Sunday, May 06, 2007

Neff Sets Stage for Chalmers Report

An important article from Joe Neff in today’s N&O sets the stage for this week’s report by perennially absent Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers. The political pressure seems clear: several members of the City Council have spoken out against a whitewash, and Neff’s piece quotes City Council member Eugene Brown: “We want the truth in this report. We’ve had more than enough deception already.”

Several new items from the article:

(1) A heretofore unrevealed e-mail from Sgt. Mark Gottlieb to DA/lead investigator Mike Nifong. Dated May 3, 2006, the e-mail congratulated Nifong on his primary victory the day before, and then requested guidance on a host of investigatory matters. The e-mail confirms previously released documents showing that Nifong was personally directing the police investigation as of March 24, 2006; and shows that Nifong instructing the police to violate their own procedures to create the April 4 lineup was hardly the only matters on which he issued orders.

(2) Lt. Mike Ripberger, one of the Durham officers who signed off on the April 4 lineup--which, since it was confined to suspects, violated Durham Police guidelines--had attended a 2004 statewide training session on how to handle proper lineups.

(3) Patrick Baker’s claim--the lineup wasn’t really a lineup--holds no water. Iowa State psychology professor Gary Wells, who helped write Durham’s photo lineup procedures: “If your suspects are in there, then it’s a photo identification procedure.” Baker’s explanation was “a song and dance, and an early attempt to fish for some defense in a civil suit down the line.”

Neff provides the best primer to date of how the police--apparently deliberately--did not pursue any leads that might have uncovered evidence questioning Nifong’s theory of the crime. And he notes that possible lawsuits could involve not just the flawed procedure but “whether an investigator created false evidence.

For the basic problem in the case, Jim Cooney sums it up: “The police let Nifong usurp the chain of command, and this is unforgivable. The police work for the chief, who works for the city manager, who works for the City Council. The police do not work for the DA.”

40 comments:

bill anderson said...

K.C.,

This is an important article, but also it is important for what has not been said: If this report is a whitewash, then Patrick Baker and Steve Chalmers have committed obstruction of justice.

Because this case surely will be litigated in the future (and there might be criminal investigations, too), it is a crime for city officials to create a false document that is meant to steer people away from the truth. Now, I cannot imagine Baker and Chalmers telling the truth, because of they do, then they will criminally implicate a number of Durham employees, including Gottlieb and Himan, among others. A document that reveals the truth will leave Durham open to lawsuits galore.

However, a document that is not true will reveal the commission of a crime -- and that is a crime on top of the other crimes that were committed. If the authorities are serious, there are a number of potential criminal investigations and possible convictions in the future.

Anonymous said...

One wonders: is the "evidence"
still intact - that is, the
evidence of the DNA of the 4
or more men on CGM's person?

Considering how the conspiracy
was crafted, you might think
they were concerned about
who the DNA in question might
have belonged to.


Mac

Anonymous said...

what has been left out is the COOPERATION of the DUPD, the duke university police force

what did they report to broadrot, what did they convey to the DPD, the durham police department...

were there any conflicts of husbands and wives working for both departments, who did the Duke University directly report to, what emails and memoes did they exchange, did braodrot get any and share them with the board including the steele, his defender

that none of this has been examined so far argues WHY IS THIS SO..

did any of the group of 88 have any relatives or friends working for the DPD, or NIFONG and which were revealed in their manifesto as a matter of disclosure

were any members of the NC NAACP members of the DPD, the DUPD or the nifong office whose identity wasnt revealed

Anonymous said...

It will be quite a feat if Nifong is able to show that he didn't assume control of the "investigation." And that will have great impact on his degree of immunity. That boy has brought some pretty terrible hurt on himself. Additionally, there is ample suggestion at this point to cause the US Justice Dept to initiate action, but I doubt we'll see Alberto do anything.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that Gottleib was only a stooge in this affair, asking for direction and following orders from his superiors to defer to Nifong? This article seems to suggest that the interplay was a little bit different from the one we supposed. Not to excuse him from complete culpability, but he does has some things going for himself in a potential defense: namely, that he was only being a good German, rather than being Hitler.

Need more info.

Anonymous said...

Are they gonna line 'em up,
Nifong et al, Nuremberg-style?

Mac

Anonymous said...

Is Joe Neff going to get into
the Judge's briefs?
Ahem.

Put another way: one of the
most important of the Hoax
enablers was the Judge -
(mind if I call him "Judge Judy"
so that I might drive through
North Korealina without being
arrested for DWW?)

Has KC given him a pass, or is
he going to come up again as
one of the principle violators
of civil rights in this case?

Mac

Anonymous said...

Chalmers has been MIA through most of the action - who is actually writing this report?

Anonymous said...

Taking on the Judges who really had a hand in the hoax - ain't happening - Their would be consequences in NC justice - Joe said" Taking on a DA in a small town is a couregous act - imagine taking on a judge.

KC Johnson said...

I've done a post on Judge Stephens. (Smith was, on the other hand, important in ending the fraud.)

It's my sense that more information about Stephens' role will only come out if there's a state or federal inquiry.

Anonymous said...

KC,

Thanks for answering my question!

I guess the significance of that is:
"re: Alcee Hastings."

Which could mean, on a
politico-philosophical
level: reincarnation really
ISN'T always such a nice concept,
when it comes down to Hastings.
Some people deserve to be
reincarnated as a tapeworm,
even in their present lives!


Mac

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing the
post(s) on Crimestoppers
(which, in the Durham sense,
might be the equivalent of
COPs - ("Citizens on Patrol"
from the "Police Academy" series.)
I obviously don't have highbrow
tastes in movies, but...

Any new news there?
Seemed as if they were sort
of off-the-hook as far as their
posters went, as I recall.
Gottlieb was involved in that,
too, if I'm not mistaken.

Mac

Anonymous said...

Sorry to keep piling questions:
Wondering it the police lineup
wasn't very similar to the
the poster with the pictures
of the Duke LAX players?

Mac

Cedarford said...

KC - A lot of your criticism of Stevens came from the NTO, then rulings sypathetic to Nifong.

As you know, even well-educated Duke residents, even doctors at DUMC were convinced that the "rape expert" had confirmed a rape indeed had been medically diagnosed, had indeed happened with "blunt force trauma" as the accuser claimed.

Is it fair to say that also swayed Stevens?
That maybe he should have known better, but went with his gut on the "SANE expert" trumping other details?

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

Joe Neff has given us a taste of hot, steamy intrigue!

The varicose little ditches carved by the overflowing stream of deception by Nifong and his enablers will be in full view.

The gritty underbelly of Durham and its "leaders" is about to be exposed in all its penumbral glory.

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Ah, more bad news for Durham taxpayers.

I sometimes start to feel sorry for them and the likelihood of their having to pay the multimillion dollar settlements/verdicts that are sure to be coming in the future . . . but then I remember how many of them voted for Nifong, and my sympathy evaporates.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

Yeah, Neff and KC make a great
team!

Mac

KC Johnson said...

To Cedarford:

On the NTO, my principal objection was breadth: even if Stephens believed there was a crime (a not unreasonable belief based on the info presented to him), the idea that he could have ordered 46 people to turn over DNA without even establishing that these people were at the party is astonishing.

Anonymous said...

KC,

Yeah, 46 players make up a
pretty good fishing party.
(That calls for a pretty big
boat!) Must have been pretty
sure that there were fish
in them thair waters.

Mac

Anonymous said...

Once Gottleib's superiors were notified of what was going on and they approved don't they have ultimate fault. Looks to me that Sgt(no small fete and a position of great power) knew how to CYA. I think Gottleib knew where enough bodies were buried to get himself off this case. The four month memory report was his way of saying,I don't mean this.

Gary Packwood said...

Durham City Council Member Brown said...
..."We want the truth in this report," City Council member Eugene Brown said. "We've had more than enough deception already."
::
So the Durham City Council (body) was deceived and they apparently knew they were deceived.
That is helpful to know!
Historically, deceiving elected representatives of the people ...is risky business ...as the Queen of England was no doubt thinking during her visit to Jamestown last week.
::
GP

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 2: 21 said...
...Did any of the group of 88 have any relatives or friends working for the DPD, or NIFONG and which were revealed in their manifesto as a matter of disclosure...
::
Or were G88 students working quietly behind the scenes with clerical people at the DPH to support their professors/administrators?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Joe Neff has done a magnificent job; however, it's unfortunate that the N&O editorial staff has enabled the Gang of 88 and others at Duke who have had a hand in supporting the hoax try to rehabilitate themselves on its editorial pages.

IMO, some people who work for the N & O are still not ready to fully come to terms with everything that has occurred since March 2006......when they performed so badly.

Allen Torrey is responsible for the N & O op-ed columns. Burgetta Wheeler is responsible for which letters are printed. Steve Ford is chief of the editorial pages and generally writes the significant commentary.

I'm sure Ford wrote today's about the 2004 law prosecutors are trying to turn back.

I sent a letter to them praising Neff's work a few weeks ago.......but I also made a point of saying that his work has helped mitigate the horrific commentary that was allowed on the editorial pages when the hoax began.

Now....I know and everyone knows that a letter praising a reporter's work would automatically be printed.

But....Burgetta Wheeler told me that they have a policy of not printing letters that specifically name reporters.....and that she sent my e-mail to Neff personally.

What a crock!

They didn't want to print the letter because it was critical of the fact that she and Torrey repeatedly printed columns by Timothy Tyson, Allan Gurganus, and others that were very libelous and were full of all sorts of stereotypes of the lacrosse players and athletes, in general. They strongly contributed to the frenzy.

And now they are still enabling the Duke Gang of 88 by allowing columns by rodents like Orin Starn and some other verbal mouse who was throwing kisses all over Dick Brodhead.......all of which is to help these destructive Liberal libelous clowns rehabilitate themselves.

That's how partisan editorial staffers operate.

Thank heavens for Joe Neff.

Debrah

Anonymous said...

GP, 5:13:

It's an interesting turn
when even the Council
members begin to separate
themselves from the rest
of the accomplices - meaning
that they won't allow themselves
to be part of the crew that
gets led away to the "national
razor."

Guess they know something we
don't know - (unless they
just happen to have a good
bit of insight into the French
Revolution, and are making an
inspired connection.)

Mac

bill anderson said...

From what I remember, Nifong alleged in his answer to the state bar that he had NOT taken over the investigation. It will be interesting to see if the Durham report contradicts him. If so, then Fong is going to be in more hot water.

Anonymous said...

Since Chalmers has obviously
gotten another job - (Bellhop,
perhaps, at the Bahamas Hilton?)-
one wonders speculatively about
the future occupations of some
of these OTHER folks, should they
lose their jobs:

Nifong: Pet Psychic, Pet Massage
Therapist.

Linwood: Security Guard, Bob Jones

Baker: Assistant to the Assistant
to the Assistant under Doug Wilder,
Mayor of Richmond;
job entails holding hankies and
offering assistance in bathrooms.

Nurse Tara: loses license, becomes
"professional dancer" with CGM.

Gottlieb: joins Border Security
when it becomes a big CETA program.

Houston "we have a problem" Baker:
Mayor of San Francisco just prior
to the Big One; reincarnated as a
rat and run over by a minivan
driven by Mayor-for-Life Nagan.

The rest of the 88s (or 87s):
join faculty at University of
Bugtussle.

President Brodhead: leads
fishing tours off the Outer Banks.

GS said...

Standard DPD procedure is to take notes contemporary with events and not write them from memory months later. Sgt. Mark Gottlieb did just that! His notes from memory also conflict with his coworkers notes taken at the time. Let's see if they whitewash this blatant attempt to fix Nifong's case.

The notes plus the line up, is Gottieb making up evidence to frame innocent people.

Anonymous said...

Anderson is calling for the Doc to lose her license and Kerta the nurse - The licensing Boards do not appear to be interested in doing that.

Gary Packwood said...

Mac 6:02 said...
GP, 5:13:

...It's an interesting turn
when even the Council
members begin to separate
themselves from the rest
of the accomplices - meaning
that they won't allow themselves
to be part of the crew that
gets led away to the "national
razor."

...Guess they know something we
don't know - (unless they
just happen to have a good
bit of insight into the French
Revolution, and are making an
inspired connection.)
::
I think you are correct and I'll bet the members of Council already know that Mr. Nifong is going to claim 'lack of resources' as the reason he had to take over this complex case! And of course, it is the members of Council who did not vote to give the funds(resources) he has been requesting for years and years.... a n d y e a r s.
Council members will come back and claim that they have no resources to give because Duke does not pay property tax.
The finger pointing is about to begin.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting to see how Nifong tries to spin Gottlieb's 5/3/06 memo asking for instructions in how to run the investigation. Did Nifong respond in writing to Gottlieb's query, and if he did, did Gottlieb keep a copy of Nifong's response (because Nifong will undoubtedly have "lost" his by now)?

If Nifong claims that he did not respond in writing to Gottlieb, that itself would be pretty telling. Any experienced prosecutor would know the perils (in terms of his/her civil liability) of stepping out of their prosecutor role and into a police role. If a cop on a case was writing a prosecutor e-mails which inaccurately depicted the prosecutor as being in charge of the police investigation, the prosecutor would immediately want to correct this -- and do it in a dated writing -- to protect himself from any suggestion in a future civil action that he had lost his absolute prosecutorial immunity by engaging in actions that were outside his role as prosecutor. This is not the type of communication that any sensible prosecutor would make in a phone call. The recipient of an oral communication can always deny receiving it, or dispute the content.

Also, isn't it interesting that Gottlieb, a man who otherwise seemed to have such a strong aversion to writing things down as they happened, left such an incriminating (for Nifong) paper trail when it came to documenting Nifong's role as lead investigator. Coincidence or happenstance? Methinks not.

Anonymous said...

GP,

Good point (is that what "GP"
also stands for?)

In any case, Nifong spent so
much on the "extras" in this
case - (including the "extra"
DNA test) - that he won't have
much of a leg to stand on if he
wants to pin the blame on
Council. Not a leg.

He does appear, however, to
have a big set of thighs, and
a butt to match.

Mac

Anonymous said...

Re: Anon. 4:47 pm
Most of the people in Durham who voted for Mike Nifong do not pay any taxes. So a cruel irony is that the good people of Durham who did not want Mike Nifong as their DA will be the ones to bear the brunt of any judgements against their police department, etc. Durham should immediately increase the sales tax on Newport cigarettes, 40 ounce bottles of malt liquor, and spinner rims.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the Bar investigators have questioned Gottlieb or the other police about who instructed them to go to the Duke dorms and try to question other LAX players. From Gottlieb's 5/3 e-mail to Nifong, it looks like the police were acting on his instructions. If Nifong is the one who told police to go and question LAX players who Nifong knew were already represented by counsel, that is another ethics violation that should be added to the Bar complaint. A lawyer is specifically prohibited from using an agent (i.e., a person or persons acting under the lawyer's direction or control) to do something that the lawyer himself is ethically forbidden from doing (such as communicating with a represented person without the consent of that person's lawyer).

Anonymous said...

Neff's article reports that Nifong and the police failed to pull Crystal's police records on the 2002 stolen cab/attempted running over of a cop caper until 6 months after the alleged gang rape. Neff suggests that if Nifong and the police had only pulled the report sooner, they would have known that Crystal had serious mental problems and therefore might have wanted to make sure there was some corroboration for her claims before they took them seriously.

However, reports detailing Crystal's 2002 cab caper were all over the news within a few weeks of the rape allegation being made public. I remember seeing the manager of the strip club where Crystal had gone for a 2002 try-out (and from which she subsequently stole the cabbie-customer's cab) talking on t.v. (it was either on MSNBC or FOX cable) about Crystal's weird behavior at the club (seeming to be okay during the try-out dance, then going backstage and crawling under a table and refusing to come out), and about how there was something about Crystal that "just wasn't right," in the manager's opinion. This piece was run repeatedly on t.v. I saw portions of it at least 3 different times.

We know Nifong was watching coverage of the case (or at the very least, was getting reports from others about the media coverage) because he made references to it on several occasions. (For example, he walked up to MSNBC legal analyst Susan Filan at one court date and repeated to her some words she had used about Nifong in one of her t.v. appearances). So it strains credulity to believe that Nifong could have been unaware of Crystal's prior legal problems, as well as the prior associated mental problems, until the cops pulled Crystal's police file 6 months after the "rape."

Nifong had to know Crystal was not a credible person long before the police pulled her file on the 2002 cab caper. I'm sitting out in Arizona, only occasionally watching tv news coverage of the case, and I knew all about the circumstances of Crystal's 2002 crime within weeks of the alleged rape. Yet I'm supposed to believe that Nifong, the prosecutor and lead investigator in Durham, a city getting wall-to-wall coverage of the case, knew less about Crystal's priors than I did? Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Chalmers' report will be a complete lie. He won't expose Nifong's corruption because it would expose his own and Chalmers won't do that.

The City Council knows Chalmers will lie - it also knows it's powerless to stop him. Hell, it couldn't even stop Chalmers from vanishing for an entire year. All the Council can do is what it's just done - plead in public for a truth which, in private, it knows it'll never get.

Chalmers' report will be a lie from beginning to end.

Black & Blue said...

We may have reached the point of diminishing returns, at least for now.

Lest the dust blind everyone.

Anonymous said...

DUKE HONORS SOME of THE GROUP OF 88

-------------------------------------

Duke Honors Distinguished Professors

Duke has awarded distinguished professorships to 22 faculty members

Wednesday, May 2, 2007



Durham, NC -- Duke University has awarded distinguished professorships to 22 faculty members.


Campus News/Working at Duke
Faculty
The professors were recognized at a dinner Wednesday, April 25, at the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club with other university distinguished professors -- current and emeritus -- in attendance.

The recipients were:

Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

-- Linda Burton, James B. Duke Professor of Sociology

-- Patricia Bauer, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience

-- William Darity, Arts & Sciences Professor of Public Policy Studies

-- Xinnian Dong, Arts & Sciences Professor of Biology

-- Claudia Koonz, Peabody Family Professor of History

-- David Rohde, Ernestine Friedl Professor of Political Science

-- R. Larry Todd, Arts & Sciences Professor of Music

-- David Wong, Susan Fox Beischer and George D. Beischer Trinity College Arts and Sciences Professor of Philosophy

Divinity School

-- Kenneth Carder, Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams, Jr. Professor of the Practice of Pastoral Formation

Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School of Engineering

-- Kam Leong, James B. Duke Professor of Biomedical Engineering

-- Tuan Vo-Dinh, R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor of Biomedical Engineering

-- Mark R. Wiesner, James L. Meriam Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences

-- Robert Jackson, Nicholas Professor of Global Environmental Change

School of Law

-- Catherine Fisk, Douglas Blount Maggs Professor of Law

-- James Salzman, Samuel F. Mordecai Professor of Law

School of Medicine

-- Ann Marie Pendergast, James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology

-- Joseph St. Geme III, James B. Duke Professor of Pediatrics

-- Harvey Cohen, Walter Kempner Professor of Medicine

-- Ramon Esclamado, Richard Hall Chaney, Sr. Professor of Surgery

-- Danny Jacobs, David C. Sabiston, Jr. Professor of Surgery

-- Salvatore Pizzo, Distinguished Professor of Pathology

School of Nursing

-- Diane Holditch-Davis, Marcus Hobbs Professor of Nursing

In addition, six new inductees in the Bass Society of Fellows for excellence in undergraduate teaching and research were honored at the dinner. They were:

Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

-- Bruce R. Donald, William and Sue Gross Professor of Computer Science

-- Susan Alberts, Jack H. Neely Associate Professor of Biology

-- Stephen L. Craig, Fuchsberg-Levine Family Associate Professor of Chemistry

-- Robert Korstad, Kevin D. Gorter Associate Professor of Public Policy Studies

-- Jie Liu, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Associate Professor of Chemistry

Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School of Engineering

-- Steven A. Cummer, Jeffrey N. Vinik Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

jamil hussein said...

who are the gang88 members?

Somehow I'm not surprised. This is the sad reality in campuses around the country. I will tell you this (imitating Harry Reid:) This war is lost. Gang88 won.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that no one commented on what I find the most telling part of the N&O story--that police spent untold manhours combing through the records of ALL the white lacrosse players looking for criminal records, arrest records and looking through their school records.

It sure reads like this was a witch hunt to 'get' Duke from Day One. Why else would they be looking through the college records of all the players, not just the three who they charged?

Maybe KC can correct me, but my recollection is that DPD NEVER spoke to the strip club employees until after 60 Minutes ran the piece and the video of her stripping. It was then that Wilson, I think, pressured the employees to change their stories about when she was working and when she wasn't--the reports of Wilson telling the one woman he had "EVIDENCE" that Mangum was not working on the day in question, which we now know was a LIE seems to be a clear cut case of evidence/witness tampering.

The Durham PD report will be very interesting. Patrick Baker's last public comments of course show him to be deeply stupid, but that's no surprise in Durham, talking about how the line up wasn't a line up, indicate they're going to go with the 'we did nothing wrong' line.

Whether or not they throw Nifong under the bus to save themselves is unknown...IF he's identified as a rogue prosecutor then it further limits the liability of the government for his behavior.