Friday, December 29, 2006

Analyzing the Complaint

“Nifong engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation . . .”

--The North Carolina State Bar v. Michael B. Nifong, p. 16.

In yet another extraordinary turn of events in a case that has involved many such turns, yesterday afternoon, just after 5.00pm, the North Carolina State Bar announced that it had filed an ethics complaint against Mike Nifong. The filing focused solely on his procedurally improper public statements, which the Bar (correctly) contends violated Rule 3.8(f) of the Code of Professional Responsibility. That provision requires prosecutors to “refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused.”

Importantly, the bar complaint also alleges that Nifong’s violations of 3.8(f) were of such magnitude that they ran afoul of Rule 8.4(c) and Rule 8.4(d), which state that prosecutors cannot “engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation”; or “engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.”

1.) The Timing

The bar was not required to publicly release its complaint. Indeed, the bar could have filed the complaint under seal, with the understanding that the Disciplinary Hearing Commission would address the Nifong matter after the lacrosse case ended.

That the bar acted publicly—and did so out of the blue, not even waiting for its next scheduled meeting, in mid-January—can only be interpreted as an unequivocal repudiation of Nifong by the legal leadership of his state. It is no coincidence, in short, that the complaint was publicly released less than a week after Nifong’s most bizarre move to date—his manipulation of the evidence to drop charges of rape but retain allegations of sexual assault, in light of the December 15 hearing.

In some respects, the symbolism of the filing is almost as important as the substance.

That the bar would act in this manner suggests that the complaint is only the first shoe to drop, and that other actions will be taken against Nifong. If the bar found Nifong worthy of discipline for his extra-judicial comments, then it surely would have to consider an ethics complaint against Nifong for his conspiracy with Dr. Brian Meehan to hide the exculpatory evidence. Given the recent nature of this revelation, no public filing on this matter could occur at this stage, since procedurally, Nifong is entitled to a response period before the bar decides whether to move forward.

Also, the bar would at least have to consider ethics complaints on issues relating to Nifong’s ordering the police to violate their own procedures in the flawed April 4 lineup. Yet it would be unlikely that a complaint would be filed as long as the matter is pending before Judge Smith.

2.) The Specifics

The complaint divides Nifong’s comments into six types of violations. The worst type, it contends, involved the D.A.’s public speculation that a condom might have been used, when he knew or should have known that the accuser had explicitly stated that her alleged assailants did not use condoms (at least in the version of events she was offering at the time).

The two remarks the bar highlights:

(March 31, MSNBC): “If a condom were used, then we might expect that there would not be any DNA evidence recovered from say a vaginal swab.”

(April 11, Charlotte Observer): “I would not be surprised if condoms were used. Probably an exotic dancer would not be your first choice for unprotected sex.”

With these remarks, according to the bar, “Nifong engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.” The bar correctly kept in mind the context of DNA and Nifong’s public statements. In the March 23 NTO and then in public statements on March 27 and March 28, Nifong had repeatedly asserted that DNA existed and would both clear and innocent and identify the guilty. Then, suddenly, the DNA tests came back without a match—and, according to the bar, the D.A. decided to engage in “fraud” and “deceit” to explain away the results.

Consider the ramifications of this wording, and how it would affect any trial or even the February 5 hearings. Defense attorneys do not need to undermine Nifong’s credibility—the State Bar has already publicly associated him with such characteristics as dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation.

In the 17-page complaint—the ethics equivalent of an indictment—the bar laid out the five other ways in which Nifong’s improper statements affected the proper administration of justice:

  • Improper commentary on the lacrosse players’ invocation of their constitutional rights;
  • Improper commentary on the evidence to be presented in the case;
  • Improper commentary about the guilt of the accused;
  • Improper commentary about the “character, credibility, and reputation of the accused”;
  • Improperly making statements that heightened public condemnation of the accused.

In the process, the complaint detailed many of the quotes that close followers of the case long had have found outrageous—and, indeed, that were many months ago indexed, in one of the most important archival developments of the case, by Nancy Kidder.

Cited statements included:

  • “I’m disappointed that no one has been enough of a man to come forward.”
  • One would wonder why one needs an attorney if one was not charged and had not done anything wrong.”
  • There is evidence of trauma in the victim’s vaginal area that was noted when she was examined by a nurse at the hospital. And her general demeanor was suggestive of the fact that she had been through a traumatic situation.”
  • “Somebody had an arm around her like this, which she then had to struggle with in order to be able to breathe, and it was in the course of that struggle that the fingernails—the artificial fingernails broke off.” (the infamous “chokehold” interview)
  • “The contempt that was shown for the victim, based on her race was totally abhorrent. It adds another layer of reprehensibleness, to a crime that already reprehensible.”

The motion itself is here. The cumulative effect of these quotes—inflammatory statement after inflammatory statement; misleading assertion after misleading assertion; inaccurate claim after inaccurate claim—is extremely powerful.

3.) The defendant (Nifong) has a very weak case.

Nifong has offered a variety of defenses for his actions: (1) that he didn’t “accuse anybody of any crime”; (2) that he just wanted to encourage people to “cooperate with the investigation”; (3) that he sought to “effectuate a more accurate public discourse on an issue with great social resonance”; (4) that Rule 3.8(f) doesn’t apply until people are indicted; and (5) his speaking out reassured people that “the community was in good hands with respect to this case, and they did not need to worry about it.”

Item (5), of course, is transparently absurd in light of the bar’s filing. The bar makes short shift of items 1-3, as well.

The complaint spends some more time with item (4), noting that Nifong made at least 10 procedurally improper statements “after suspects had been identified.”

4.) Nifong has become a pariah among serious thinkers about the law.

Two hours before the ethics complaint became public, the AP’s Aaron Beard filed a story filled with condemnations of Nifong from prominent law professors. Beard apparently couldn’t find any law professor to defend Nifong.

Loyola Law’s Stan Goldman: if Nifong succeeds in getting the case to trial, “This guy would be the poster child in public defenders' offices around the country as the quintessential bad DA.”

Duke Law’s James Coleman, the shining light of this case: “I don’t see how any member of the public can have confidence in this case. I think it’s making a mockery of our criminal justice system to permit this guy to keep fumbling along. It’s either total incompetence or it's misconduct on a scale that is extraordinary.”

According to the AP article, even former Nifong enablers such as Woody Vann and Norm Early have essentially ceased defending him.

5.) By making the complaint public, the bar has presented Nifong with a conflict of interest in remaining on the case, since he is now a defendant on ethics charges growing out of his conduct in the case.

The result: he likely will be recuse himself or be removed as prosecutor. Since any member of his office would face the same conflict of interest as Nifong, it’s hard to see how Judge Osmond Smith could allow a Durham assistant district attorney to prosecute the case.

Such a development would bump up the case to the special prosecutions division of the Attorney General’s office. But why would Roy Cooper want to take over a sinking ship? And would any other DA in the state be willing to step in and prosecute the case if Cooper refuses to involve himself? In short, the bar’s actions raise the possibility that this could become the case without a prosecutor—setting the stage for a dismissal.

A final note: readers of the comments section of this blog should recall that DIW reader Kemperman spoke personally with a member of the bar’s executive board several weeks ago, and foretold of this move by the bar. A major hat tip is in order.

A few weeks before the election, Friends of Duke spokesperson Jason Trumpbour predicted that Governor Easley would choose the next D.A.—immediately if Lewish Cheek prevailed, sometime thereafter if Nifong won, given the likelihood of ethics charges. In light of the bar’s actions, Trumpbour looks prescient.

96 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beard should have asked Wendy Murphy for a pro Nifong quote!

Anonymous said...

Jason figured it out months ago, too bad Monks didn't.

Anonymous said...

referring to Easley appointing a DA for Durham....

Anonymous said...

If this goes to the special prosecutions division, then it's batters up for all the DIRTY cops!
Who had a hand in this hoax...

Gunslinger said...

Nifong took such pains not to become a witness in the lax case...how ironic that he's now a defendant in his own.

Anonymous said...

It is about time Nifong got the attention he deserves. This is the best news I could imagine!

Anonymous said...

Once again, K.C., I stand in awe of your extraordinary ability to bring clarity to complex matters for the rest of us. Thank you for all that you do for the Duke case. It is of consequence to everyone in the U.S.

Chris said...

Thanks again for your terrific coverage of this mess.

Anonymous said...

Since he is obviously evil, thank goodness Nifong is dumb and evil. Just think about where we might be if he weren't so dumb.

Anonymous said...

K.C., while we are all cheering the N.C. Bar's action against Nifong, I cannot help but think about the terrible lies that actually started the hoax. Can, and will, anything be done to hold the accuser accountable?

richtes said...

I doubt a special procecuter would decline to at least review the case, but wouldn't be surprised if the FA refuses to meet with them, thus ending the current phase.

Anonymous said...

I'll agree that the filing, today, is symbolic. But, the "coincidence" factor says that the Bar is running a bit scared for its own culpability in allowing a rogue prosecutor to proceed unfettered for NINE MONTHS!

This case could have run through all the hoops and been filed (even under seal) after the last indictment. No violations are cited after early May, and most are within the March 27-April 11 period.

The Bar is covering its butt at the exact time when it's "safe" to come out and "do something."

Shameful.

Anonymous said...

That last comment was by

Twaddlefree

texasyank said...

The nest shoe drops in what will be a centipede of a case.

Clunk, clunk, clunk.

Anyone care to predict the over-under?

1. The case, in any capacity, making it to Feb. 6th.

2. Mike Nifong remaining as prosecutor of the case as far as Feb. 5th.

3. Mike Nifong as Durham DA on June 1.

4. Mike Nifong, not facing indictment by December 31, 2007.

texasyank said...

Ech. NEXT shoe.

Anonymous said...

How much longer will Nifong be allowed to torment the Duke lacrosse players? There is no evidence to support the remaining charges. Can't someone in authority step in and end this travesty immediately?

KC Johnson said...

On holding the accuser accountable: nothing, I suspect.

The fact that Nifong "believed" her for so long almost certainly would shield her from prosecution for a false claim; and civil suits against her would be meaningless because she has no funds.

Anonymous said...

A civil suit with compensatory damages being that any and all income or benefit from any publication or interview, etc. by or on behalf of the false accuser, that is related in any manner to this case, would be directed to the defense fund of the three defendants.

Twaddlefree

Anonymous said...

...not to mention the legal record of total absolution, which is significant in itself.

I imagine there are a number of attorneys standing in line to pro bono the case.

Twaddlefree

Anonymous said...

The danger with Easley appointing the next Durham DA is that he may consider appointing ADA Tracy Cline.

Cline isn't in the spotlight right now, but Easley considered appointing her when Jim Hardin (Nifong's predecessor) resigned. According to courthouse rumor, Hardin told Easley that Nifong was a better pick.

Cline is currently the second chair on the Duke case, so clearly she too would be conflicted off of THIS case, but how good a DA would she make for Durham given:

(1) she's an experienced sex crimes prosecutor and she couldn't keep Nifong from running amok on this case even though she was second chairing for him;

(2) former DA Jim Hardin reportedly discouraged Easley from choosing her and said Nifong was better for the job (how telling is that?!?); and

(3) she's been a relentless Nifong supporter and defender.

Hopefully, Easley's got the sense to appoint someone else. But, given the fact that he appointed Nifong, I'm not really optimistic.

Anonymous said...

This is why a federal investigation of the whole department is needed. Who has clean hands in that group?

Anonymous said...

You can review virtually everyone of Nifong's statements and find falsehood, using only his own admissions and statements as a guide. While the dismissal statement was notable for admitting that he had no medical evidence, he also recently contradicted his earlier statements. Nifong was very specific early on that he was obligated to prosecute if he believed the defendants were guilty and was forbidden from prosecuting if he did not so believe. Now, he says if the victim says it, he must prosecute.

Anonymous said...

There is a veritable treasure trove of Nifong quotes to be used against him.

Is he going to get an attorney, I thought innocent people did not get attorneys.

What about the wall of silence in his department, somebody should step forward.


The community needs to see a trial, that is reason enough to have a trial on his ethical conduct, regardless of any defenses he may have.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson:

My daughter is a high school junior and an extraordinary student. She took the SAT this year for "fun" - with no preparation - and scored in the 99th percentile. Her grades near perfect - she once got a B in an AP Japanese class she took as a sophomore. She has a trust fund. She will not worry about student housing, the trust will buy her a condo within a block of whatever campus she attends. In short, she is the perfect applicant.

She will not be applying to Duke. It has been on her short list but fell off over the summer. She will, however, be applying to Brooklyn College. I doubt she'll end up there (she hates the cold) but she's been so impressed by your work that we had to add it.

We hope that wherever she goes, she will find Professors like you. Thank you for your work.

Anonymous said...

"Duke Law’s James Coleman, the shining light of this case: “I don’t see how any member of the public can have confidence in this case. I think it’s making a mockery of our criminal justice system to permit this guy to keep fumbling along. It’s either total incompetence or it's misconduct on a scale that is extraordinary.”


I fear that this is the only reason that the bar filed at all. It looks a lot like a move to cover thier own butts and make themselves look better than to finally make anything right in the durham prosecutors office. And that may be the only real lasting legacy of this case, aside from the 3 lives irredeamably destroyed by this "system of justice", a complete and total distrust of the justice system by everyday american citizens.

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine how Nifong will have the arrogance to take an oath of office on January 2. He has violated the first oath he took as DA, so repeating it seems the height of hypocrity!

At this point the only person who might be willing to administer an oath of office to this despicable man would be Victoria Peterson, and she isn't eligible (I'm assuming it has to be a judge!)

He needs to resign. If he was overwhelmed by taking on the quadruple homicide (his excuse for not knowing all that was in the Duke case files), how could he possibly be the DA if he is worried about his own legal troubles!!??

duke2009mom

Anonymous said...

I bet Nifong is at least happy he did not spend all that time writing answers to defense motions - or maybe he didn't answer knowing it would all unravel soon. Seeing Bannon and Cooney in action must of really caught his attention "OMG how did I get into this?"

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typo--hypocrisy.

duke2009mom

Pete said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It's going to take a wrecking ball to the building and th jaws of life to get Mike out of his office.

Cedarford said...

Johnson presaged this post by mentioning it's likely just the beginning of Bar actions. I see 6 other areas where the Bar may be looking in the future. Right now, I really, really, really would not want to be Mikey. Besides the Bar action possibly leading to disbarment, if they have reason to believe crimes have occurred, the Bar may very well turn over certain elements of their inquest for criminal prosecution. And that darn mental image of the final stage of The Shawshank Redemption keeps coming back.

The Warden, knowing his books were gone, his goose cooked, and the cop squad was banging on his door, taking an exit strategy. The big, tough Head Bull co-conspirator "crying like a bitch all the way to jail". (Gottlieb?)

The possible list for the Bar:

1. Public statements arising to misconduct. (Done)
2. With holding DNA and other evidence from the defense, refusal to discuss or examine exculpatory evidence proffered by defense counsel.
3. Deliberate misrepresentations made in open court to the presiding judge, other officers of the Court, members of a grand jury.
4. Conspiracy with agents of law enforcement, acting under color of law, to suborn and intimidate witnesses, suborn established identification procedures for purpose of indictment 3 individuals without adequate just cause, suborning investigating officers sworn testimony and affidavits.
5. Abuse of a complaining witness. Holding her incommunicado, enforcing separation from family for an extended period of many months without just cause. Misuse of state funds to support the sequestering of the complaining witness for 9 months without obtaining any testimony.
6. Actions of conspiracy to deprive defendents and witnesses of civil rights which are within the State Bar's sphere to investigate and discipline - but a Federal responsibilty to prosecute and determine if criminal and civil penalties apply under the Law Enforcement Misconduct Act. With the NC Bar cooperating with agents of the DOJ Civil Rights division, agents of the Federal Election Commission on concern of election tampering - in investigating those potential Federal violations that under NC law, may also lead to disbarrment or lesser penalties as determined by the Bar.
7. Investigation of complaints of other attorneys at the DA's office and town manager's office being suborned by DA Nifong.

A long, scary list. Long enough that I wonder if Nifong's only way to avoid an unbelievably miserable rest of his life, besides the Shawshank option, is to just convince people he is totally nuts. Because who other than a stupid insane person would do what he has done? (Or vote for someone like him? Or be a Wendy Murphy, Nancy Grace type of defender?)

You also have some people very close to Nifong that could be in serious trouble for conspiracy in various actions and meetings where support, approvals of Nifong's doings was enabled that may come out from inquiry by State Bar or Federal investigators. Himan. Gottlieb. Linwood Wilson. Precious's Handler. The Deputy and Chief of Police. The Town Manager.

Hope Gottlieb has a good lawyer and dirt to trade for a break! Perhaps he can move on to teach other cops how a serious Durham professional does not need "no stinking notes" if he can tap "recovered memories" and write them down verbatim 4 months later.

Anonymous said...

The oath as DA is not the first oath Nifong violated, poster at 1:42. When attorneys are first sworn in as members of the bar, they take an oath to defend the constitution. It appears that Nifong has been violating that particular oath for a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

2:22,

DA Johnson of Alamance Co. could indict Nifong at any time base on the testimony of Meehan that Nifong came to Alamance Co. and conspired to obstruct justice. Nifong foolishly went to another juris diction to break the law.

I wonder if DA Johnson will act or sit idly by and ignor law breaking in Alamance Co.?

JLS

Anonymous said...

>I cannot imagine how Nifong will have the arrogance to take an oath of office on January 2.<

Nifong extended his DA job by trying to railroad three men into prison terms of 30 years each - for alleged crimes that he knew these men could not have committed. Think about this: putting 3 innocent people in jail for years, just to save a 9 to 5 job.

I think that arrogance is the least of Nifong's moral failings...

Anonymous said...

If the case requires a special prosecutor it is likely one would be found, ie, an apolitical member (no political aspirations - probably someone close to retirement) of the section would be chosen. It can be delegated and would be. The case would be reviewed and dropped.

Note that the case will be reviewed. This allows blame to be deflected at least in part.

GPrestonian said...

The Herald-Sun weighs in on the Bar Complaint, and Stevenson almost gets it right.

Odd that he says "But the document was not made public." Perhaps it wasn't made public with the announcement by the NC Bar, but by the time Steveson's article was posted (12:13am) the .pdf had been available for 5-6 hours.

Anonymous said...

Want to know what a social disaster sounds like?

ripped from liestoppers board (thanks Brand):

This entire sorry mess is going to very seriously undermine the credibility of, and public confidence in, the following institutions or institution-wannabies, at a minimum: 1) our criminal justice system (including in particular, North Carolina'); 2) the motives and tactics of feminist rape activists; 3) the academic and educational power given to agenda-driven academics, particularly those in the social science fields; 4) the integrity and even-handedness of various organizations purporting to promote racial equality, such as the NAACP; and 5) the media as an objective, even-handed and reliable reporter of facts. And this consequence - the undermining public confidence and trust in these institutions and institution-wannabes?

M. Simon said...

Anon 4:36AM,

You think this is bad?

Wait 'til they lift the rock called the drug war. The creepy crawlies will be scurring around looking fo new hiding places for years.

This is relatively isolated slime. The crimes by our justice system in enforcing prohibition are almost universal.

It is my opiniion that DAs all over the country have acquired bad practices similar to Nifong's from drug prosecutions.

Testilying (Gottlieb etc.) is almost universal.

Well, alcohol prohibition corrupted the justice system of that era. Why should we expect any thing different?

GPrestonian said...

And the NY Times chimes in with Barstow & Wilson's (note order of attribution) Prosecutor in Duke Sexual Assault Case Faces Ethics Complaint From State Bar.

This just in - it's the defense lawyer's fault!:

But they have made no secret of their desire to see Mr. Nifong removed from the case, working to fan public criticism of him — a strategy that has helped provoke dozens of ethics complaints against Mr. Nifong with the state bar’s grievance committee.

Anonymous said...

to duke 2009 mom
from: a non-lawyer

John in Carolina ("Nifong will swear again") has a long laundry list of who can administer the oath. Even a notary can if I remember correctly. It shoudn't be hard to find a warm body to administer the oath. Maybe even his wife qualifies or his campaign cronie Victoria Peterson.

Ted Morgan said...

What the NC State Bar is going to dish out to Nifong he richly deserves, but I am disturbed that we must rely on a guild socialist quango to begin the mechanism of punishment.

If a United States Congressman felt free to denounce Nifong and to refer the matter to USAG Gonzales, why are the state AG and Governor silent in the face of those boys' suffering?

Do not NC officials have pride and a proper notion of justice? Do they think hanging back will make the lads whole?

Anonymous said...

What has happened with the scholarship offer to the AV from Jesse Jackson? Has anyone been able to "follow the money" to see where that trail leads?

Anonymous said...

>I cannot imagine how Nifong will have the arrogance to take an oath of office on January 2.<

duke2009mom, i sent a similar letter to the editor of the HS asking if Nifong would still be required to take the oath or if he would be exempted from lying in open court yet again.

KC - any thoughts on the fact that they could have filed this complaint in October before the election? My quick reading of the doc indicated that they decided at that time to file a complaint. Also, do you think Nifong has been aware that this is coming?

Anonymous said...

KC, I've read your postings for a while and haven't commented. Just wanted to say "thank you" for your solid, in-depth analysis and constant professional attention to this case.

Anonymous said...

K.C., I usually read DIW daily, but my kids were in for Christmas and I have been "incommunicado" since they arrived. This morning, I read all of your articles for the past week and, read all together, they are remarkable.

Months ago, I posted at TL that my middle daughter will take professional responsibility as one of her law school classes. I opined that Nifong's Hoax will become a textbook case in legal ethics classes in law schools throughout the country. The bat cave denizens thought my prediction worthy of sarcasm on their site. Apparently, the laugh is on them now.

Hooray for the good guys, K.C. I cannot wait for your book!

Texas Mom

Anonymous said...

Nifong still gets to take his oath on Jan 2 and secure a full pension. Unless he suddenly gets a dose of moral courage and does the right thing and resigns.

Clarencedarrow said...

I have three degrees including a BA from Vanderbilt, a MBA from UNC-CH and a BSN in Nursing from the U of Maryland system. I now work in a clinical hospital situation. I see people like Crystal Mangum on a daily basis. I am truly embarrassed for the gang of 88. They were taken to the cleaners and used by an immoral political sleaze and a substance-abusing stripper/prostitute. In the real world, people like these are pathological liars-they never do anything wrong. The 88 due to their unthinking devotion to a politcally-correct dogma had no clue. In essence they're really quite stupid. Duke will not risk further embarassment by highlighting their idiocy. Students need to openly expose these fools in independent publications, boycott classes and if the three victims have any energy or funds left examine the possiblity of civil action against the University. (Pressler the coach should investigate this avenue as well as Brodhead abandoned him o the wolves). If I was looking for a job I sure as hell wouldn't want a weasel like Brodhead as a boss.

Anonymous said...

If Pressler did not resign, but was fired instead, I think he could have had a good case against Duke.

bill anderson said...

To clarencedarrow:

I was wondering how you felt about Houston Baker, one of the main culprits of the Gang of 88, having such an honored place at Vandy.

Crystal was basically a "useful idiot" for the Gang. These are not people who care about truth; they care about power, and they use events as a vehicle to give them excuses to run to the barricades, and then hold a university hostage.

You speak of Crystal's MO: lying, manipulating, and the like. Well, that is what these kinds of faculty members do. They contrive "incidents" and then demand "solutions," usually with them to be in charge of new committees, new "initiatives," and the like. Furthermore, they are likely to be inferior scholars, using their faculty positions as shields (or maybe false IDs).

K.C. was right when he said that this was an event unprecedented in U.S. academic history. We saw the offices of college presidents being occupied in the 1960s at places like Columbia University, but never have I seen the faculty gang up to denounce and falsely "convict" students at their university.

Yet, I also fear that, unlike Nifong, these faculty members will not come to justice. One can tell that the administration is afraid of them. Guess that will be grist for a future LRC piece from me.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on why the N & O article on the ethics charge did not carry the byline of Neff and Niolet?

Anonymous said...

12.55 ADA Tracy Cline.

Surely this person as the ADA to Nifong has blood on her hands and would be the last one to be put up for Nifongs replacement.

The whole Durham Justice department and the Durham PD have been totally soiled by this affair.

There needs to be a complete disinfecting of these two departments and the detritus that has supported and enabled an out of control DA.

This should be the only course of action that will restore confidence
not only in the Durham law offices but the rest of North Carolina justice system!

May I beg the question, were they so terrified of the man?

I should also wonder at the mood in the Durhams DA's office this Friday morning?

TS

GPrestonian said...

All:

FYI, y'all. Bill Anderson has a great essay today:

Explain Yourself, Nifong - An open letter to the Duke prosecutor

Thank you, Bill!

Anonymous said...

JLS 2:48 AM said

"DA Johnson of Alamance Co. could indict Nifong at any time base on the testimony of Meehan that Nifong came to Alamance Co. and conspired to obstruct justice. Nifong foolishly went to another juris diction to break the law.

I wonder if DA Johnson will act or sit idly by and ignor law breaking in Alamance Co.?"


One could only hope that the DA of Alamance Co. would present the evidence to a GJ so as to not allow a probable cause hearing for Nifong. And also not allow any exculpatory evidence to be presented to the GJ. While the second part might not be advisable the first is certainly a very valid option. Hope he does it.

anotherfac said...

Comment at 8:27 said:

but never have I seen the faculty gang up to denounce and falsely "convict" students at their university.

..except that no Duke faculty actually did what you describe. You are referring to an advertisement in the student newspaper that displayed statements attributed to student authors. The statements made in the ad mainly described the feelings of their student authors, and did not convict anyone or claim to do so.

bill anderson said...

Please, please. We all are adults here. You have read the public statements from people like Karla Holloway and Grant Farred and others. We KNOW exactly what these people did, and the purpose of their "advertisement."

In fact, it was sheer cowardice for them to hide behind student quotes. This was not a student initiative; it was faculty-led, and based entirely on lies.

Believe me, there is much more in the background about the history and behavior of some of these faculty members who supposedly care so much about things like rape and sexual assault. I really am not going to say on this blog some things I know about the principals of this "movement," but let me say that they are sheer, unadulerated hypocrites.

Defend these people if you wish, but what they did was evil.

GPrestonian said...

8:32am Anon

I that interesting as well, 8:32.

Good article, tho I was disappointed to see that they have the html screwed up on a document - there's a link that says it's for "Nifong's response to the State Bar", but it goes to the NC Bar press release.

Anonymous said...

Now Nifong has been exposed, the DPD and the enablers have been exposed and investigations are beginnning, when the charges are fully dropped Governor Easly on behalf of the state of NC should go on national t.v. and publically apologize to these young men and their families for the pain, suffering and financial stress the state has caused them. He should do everything in his power to restore their reputations and give them their good names back that the State of NC stole from them. He can never give them back a small of part of innocence they had left as young college students, or the year of their lives. He can never stop the nightmares of being handcuffed and having your mug shots all over the world, having national t.v. repeat horrible lie after lie about you. He can do what he should have done long ago.... the right thing. Publically announce their innocence and be damned with your AA vote. Or Govenor Easly will go down in history as Govenor Weasely.

Kemper said...

KC,
Thanks for the Hat Tip, I just hope my other predicition, the Nifungu will get Federally indicted also comes true! Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

governor easley is a graduate of the law school at NCCU and he wants to run for another office and there is no way in hell that he is going to apologise to some yankee yahoos who are getting off because they have fancy lawyers who started a letter writing campaign and complaints to try to remove a man they want removed because he tried to take a local girl's case to court which is the last place the defense has wanted this case to be because even though Nifong has made mistakes, HE HAS EVIDENCE AGAINIST THESE RACIST HOOLIGANS or else he would never have brought this case to start with. you all can be impressed with the bar and the doj, etc but the people know this is evidence you can buy justice. Keep right on trying to ddestroy Nifong and you might see something else destroyed too!

HMan said...

To 9:42
In his court filling of Dec. 22 Nifong admitted that he had no evidence "scientific or otherwise" to back up the accusers story except her testimony, which hasd changed. That is why he dropped the rape charge and has publically stated that he will drop the others if the accuser has more trouble identifying the accused.
All of this is in the public record. All of it came straight from Nifong. So, go ahead and believe he has some hidden evidence if you need to.
When this is over, maybe, eventually, you will figure out that you have been scammed by Nifong - sort of led around by your emotions to the place he wanted you to go.

Anonymous said...

Still saying he has evidence? What evidence? Believing his lies does not make them true. But look on the bright side the people og NC will be paying the 3 Dukies millions. They will live the bling-bling lifestyle on your tax dollars. So work hard, pay your taxes.

GPrestonian said...

9:24am Anon

Has 'theman' started writing longer sentences? ;>)

If Nifong has evidence, other than the ever-changing 'word' of a druggie prostitute, he hasn't produced it yet.

This isn't outsiders 'destroying' Nifong - it's his local attorney buddies right down the road in Raleigh who have filed ethics charges against him.

Tp paraphrase Nifong - it's an NC problem that demands an NC solution. Simply put, the NC problem is Nifong, and the NC State Bar has now started to provide the solution.

Anonymous said...

This is just phase 3 of the masterplan to avoid trial from the defense.

Phase 1: leak as much info as posssible and smear the accuser and her family; rape shield laws be damned. Gag order? what gag order? Hire expensive spin doctor and PR firm and perform a "push poll. File a motion for Da to recuse himself right before the primary for maximum effect

Phase 2: Da wins primary; intensify media campaign and now fund a new effort--add someone onto the general election ballot with a petition to get Nifong off the case again by political defeat. make sure that Duke supporters from out of state put there money where their mouths are. Try to manipulate campaign further by discouraging Monks from running once the Dukie candidate declines to run after 6 weeks of campaigning. Make sure to reschedule 60 minutes show to be nearer election and phone to CBS and make sure the black guy does the story dammitt!

phase 3: despite the fact of a well run Pr and poltitical campaign, Nifong wins the general election and the case continues. There is a hearing in Feb. Make sure you contact all the KKK supporter representatives and congressmen from the low black areas of the state to contact the Doj and the Bar; avoid talking to politicians who actually are from Durham and its districts--we DO not eant local input. Be sure to bring up change of venue so the whiter counties will know that if it goes to trial, they can be our hosts. Now make sure your buddies at the bar break precedent and bring charges in the MIDDLE of the case even though this is normally NEVER done.

Hooray, Nifong is now removed from the case! Your goals are finally achieved and now the case does not have to go to court! Your secrets are safe!!!! Uh at least until Nifong has to speak to the bar and if he is smart, he will bring some documentation backing up his claims that the Duke 3 are hooligans and racists and may have assaulted the stripper, etc--that is his only way out.

Anonymous said...

9:24,
Even if Mr. Nifong had evidence against the defendants, his constitutional and ethical violations remain. But what on earth makes you think there is any evidence against the defendants? As has been pointed out here repeatedly, Mr. Nifong himself said he has no evidence independent of the testimony of the incredibly mixed up accuser. The character and credibility of the accuser are of utmost importance in a case like this, and this accuser is about as compromised as anyone can be in those two arenas. Furthermore, massive amounts of exculpatory evidence indicate the innocence of the defendants. Sometimes, justice is done. It is a huge relief to see that finally it may be done in this case.

Observer

P.S. What are you referring to---we might see "something else destroyed, too?"

duke09parent said...

To anotherfac:

Those faculty members publicly put their names to and endorsed that ad. To say they aren't responsible for words that were not theirs is like saying John Hancock wasn't responsible for the words in the Declaration of Independence because he didn't write it. Plus, none of the group of 88 has publicly disassociated themselves from or apologized for the ad.

Plus, Holloway, Lubiano and Fared have written separately condemning the players. And Baker,whose public letter was far worse than the ad itself, has recently refused to recant his letter.

Anonymous said...

9:42
Mighty late for you to be getting up and smoking that crack pipe. Go back to bed.

Seriously, all the Bar motions are window dressing, what I was told REALLY pissed everyone off was his lying to the Grand Jury.

What is Mikey to do? If he takes the oath of office, he continues the farce, if he resigns this weekend, he may get to keep his law license, but the Fed's are still go to get him. Poor Mikey, S*** up the creek without a paddle.

Kemp

GS said...

Resigning office does not let Nifong keep his license. The bar is not after his job. It regulates the license to practice law.

Nifog will take the oath on Jan 2 and get his full pension, and then resign and be disbarred. He will just live in retirement. A clever DA will have all assets in his wifes name. Many states do not allow pensions and retirement accounts to be taken. AS with OJ, you know he lost the civil suit, but lives a nice life in Florida.

GPrestonian said...

9:42am Anon:

Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, whatever...

If this was a credible case, based on credible evidence, investigated fully by a competent police dept, and prosecuted by an honest, ethics-rule-abiding DA, no one here would have had a problem with DukeLAX, and the case would be proceeding with little furor.

Unfortunately, this is not a credible case, based on credible evidence, investigated fully by a competent police dept, and prosecuted by an honest, ethics-rule-abiding DA.

Anonymous said...

9:42, you have a vivid imagination. But not much sense.

duke09parent said...

9:42,

Wow, if the defense lawyers could orchestrate all that then their hourly rate should double. As good as they are, they aren't THAT good.

Kemp, once again I apologize for ever doubting you. BTW, do you have a prediction on the point spread on Ohio State v. Florida?

anotherfac said...

9:46 Duke09parent said:

Plus, Holloway, Lubiano and Fared have written separately condemning the players. And Baker, whose public letter was far worse ...

That makes it possible to cite statements with authorship that is the particular faculty member's writing. Where justified, let's do it that way.

Clarencedarrow said...

To Bill Anderson,

Vanderbilt used to have a conservative administration and they still have a largely conservative student body to keep nutballs in check. However Gordon Gee is a typical academic who gets top dollar ($600K for entertainment per annum). They had a major expose on him in the Wall Street Journal. His wife is a major nutjob-she got caught smoking pot and led a protest against Condi Rice speaking at the University. She went around lowering all the flags to half mast. The head of the board of trustees had a long talk with Dr. Gee about his behavior and his wife and set the record straight however the board doesn't get involved in day to day matters. The students, parents and alumni have kept things in check over the years. Ironically since Vanderbilt isn't quite as famous as Duke, all the turkeys looking for a free ride go to Duke. We do have the claim to fame as the school that Al Gore dropped out/flunked out/left.

PS: When they or Carolina now ask me for money, guess what I say.......With Vanderbilt it's take it out of the Gee's entertainment budget or her drug money. Carolina-get it from Al-Queda-remember they were trying to force all incoming freshman to take a course on Islamic porpaganda.

Anonymous said...

Duke09,
No predictions on game, sorry. I'll be Duck hunting!!
Kemp

horrified said...

Wow there are some vivid imaginations at work.

For his sake, Nifong had better NOT have "mountains of evidence against the hooligans that he hasn't presented yet". That's against the law. If he has something, he HAS to declare it. Therefore, raving about a ninth inning comeback is not only based on pure speculation, it would actually be harmful to the guy you're providing cover for.

Threatening violence and riot if you don't get your way is hardly legal either.

Horrified said...

As for the excuses being presented for the gang of 88, the analogy of John Hancock and the Declaration of Independence is apt. 88 people signed it, none have refuted it, and several have expanded upon the themes expressed in the 'petition'. To suggest that somehow no responsibility for their actions pertains unless they openly compound what they have already done is absurd.

Jack Straw said...

To Cedarford at 2:22
You wrote:
"7. Investigation of complaints of other attorneys at the DA's office and town manager's office being suborned by DA Nifong."

I am not sure I follow your meaning. Could you help me understand what incidents you are referring to? Is there even more bullying that Nifong has been accused of that I have somehow missed?

Anonymous said...

To the parent of the bright student who will be applying to Brooklyn College, may I suggest that she google:

"kc johnson" tenure "brooklyn college"

KC just might not be your typical Brooklyn College professor. :-)

JM said...

"One would wonder why one needs an attorney if one was not charged and had not done anything wrong."

Do lawyers normally find lawyers for bar complaints? Wouldn't it be ironic if Nifong got an attorney?

Anonymous said...

Kemper-san does, indeed, deserve a hat tip.

At first I feared that he might have been engaging in mere bravado with his friend while under the glass.

Now we must acknowledge his "inside edge" on all-things-Mikey.

So happy things have transpired in such a way.

Sweet justice is on full display. Can life get any better?

Why yes, it can.

Just as soon as Mike Nifong, the straggly Duke 88 group of "professors", the Durham PD, the Herald Sun editorial editors, Durham city "leaders", Richard Brodhead, and most of all, the criminal false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum.......

.......receive full punishment and justice in some proportionate way for their participation and instigation of this GRAND HOAX.

Debrah Correll

Anonymous said...

I wish someone could find out specifically how many thousands or perhaps millions of public money were wasted on this slimey stripper and her vast pathologies as a whore and a destroyer of lives.

I want to know what can be done to ensure that she will be charged for what she has done......mostly to other women!.......who have been, or will be true victims in the future.

Debrah

duke09parent said...

jm,

Re a lawyer getting a lawyer to represent him in a bar hearing. The smart lawyer does get representation if there is any chance of a suspension or disbarment in the offing.

In my state the procedure for a client grievance is that a bar member interviews the lawyer charged and asks for a written statment. The investigator then forwards your letter and his report to a committee which votes on whether to have a full hearing on the charge. In my 29 years I had one grievance filed by a client over a typographical error in a custody/visitation order. Hiw wife tried to take advantage of the error and a telephone call by me to her lawyer put an end to the dispute, since both lawyers agreed on what the plain intent of the order was. I didn't get a lawyer for the investigative stage or for my letter and it didn't go any further.

Anonymous said...

"GPrestonian said...
All:

FYI, y'all. Bill Anderson has a great essay today:

Explain Yourself, Nifong - An open letter to the Duke prosecutor

Thank you, Bill!

8:41 AM"

Nice letter Bill- cutting, sarcastic and true. However , I do not expect the Fong to take your advice and I suspect deep down neither do you. I truly hope the fong reads your letter and takes it to heart. My guess is that the fong has an end game and has contacts within the NC Bar Association that are going to help him through this mess he created. After all we are talking about something much more important than justice. It's called partisan politics. I truly hope I'm wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the NC Bar close ranks and simply give the fong a slap on the wrist. I'm pretty sure that the defendants will eventually be exonerated, however I'd be surprised if the fong doesn't find a way to weasel out of his prosecutorial misconduct.

Neighborhood Retail Alliance said...

What we have here is gender/race politics gone amok. As a parent whose son graduated from Duke and attends the law school I'm extremely grateful for the presence of Professor Coleman on the faculty. His conduct, in particular his defense of the basic due process rights of the accused, is the one mitigating factor in what will go down as a shameful episode in the history of the university.

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer: assuming Nifong takes the oath of office Janurary 2, 2007, will the presiding judge wait until the scheduled hearing on February 5 to take any action?

Anonymous said...

The N&O is reporting a new defense filing -- 93 pages. They're going to call Meehan as a defense witness. What else is in the motion?

Anonymous said...

debrah,

i agree with u: we need more discussion on how to punish precious, and address the antimale rape shield laws

jc

Anonymous said...

Google "kc johnson" tenure "brooklyn college"

*sigh*

No wonder University of Phoenix is both the largest and fastest growing degree granting institution in America.

For heaven's sake, there must be some University (other than Biola)that isn't run by nutballs!

(She's probably going to Clairmont-McKinna. At least that's what she announced at breakfast today.)

T. Randall said...

Short shrift.

Clarencedarrow said...

I'm not sure what the answer is to "out-of-control" academics because in reality things have changed so much in the last 30 years. Politics run rampant in just about every field you get involved with. Business? I have seen ethics/social responsibility completely disappear over the last 30 years. The Legal profession? Speaks for itself. Medical? You wouldn't believe how patient care has been compromised because of making money - I've had extensive experience in all these areas. Maslow would have to seriously revise his hierarchy of needs based upon today. Self-actualization rarely exists. People are striving for money and power in all areas. You simply cannot trust anyone. Everyone potentially has an agenda. The reason it stands out in academia is because it is supposed to be the center for advancement of thought, development of ideas. However, over time, and I can only speculate why, academia has become closed-minded and hostile. Very frequently, ideas are being promoted that are destructive to society. I don't understand why the "88" don't see Mike Nifong and his type as extremely dangerous for all aspects of the community. I just don't. The thing I do understand is that their hypocrisy has to be exposed regardless of the consequences. There is one rule that people need to realize: No one is so smart that they can tell someone else how to think.

Anonymous said...

5:23

I think you're using code to describe the deleterious consequences of out-of-control affirmative action.

Oui?

Anonymous said...

Woody Vann, the local lawyer you mentioned, is a friend of mine, and a pretty even-handed guy.

I wouldn't say he is a Nifong "enabler," but he has to stay a bit above the fray due to his having to work with the DA's office on his clients' cases.

He hasn't used invective, but I think it's clear he thinks the case is crap. And it is crap.

Anonymous said...

Then Woody should not be on National TV giving his views. At least he tries to sound reasonable. John Boulton should stay away from any camera and microphone.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big fan of Woody, but he seems to be looking at the case fairly.

Most people are willing to give a DA the benefit of a doubt. We have long passed that point with Nifong however.

Anonymous said...

Duke Chronicle has closed its website right now!

I have a suspicion that Brodhead, the Gang of 88, Shadee and the other underlings didn't like at all how they looked from the unmoderated comments. (-:

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the false alarm. It was not a hoax, the site was unavailable for ten minutes, but it seems to be back on.

Anonymous said...

I hate to keep harping but there need to be some ethics charges against all of the assistant DAs. A mass tendering of resignations would have stopped this farce long ago. Attorney's need to know that ethical behavior is required no matter where you are in the pecking order of an organization.

Findlaw lists the following attorneys in the DAs office at October 2006
Attorneys:

Armstrong, Elizabeth J.
Black, Freda B.
Cline, Tracey E.
Dornfried, James P.
Froehling, Elizabeth A.
Garrell, Thomas Mitchell
Hardin, James E. Jr.
McGirt, Emanuel Dubois
Nifong, Michael B.
Paul, Janice Perrin
Saacks, David J.
Waters, Marvin R.
Williams, Lisa Anderson

These are the assistant attorneys listed on the Durham County DAs website:

Assistant District Attorneys
Luke Bumm
Ashley Cannon
Tracey Cline
C. Destine Couch
Jim Dornfried
Stormy Ellis
Mitchell Garrell
Tim Gould
Frances Miranda-Watkins
Kendra Montgomery-Blinn
Dale A. Morrill
Fungai Muzorewa-Bennett
Jan Paul
Shamieka Rhinehart
David Saacks
Dave Shick
Phyllis Tranchese
Doretta Walker
Michelle Williams
Carolyn Winfrey

The fax number is (919) 560-3220