Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Council Moves Toward Inquiry

The N&O and Herald-Sun both report this morning that the Durham City Council appears to be moving toward an outside investigation of the Durham Police Department’s handling of the lacrosse case.

At last night’s Council meeting, five members endorsed the idea, championed by Mayor Bill Bell. A sixth member, Thomas Stith, called for the Council to demand Mike Nifong’s resignation and accept responsibility for the DA’s corrupting the investigation. Stith’s position would be tenable if the wrongdoing were confined to the April 4 lineup, but given that apparent police misconduct ran from start to finish in the investigation, an outside inquiry would seem to be needed.

Two figures have particularly stood out in recent weeks. Mayor Bill Bell has been consistent in his calls for a thorough, public airing of what the DPD did and did not do in the case, so the department can avoid similar mistakes in the future. And Councilman Eugene Brown has been on target in his strong criticism of how the department has responded to the AG’s declaration of innocence.

Last night, Brown continued his criticism, commenting that the Baker/Chalmers report, which “embarrassed” many members of the police force, “probably never should have been issued.” He concluded, “We have endured 14 months of deception and lies and distortion about this case. For us not to get to the truth of this issue concerning the role of our police department would represent an absence of leadership and responsibility.”

28 comments:

Mr. said...

great news...the wheels of justice roll slow but move forward...

its time to remove the city manager and police chief who are there first to defend their race, separately from the rest of society...

how the city manager passed the bar needs to be examined to

Anonymous said...

Politics and Political Correctness were a strong factor in this case. Baker's report is about what I expected, crap!

An independent panel without subpoena power is mostly worthless. This needs a criminal investigation.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Brown says Durham has "endured 14 months of deception and lies and distortion about this case."

Nope. Durham accepted, tolerated, looked the other way, etc.

It was Reade, Dave and Collin who endured.

mb said...

I couldn't see anywhere in the N&O story listing the total number of council members, thus, we can't know if five is a majority of members. Does anyone here have that info? Thanks in advance.

As far as Cooper declining to investigate because "the SBI only looks into criminal matters," it seems to me that fabricating evidence, violating civil rights (even if the victims are white males), etc., would constitute "criminal matters," but hey, I'm not an attorney. Any attorneys here care to comment on this? Again, thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

once again GREAT ATHLETES LEAD THE NATION....men with the experiences to play hard and fair not the mamby pamby college group of 88, DPD, and feckless police officials there simply because of RACE PAYBACK...

the following news shows how important spots professors are to this nations success...

Paulson Finds Deal Making
Is Tougher in Washington
Former Goldman Chief
Tries Coaxing Chinese;
Pressure From Congress
By DEBORAH SOLOMON
May 22, 2007

WASHINGTON -- When Henry Paulson stepped down as Goldman Sachs Group's chief executive to become President Bush's third Treasury secretary, he hoped to use his deal-making skills to try to fix Social Security, finish the Doha round of global trade talks and persuade China to change its economic policies.

With less than two years left in the Bush administration for him to make his mark, Mr. Paulson, 61 years old, has no time to waste. A commanding 6-foot-1 former offensive lineman at Dartmouth College, he is possessed by what colleagues refer to as nearly boundless energy. He still operates like a take-charge Wall Street executive


CAN ONE COMPARE PAULSON WITH BROADROT ?

CAN ONR COMPARE ANT GROUP OF 88 with paulson...or the feckless DPD and its RACE BASED CITY MANANGER ?

this is why athletes are the best and scum like the duke president is the worst coward

WJD said...

MB, there are 7 council members including the mayor, so that would definately be a good majority.

sceptical said...

What I am concerned about is that the Durham inquiry will just address procedural issues and not the criminal behavior of the Durham PD. Mayor Bell specifcally rejected a criminal investigation by NC Atty. Gen. Cooper, What is really needed is a federal probe by the FBI.

Please consider sending a letter to:

Anna Mills S. Wagoner
United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina
P.O. Box 1858
Greensboro, NC 27402

Michael said...

re: 1:01 PM

There was a picture of Paulson in a Congressional Hearing (I think) and he had on an expensive suit and tie and was clearly very comfortable there.

Notable on his wrist was a Timex Triathalon Flix watch instead of the customary Rolex.

Anonymous said...

broadrot wears a sissy watch...the minnie mouse special...kim curtis wears a "save fidel" watch and her husband likes the "che" irregular...the group of 88 love the russian brands and the DPD get the mugabe special chronometer

scott said...

These people (mayor and city council) are so out of step with the usual goings-on in D-I-W that one could be forgiven for believing they are imposters.

Anonymous said...

These are the links for the Durham-in-Wonderland City Council and the Durham-in-Wonderland City Manager

Send those cards and letters to: And you call yourselves a Council? and to Shirley you can't be serious, Patrick? ... and don't call me Shirley ...

One Spook

Jim said...

KC,

If Mayor Bill Bell wants an investigaion so "mistakes" won't be made in the future at DPD he is barking up the wrong tree. "Mistakes" in procedure can usually be corrected by policy changes or proper adherence to existing policies.

What the Mayor is dealing with is a deliberate criminal conspiracy to subvert the law and department general orders. I don't beleive any "mistakes" were made by DPD or Nifong in their actions. I beleive that each step (misstep) of their "investigation" was calculated and deliberate.

The fact that the Nifong/Gottlieb crew was completely incompetent to run an investigation or a conspiracy without seeing past the consequences of each individual action doesn't mean "Mistakes" were made. It just shows what can happen when a leaderless Police Department is manipulated by a rouge DA and a few of its' own ambitious but ethically and mentally challanged investigatiors.

I really wonder about the Command Structure of a police department that allows a DA to completely hijack an investigation and doesn't supervise its' own employees in a high profile case such as this. Was there not one Command Officer of rank above Gottlieb with the honor or ethics to put a stop to this farce? Is was very obvious very early on that this case was going to end up in the humiliation of the entire police department. I'm sure DPD has a large contingent of very competent dedicated officers who cringe whenever they see themselves portrayed as incompetent boobs in the press.

If Mayor Bell thinks a review of "MISTAKES" is all that is needed he is woefully unaware of what really went on with the Duke case.

Anonymous said...

I've fixed the mail links ... sorry for the error. And you call yourselves a Council and Surely you can't be serious, Patrick (and stop calling me Shirley!)

One Spook

Anonymous said...

What authority will an independent panel have to investigate the DPD? Will they have any power? For example, will they have subpoena power? Otherwise, what incentive is there for the DPD to actually cooperate?

Anonymous said...

Ok ... apparently Blogger does not support e-mail links ... here are the e-mails:

The Durham City Council:
council at ci dot durham dot nc dot us
and the City Manager:
Patrick dot Baker at durhamnc dot gov

I've listed the addresses in that fashion to prevent SPAM mailing Bots from picking them up. I'm certain that a high school graduate can figure out how to type the e-mail address from that ...

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Here is the video of last night's meeting:

Start at 1 Hour 31 minutes for discussion of the LaCrosse case

http://durham.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=59

Anonymous said...

Good things are happening in Durham.

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about the procedure involved here, so maybe someone more knowledgeable could fill me in.

If an "independent review" was authorized, what would happen? Where would the reviewers come from?

Would it be conducted in some fashion by the state? Or, would they call in an accounting firm or consultancy?

Legal Eagle said...

re: As far as Cooper declining to investigate because "the SBI only looks into criminal matters..." - 12:39:00 PM

I believe NC/AG Cooper said he lacked "statutory" authority - which, happily for him, is discretionary, subjective, and political.

Applying statutory authority regarding Nifong was a safe, political bet - after all, by the time the statute reluctantly kicked in, even the town drunk at the Durham Diner knew Nifong was a criminal.

But this is where Cooper's so-called "statutory authority" ended, not as a matter of indisputable law, but as a potentially risky venture into the fickle world of Durham voters.

Politics aside (which is impossible), there's the problem of replacing Durham's entire police department, most if not all the DA's office, the city manager, several judges, plus an unknown number of "discoveries," that is, co-criminals.

So, the direct answer to your question is; yes, the AG has the statutory authority - the initial test represented by DA Nifong. What he lacks is the political authority.

We must consider, however, the concept and use of greater good in this case. For example, is the DPD more corrupt than similarly situated NC police departments? In effect, Cooper said no.

DJ Stillwater said...

While the majority of council members may be calling for "an independent review", what does that actually mean? From a practical standpoint, the review would have to be done by either a Federal or State agency, or an independent group covened and paid by the City of Durham.
Since there appears to be no interest from the Feds or the State, that leaves option three, but how would an independent group work investigating a Municipal PD, and how objective or effective would they be if they were payed by the City of Durham and have no subpoena power?
The City of Durham must realize they could potentially lose millions of dollars in civil suits, so is it in their best interest to even have any type of inquiry that could expose their liability even more?
Members of th City Coucil are saying the right things, but at the end of the day it will be interesting to see what type of "investigation" actually occurs.

Gary Packwood said...

Legal Eagle 5:37 said...
...there's the problem of replacing Durham's entire police department, most if not all the DA's office, the city manager, several judges, plus an unknown number of "discoveries," that is, co-criminals.
::
Well, they have a choice. Either take their medicine now or be known for the rest of eternity in the western world as the group that enabled the Durham/Nifong Effect within our court system?

Who will do the right thing...other than the defense attorneys for the students?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Has it dawned on any of you guys that one of the main reasons why Mayor Bell and the City Council are now demanding an investigation into the manner in which Nifong and the DPD handled the LAX case rather than tearing into Attorney General Cooper for dismissing the charges is because President Brodhead was very careful about not interfering with the legal process so that none of these people got their feathers ruffled and none of them can say that the reason why the charges against the three players were dismissed was because of improper pressure from Duke? I am sure that none of the fanatics posting comments on this board would ever give Brodhead any credit for this because that would run contrary to the party line in which the LAX players are a bunch of angels and Brodhead is a bad guy for cancelling the season. Oh, I forgot, KC has now belatedly admitted that Brodhead had no choice but to cancel the season in order to protect the safety of the players. Oh well, I am sure you guys will continue to stick it to him anyway, right?

Anonymous said...

10:30 Actually, it has never dawned on me Bell requested an investigation because Brodhead did not interfere with the legal process. It still odes not.

Nifong's hat trick said...

An investigation focusing on criminal behavior would only be a smoke screen for the real issue; political correctness.

To diffuse racial tension, Nifong and the DPD had to find the WHITE guys guilty of rape rather than find the black prostitute guilty of lying.

To ignore this fact is just dancing around the truth.

Tawny said...

Why should the citizens of Durham be demanding an independent investigation? How about the heavy fog of denial and self-justification in so many official quarters. First, and worst of course, is the self-serving tripe put forth by Patrick Baker in his notorious travesty of an official report.

I also noted with interest some info found in an excellent 05-15-07 N&O article by Barry Saunders, "Steps Towards the Truth." Saunders rightly observes that while admitting you screwed up is not necessarily enobling, it will earn you more respect than trying to blame others for your mistakes.

As we all know, this is exactly what Baker did when he had the gaul to suggest that it was the fault of the defense attorneys that this charade dragged on 13 months. Unsurprisingly, Saunders found the embattled City Manager unavailable for comment.

Saunders doesn't mention any efforts to contact Chief Steve Chalmers. Probably he knew that any attempts to get a quote from Chief Chalmers, who during one of the most publicized police investigations in modern history did his best invisible man impression, would be nugatory.

What really interested me was that Saunders did get a response from Durham's Public Affairs Director Beverly Thompson. According to Ms. Thompson any outside investigation would "show that we did everything we were supposed to do. ... It would be hard to find any investigation that was conducted perfectly, but I think the Police Department ... had the best intentions of discovering the truth."

All I can say is if this constitutes the DPD's "best" efforts to discover the truth I'd love to know what their investigations are like at their worst.

Anonymous said...

10:30- Put away the Scooby bong before you post here please. I'm not sure how you got to where you are now, but it had to be one hell of a tortured trip.

Legal Eagle said...

GP - From Durham’s perspective, riding out a little bad press is by far the best course of action. I use "little" because the press has largely pushed a case of moral equivalence regarding the accused.

As far as the Mayor/City-Council conducting an investigation, their powers will be essentially limited to offering recommendations, or, if conditions and/or politics warrant, forwarding the particulars to the appropriate state or federal agency. Barring that, maybe forcing certain resignations.

At this time, no official has stated with certainty that one or more federal agencies is not already involved. The FBI, for instance, maintains a local office, so I'll not [automatically] assume everyone in that office is simply waiting for retirement.

The problem is, they (DPD, FBI) eat in same restaurants. In addition, the FBI builds rather than solves cases.

Personally, I don't see Durham as a potential winner for the FBI or the DoJ. They, like Cooper, have the luxury to pick and choose their cases, and Durham appears way too dangerous on the political level.

Also, imagine if RICO were applied... they'd have to drag in everyone except [possibly] the dog catcher. Nevertheless, RICO was created to clean up criminal organizations such as the City of Durham. That it gathers dust under the rug of Durham is only a testament to the lack of political will beyond Durham.

Not to mention that the majority of Durham’s residents are apparently oblivious to all but the most sensational aspects of this case.

Anonymous said...

durham is a reminder that its an OLD FACTORY TOWN where the outsourcing to asia has taken a toll on the culture...

the mores cant change and in the loss of jobs ENVY and RACISM go hand in hand...

like africa, altrusitic america can shower money on DURHAM, BUT an educational system that rewards those left behind before it praises the gifted and talented, will only discover that AFFIRMATIVE ACTION leads to chaos