapn.ro

Valeriu Nicuţ’s doctoral thesis is entitled “The Military Dimension of Globalization: The Influences of Military Globalization on the Missions of the Romanian Army ”.

The chairman of the thesis defense panel was General Mircea Mureșan.

The professors who made the decision to grant him his PhD were Gabriel Oprea – his brother-in-law, Gheorghe Udeanu, with whom Oprea authored two works, and General Mihail Orzeață.