Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jackie Brown Speaks Out

Jackie Brown, who managed Mike Nifong’s primary campaign but then was a key player in the Recall Nifong-Vote Cheek effort last November, has given an interview to the ABC Law and Justice unit. This is the first time that the public has received any behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Nifong effort, and Brown’s revelations are fascinating.

1.) Nifong’s motives were personal--as in financial*.

You’d like to think that politicians are motivated by grand ideals or well-considered ideologies, but the reality is usually far more banal. In Nifong’s case, it’s about as banal as it gets: he wanted to maximize his pension.

“Some of his first words to me were that he really didn’t want to do this—meaning the campaign,” Brown said, “but that he needed three years and some odd months for retirement.”

To me, this is the most convincing explanation of Nifong’s motives yet to appear. It’s clear he’s not an ideologue—as his earlier decisions on rape cases suggested. Nor is he a good politician—as his pre-case appearance before black voters suggested.

2.) Politics affected the case--but in the November election, not the primary.

Brown offers an intriguing political analysis, suggesting that “by the time November got here, if he had come out and changed his mind and apologize then he probably wouldn't have gotten re-elected.”

In short, Nifong was stuck: if he dropped the case and apologized, he would have been exposed as a fraud and lost what had become his base in the African-American community; if he pressed forward, he was heading straight into what we’re now seeing—ethics charges and national ridicule.

3.) Nifong should have no role in the case.

Brown: “I would like for him to recuse himself and to let another prosecutor come in and look at the case.”


*--clarified, 6.30pm


Anonymous said...

Has anyone researched to see if Nifongs pension can be witheld from him if he is convicted of felonies in the performance of his duties?

I doubt it, these government hacks take pretty good care of one another.

Anonymous said...

An all too human frailty that the system should be aware of.

Anonymous said...

Brutal honesty from a campaign manager who saw the light in the end.

The world may end. I have never seen this before.


Anonymous said...

If her descriptions of Nifongs interest in the case developing only after the Duke-PC/ Media firestorm is correct, the pot bangers and the gang of 88 and the spineless leadership at the helm have a lot for which to answer. A lot more, I should say.
I saw a cartoon once that stayed in my mind; not because it was especially funny but because it brought clarity. In it, a group of Japanese company directors went in to see a manager who had screwed up very badly. They left a samurai sword on his desk and said, "Sometimes resigning is not enough." And then silently walked out.

Anonymous said...

This is not believable. Nothing but politics explains Nifong's pre-primary actions in the lacrosse case. He knew the public statements were unethical. If he did not make them for the purpose of winning the election, why did he make them? If he made them as a way to win the case (i.e., as a way to prejudice a grand jury and a jury), then he is even more despicable than if he made them to win political office

Anonymous said...

that pension money should go to the ex-lax coach

Anonymous said...

5:35 - Ah, but understand the government worker mindset (I'm one as well, so I know the personality).

That pension .... I can almost taste that pension .....

It explains an awful lot. Nifong wanted to win because he could suck 3.5 more years out and gain a full retirement.

Don't underestimate greed. It is a powerful lure.


Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer/retired professor: I don't know if Nifong could lose his pension in NC. But our recent past Governor George Ryan is losing his state pension after his convinction for various corruption charges in federal court in early 2006.

Anonymous said...

from non-lawyer/retired professor: regarding my 545 post, haste makes waste. Gov. Ryan is from Illinois.

Anonymous said...

This is D** crazy . Nifong was prepared to screw those boys for a lousy 3+ years of an extra pension?

Why didn't he stay in the traffic ticket department?

Power corrupted this man !

It now shows how out of his league he was and what a real clown he has become!

The man is crazier than the Mad Hatter at a tea party!

Michael said...

re: Esquire

Honesty that not only saw the light, but acted on it and revealed it when it would have been far easier to do nothing.

Anonymous said...

Post election, I don't think he had a future even as an ADA in traffic court.

Freda Black, his primary opponent, was sure to fire him had she prevailed.

Anonymous said...

5:49 - Yes, it's insane, but it makes total sense to anyone who has worked in a government law office. I had suspected this line of self-interest was at play, and now it is totally confirmed in my mind.

For example, in my home jurisdiction, there was a hotly contested judicial election. The incumbent came to one of our meetings, and almost started crying about how he had only two years on the bench, and needed five years to vest into the MD pension system. We all looked at him like he had three heads. He lost. It was pathetic.

This is one of the great motivators for lawyers to take a lower paying job in govt. service. The only good thing is the pension, because the pay stinks. You can set up a two headed retirement, on one side with a 403(b), and state pension on the other. In retirement, you can live well.

Nifong's statement should make perfect sense when viewed in context of the typical government worker. He would do anything to reach that goal without thinking it through.

Is it sad beyond belief? Yes. Is it a warning that should be heeded? Certainly.


Jayelwin said...


Penisions are usually considered deferred compensation. It's as if you earned your pension in the past and it's your money. If you are convicted of a felony and lose your job, you get to keep your pension in the same way they don't make you return any previously earned pay.

Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...

Is this the "Cousin Jackie" that I have seen references to in comments on past posts?

Anonymous said...

I don't beleive Nifong did not have the same motivation befoe the primary. Did a light bulb suddenly go on in his dimwitted head and say "Oh, now that I have won the primary, maybe I can win the election and get my pension!" I thnk Jackie Brown does not want to incriminate herself.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly, I don't want Nifong to recuse himself from this case.

This man needs to be slow roasted and basted on an open flame.

If one accepts the supposition that Nifong attempted to bring this case to trial to get reelected, then I have no moral quibble with seeing him have to bequeath his small fortune to the three students whom he deliberately besmirched.

Additionally, disbarment would seem appropriate too.

An example must be set so that other DA's do not wildly diverge from standard procedures, which are in place to protect the accused and the DA's too.

Lastly, these boys Reade, Collin and Dave have been put through the wood mill and ought to exact the same pound of flesh that Nifong sought to cash in on.

As you're all aware, the best thing for a punch is a stronger and more accurate counterpunch.

I expect that the 3 boys legal team will hit hard, fast and furious when the time is right.


Anonymous said...

It's astonishing that everyone who knows Nifong has something _different_ negative to say about him.

Conclusion: he's evil but we're not exactly sure the full scope of his depravity.

Anonymous said...

the action is on the holloway thread

Anonymous said...

Ode to Karla Holloway
Proud To Be White
Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, Native Americans, etc. And then there are just Americans. You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me "Whiteboy," "Cracker," "Honkey,""Whitey," "Caveman" .. and that's OK. But when I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink ... you call me a racist.
You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you, so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live? You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day. You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day. You have Yom Hashoah You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi You have the NAACP. You have BET. If we had WET (White Entertainment Television) . we'd be racists. If we had a White Pride Day .. you would call us racists. If we had White History Month . we'd be racists. If we had any organization for only whites to "advance" OUR lives . we'd be racists. We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that?If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships
.. you know we'd be racists. There are over 60 openly proclaimed
Black Colleges in the US , yet if there were "White colleges" .
THAT would be a racist college.
In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching
for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights,
you would call us racists.
You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're
not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride
you call us racists. You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug-dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society . you call him a racist.
I am proud. But, you call me a racist. Why is it that only whites can be racists?

Anonymous said...

I would concur with 5:34 that this really does change some of the scope of Duke's liability in this case. If Nifong contends that he started playing the fiddle only after he saw how well the show was loved at Duke, not to mention the rest of Durham, then perhaps the G88 and others did not play the peripheral role they insist that they played.

I agree that Nifong won't let this go, but it ultimately will be let go for him. My greatest hope is that this man meets the bar of justice.

By the way, Kemp, if the Bar goes wobbly, then I think we need to name names and put them out on the national scene for everyone to see.

Anonymous said...

I read it, I don't like its tenor. I'll pass.


Anonymous said...

to Josh at 525 from a non-lawyer/retired professor: In IL, state employees have defined benefit pension plans (in contrast to defined contribution pension plans such as a 403B or 401k). Our Ex-governor Ryan (convicted of felonies related to his job) is only entitled to a refund of the money he had to contribute to his defined contribution, and he is going to lose a pension of maybe $200,000 annually (if my memory is accurate). He will get a refund of his contributions, but he is taking a big financial hit. So I suspect Nifong is in a defined benefit plan, which is quite common across the country for state and local government employees. Defined benefit plans are disappearing in the private sector, but still are the norm for state and local government employees. Maybe I have confused you all, but anyone with knowledge of NC pensions, please elaborate. In any case, I suspect that Nifong having a pension might be the least of his problems now.

Anonymous said...

Isn't almost certain that if Nifong had not put himself through the campaign, and had run the risk that Freda Black would have won the election over the African American candidate Keith Bishop, that Black would have fired Nifong, thus costing him his "three and a half years".

It has been surprising that Bishop's supporters within the African-American community in Durham have not expressed more outrage over the manner in which Nifong essentially stole the "Black-vote" from Bishop.

Anonymous said...

This by itself appears to me to be another severe ethical violation. When you boil it down is that what it all comes to? Was Nifong willing to send three innocent people to jail and ruin their lives so he could qualify for a pension?

Does this qualify as yet another ethical violation? What bearing would Jackie Brown's testimony have on the Bar? Could she, would she be asked to present that evidence to the Bar?

Anonymous said...

I'm not as grammatically nimble or as polished as most of you but there is something I would like to contribute.

The greater issue on the table is gender. Its definitely the root cause.

Hatred of men is strong in our society and the hysteria over the Duke 3 and how a single, drunken prostitute with a felonious record has more integrity than the Duke 3.

The Duke 3, who by all that have looked at them, appear to be great citizens and an honor to the community. Yet they have been screamed at, indirectly threatened (or directly, who knows) with castration, pot bangers and national media attention while the alleged "victim" remained anonymous.

Nifong still has a way out of this that can save his ass from jail time, won't save his job though.

The atmosphere in most police stations and universities when it comes to sexual harassment/rape can best be described as "orwellian".

Nifong simply has to say that he was pressured by the feminists group to take this woman seriously just because she is a woman.

Due to pressure from at least 87 other powerful academics who even went so far as to "notify" him to take this accusation seriously via a gender baiting advertisement.

He can claim incompetence and cronyism instead of deceit and malfeasance.

I would love to read the policy on rape accusations from the department or see one of their training aids.

Anonymous said...

6:17 - It provides motive.


Anonymous said...

Bill Anderson brought up the Bar in his 6:11 post. So, I'll cross post my viewpoint from the Holloway thread.

Bill, I would like to hear your reaction to my viewpoint below, am I on base or in left field:
NEWYORKSTATEOFMIND: I agree...Bar-discipline action likely to be slim to none.

I was thinking of this today while exercising. Our friend KEMPER comes on the blog and shares conversations he has with his drinking buddy who is either on or close to the Bar.

Kemp, bless his heart, shows a consistent theme in his posts. That theme being: what the bar is going to do at some point in the future. Hardly ever (if ever?) has Kemp talked about what the Bar is doing *now*.

The Bar lost their credibility when they only wrist slapped prosecutors for withholding evidence in a murder case several years ago. Kemp says the Bar wants to reclaim that lost credibility by making an example out of Nifong. Pure bunk. Because if there was anything to that claim, they would have shown more output than just a blustery complaint that concludes with events months past. Case in point: Didn't the Bar leave it open ended when Nifong has to respond? In other words, he doesn't have to respond by a certain date!

Clearly the Bar is hoping someone else will solve their problem. Cowards.

Anonymous said...

What a lame interview. What was it, a brief passing in a hallway?

Anonymous said...

Esquire, MD I am a retired police officer, and receiving my state pension. I know that if I had been charged with a crime before ritirement, not only do I lose my pension, I lose the thousands of dollars that I contrbuted, even if I had enough time to just retire.

Anonymous said...

WJD: That thought obviously never crossed Nifong's mind.

Anonymous said...


Here's the scenario re the primary:

Prior to the primary, Mike gets appointed temporary DA by Governor Easley.

Primary approaches and Mike knows Freda Black is running. If she wins, he's gone. He needs 3.5 more years of state employment to reach the magical "30" years and full retirement benefits. Elected office will guarantee 4 years.

Mike's gotta win the primary to preserve his job.

Mike invests $30,000 of his own money in the venture.

Lacrosse Problem: Mike's BIG opportunity. Resorts to "whatever" to ingratiate himself with the AA community hence securing their vote.

Mike wins. Gets to keep job.


Anonymous said...

She finally snapped after all those years as a stewardess.

Anonymous said...

Nifong's pension is safe. If push comes to shove he can always purchase his local government time as a social worker and apply it to his state service retirement and he probably has year's of sick leave and vacation time accumulated all that can be applied to his service. Don't think he would have a problem coming up with 3 1/2 yrs if he left now. It's about his power and ego!

Anonymous said...

6:26 you said: "if I had been charged with a crime before ritirement"

Did you mean to say "convicted of a crime" instead of "charged with a crime"? Big difference as you know!

Please clarify, thanks!

Anonymous said...

to 630 from a non-lawyer/retired professor: In a defined benefit pension plan, your pension is a function of a number of variables, but one that would be particularly important for Nifong might be the much higher salary as DA. For instance hypothetically would you want 60% of 80K or 60% of 140K? They typically look at your highest income for 3 or 4 years. In short, more than likely the bigger salary as DA would translate into a much higher pension.

Anonymous said...

to 630: We need some input from individuals who are familiar with NC's pensions for state and local government employees. But there is always the old adage, that is, follow the money.

Anonymous said...

to 630: We need some input from individuals who are familiar with NC's pensions for state and local government employees. But there is always the old adage, that is, follow the money.

Anonymous said...

Nobody tells it as vividly as Anne Coulter: "Stripper Liesd.....White Boys Fried."

Anonymous said...

The pension argument doesn't fully explain it.

If Nifong was confident of his chances prior to the May primary, why kick-off such a media-storm ?

Is she implying that it was an unintended media blitz - with one interview leading to another, and then another, and onto who knows how many ?

Its possible, but seems unlikely, since that was not Nifong's prior MO.

It had to be primarily politically motivated from the get-go, not that the pension matter is untrue -

Anonymous said...

Can't believe I find myself agreeing with anything written by the appalling Ms. Coulter, but I do. Strange bedfellows...

Anonymous said...

Jackie Brown may not want to see the truth; it was financially and politically motivated from the outset. They go hand in hand. He had to win the election to secure his pension and to do that he had to utilize whatever powers of persuasion were available and necessary. The Duke case fell in his lap and his opportunity to win reelection, secure his financial future, as well as revel his newfound power were all there for the taking.

And he took it, ran with it, and will be disbarred as a result.

Anonymous said...

nifong is typical of most lawyers i see in my practice. They want to work as little as possible for the maximum pay. Its amazing the sense of entitlement people have because they complete law school and pass a Bar Exam.

In NC, it seems like all the lawyers are trying to snake their way into a judgeship or to be a full time mediator because they dont want to practice law.

If Nifong had any work ethic and people skills, why not go into private practice, bust ass, and make enough to buy your own pension.

Gvt lawyers are the ones that failed at private practice or dont have the courage to try and want out as soon as possible. Laziness makes you put yourself in bad positions and Nifong is just the lastest example.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't worry about pension. He will be paying legal bills for years.

Anonymous said...

Posters 6:04 and 7:27...

You are both absolutely right...Nifong was intent on winning at all costs from the outset...he didn't suddenly become unethical as the November election approached as Jackie Brown tries to contend. He showed his true colors during the primary as no one thought at that point that there would be any challengers in the general election...

Anonymous said...

Can you believe this tripe from Richard Hart at The Independent Weekly, 'INDY', Raleigh Durham Chapel hill ?

Someone should give this guy a clue..

"to the university, (1)for not taking seriously either the team's sorry discipline record(2) or the accusations of a dancer who performed at the infamous party"

(1)What part of Colmans's report did bhe read...
(2)Was this guy climbing Everest while the University was takign the accusations much too seriously?

JANUARY 10, 2007
Recuse yourself


There's plenty of blame to pass around in the Duke lacrosse case: to the lacrosse players, who carried on a tradition of out-of-control partying that led the university in disciplinary actions; to the university, for not taking seriously either the team's sorry discipline record or the accusations of a dancer who performed at the infamous party; to the national media, which have sensationalized the issues; and to Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, who has made mistake after misstep after misstatement in the case.

The lacrosse players have found out the kind of repercussions their behavior can have. The university has rallied to address both the specifics of the way it handled the team's behavior and the larger questions about the atmosphere on campus. The national media haven't slowed their virulent drum beat (particularly the obnoxious talking heads on cable), while local papers have done a good job digging out the issues. But Nifong, those local stories make clear, has failed to recognize the extent of his mistakes, correct them, and reassure the people of Durham (and around the world) that justice here is fair and unbiased.

For that reason, he should step down from the case and ask either the state Attorney General's office to take over or ask the Administrative Office of the Courts to appoint a prosecutor from another district....

The entire serving of tripe can be found here:


Anonymous said...

Reading Gaynor just now......

President Richard Brodhead may be identifying with President Nixon's faithful secretary, Rosemary Woods, explaining how she might have accidentally erased eighteen minutes of what had been recorded on one of President Nixon's audio tapes.

.....the thought occured to me.. with the advent of new technology for detecting the last vestages of data on hard drives (magnetic recording media) that my Spybot sofware contends requres five separate passes to adaquetly overright.... couldn't the missing 18 minutes erased by Rosemary Woods be recovered?

Anonymous said...

Ann Coulter speaks out!
Stripper lied...White Boys Fried

Michael said...

re: 8:09

On a hard disk, typically pointers are shuffled around to mark the disk space as unused. But the actual area isn't wiped. Makes a delete operation much faster.

Anonymous said...

Dead on. Thomas Sowell really nailed this earlier in his column. He informed all who cared to listen that all of Nifong's actions, from before the alleged rape to the present, were clearly and logically explained as being solely motivated by Nifong's career and pension concerns.

Anonymous said...

OJs pension from the NFL is not touchable from lawsuits - Pherhaps this is true of Nifong. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

In NC your pension is based on the average of your highest four consecutive years of salary. I have known people who made $100K+ for years and got kicked back to menaial jobs that should pay $50K. Their pension was based on the $100K salary. You can only bank 30 vacation days but you can bank all the sick days you can, I had over 400 when I retired. Retiring before you have the full 30 years does cut into the end result.

Anonymous said...

Pension money does not even come close to what a dirty DA can earn in payola from gambling bookies,prostitute rings and drug dealers. It starts at street level enforcement and ends in court, where a lying DA is in charge. More reason the Fed's need to investigate. Jackie Brown is a bit naive. All criminal activity charges has to go through the DA's Office. I am beginning to think a certain person, other than the false accuser, might be expecting big $$$ from the families of the defendants, to drop all charges.

Anonymous said...

6:02 -- Jackie Brown is unrelated to Cousin Jakki....

6:04 -- In May, there were only democrats running for DA. Nifong had every reason to believe, in April/May, that if he won the primary the job was his. It was only after the primary, in response to citizen's outrage, that Cheek and Monks petitioned to be added to the ballot.

Anonymous said...

Is it actually true, or just an Urban Legend, that Cousin Jakki owns a johnson?

Anonymous said...

I agree. The crowbar motel would be a wonderful address for Nifong, and he could get three squares a day.

In all seriousness, if ever a man deserved prison, it is Mike Nifong. If you or I went to Duke and did millions of dollars of damage in vandalism, we would be charged with felonies.

Nifong, on the other hand, has engaged in activities that have cost millions of dollars, all for a hoax. In the end, there is no difference, except what Nifong has done goes to the very heart of the justice system. Book 'em, Dano!

Concerned Texan said...

Loss of pension, loss of his $30,000 in self funded campaign costs and loss of employment from the only employer he had ever known (since he certainly would have been fired by Freda); it's enough to make one bring false charges against privileged white students.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

I think Ms. Brown just does not want to admit maybe to herself included that she ran a campaign that did this. Nifong was trailing in the primary. This case was certainly about the primary more so than the general election.

Well he did. It is not her fault but a candidate whose primary campaign she ran won that primary by intentionally indicting innocent people.

Anonymous said...

JLS - I respectfully disagree. Nifong may have been trailing slightly in the polls in March but he had 2 out of 3 of the main political endorsements. He was most likely going to win the primary without the LAX case (imo).

Recall that the primary was held 5/2 -- it wasn't until after the primary that most citizens realized what was really going on in the LAX case. The blogs were way out in front of MSM on this case and the majority of the people don't read the blogs.

This case became much more of an issue after the primary. Nifong definitely won in the general election as a direct result of his actions in this case.

Anonymous said...

To 11:52. Do you realize that at the time Nifong was running in the primary, he believed that he was not going to have competition if he won the primary?
There was no republican candidate, so winner of the democratic primary was going to be the only one on the ballot for a DA in the election.
It's only because of this case Nifong even had competition in the general election. So, it's a primary that was a big deal-before the primary, Nifong had every reason to believe that if he won the primary, he was going to be elected in the general election without any competition.

Anonymous said...

I want to add that it was the primary where Nifong had real competition from Freda Black. The reason Nifong even had competition in a general election was because of a lacrosse case. And even then Nifong's main competition Lewis Cheek said he won't accept the job if elected. Why would election be more important than the primary? It doesn't make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

re: 11:52

Well you have a point that possibly had the lacrosse hoax never happened, Nifong would have won the primary because he had all the major endorsements. I disagree because Black had the name recognition, but I will entertain your point.

But surely you agree once Mangum started the hoax and the pot bangers got out there sliming the lacrosse team along with the race baiter at Duke and in the community, Nifong would have lost the primary had he not indicted someone? So it was still about the primary. He suppressed evidence and got a grand jury to indict people he knew were likely innocent to win a primary.

Anonymous said...

Few here seem to see Brown as doing the same back pedaling so many are engaging in now that it's "safe." Nifong has been publicly and nationally disgraced since December 15th and the Meehan debacle, so suddenly we have players coming out of the woodwork to spin, excuse, revise, and disassociate.

Pension and election are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can NOT be mutually exclusive. Nifong had to win the primary. Freda Black was WAY ahead in polls over Nifong. She would have fired him if she won the primary (because, she would have been the only candidate on the ballot and was assured a win, just as Nifong assumed that if he won the primary, the election was effectively won).

It may have been about pension, but it follows that it had to be about winning the primary in order to get the pension. Brown has to know this. It is unreasonable to accept that she was not able to fully understand that it was ONLY the primary that Nifong had to win.

I say Brown is covering her buttinsky. She was involved in that campaign with Nifong at the time he created a frame to get the black vote, and she wants to now disassociate. Nifong knew exactly what he was doing.

Bottom line was money. The ONLY thing he had to do was win the primary to get it. Retirement and election can NOT be separated.

Shame on Brown for a tawdry attempt to clean her own slate. (Then again, would there be anything to the idea that perhaps she's trying to touch-up Nifong's slate in the face of bar discipline and litigation?)

Brown also said that Nifong is a bulldog who will not give up his bone (this case). While certainly indicative of a personality issue, the bottom line is, again, about money. Every day that he can keep this case going is a day averaged into his pension amount, at the higher DA salary.


Unknown said...

One of the best lines from Nifong; Some people told me they wouldn't vote for me if she was working on my campaign. So Ms. Brown is bad, but Victoria "I hate gay people" Peterson is gravy?

Anonymous said...

Twaddlefree's comment about Brown's motives in making this statement at this time rings true to me. Another blatant CYA.