Monday, October 05, 2009

Updates, Including Bob Steel's Latest

If I were looking for the identity of someone least likely to be named trustee for a major hospital, former Duke BOT chairman Bob Steel would be high on the list. Leaving aside Steel's ill-fated performance at Wachovia, Duke under Steel's leadership paid out millions of dollars in settlements and legal fees from lawsuits stimulated, in large part, by the dubious conduct at Duke University Hospital.

And yet, as Dr. Roy Poses reports at the fine blog Health Care Renewal, the Hospital for Special Surgery has just appointed none other than . . . Bob Steel . . . as its newest trustee.

Poses concludes, correctly if sadly, "Mr Steel's unlikely career trajectory shows how once someone becomes a member of the superclass, the new power elite that spans business, government, and academics, that person is likely to continue to wield power no matter how poor his or her track-record, to the detriment of nearly everyone else."


Over the past few years, we all have learned just how intensely some in the higher education community believe—indeed, given their ideology, have to believe—that sexual assault is widespread on today’s college campuses.

Sometimes, these figures follow the approach of the “clarifying” faculty in the lacrosse case, simply issuing public statements declaring that sexual assault is “prevalent” on the Duke campus even though the university’s own figures indicated that 0.1 percent of Duke females had been victims of sexual assault. (And, of course, the “clarifying” faculty did everything they could to downplay the rape of someone like former Duke student Katie Rouse, since that attack didn’t fit into their worldview.)

At other times, these figures follow the approach of the Duke women’s center, and champion new judicial procedures that will tilt the judicial playing field blatantly in the accuser’s favor, apparently from a belief that as women don’t lie about being raped, those women who claim to have been raped should be ensured of a conviction.

And then there’s the case of Jennifer Beeman, the former director of the Campus Violence Prevention Program at University of California-Davis. The number of rapes that have occurred at Davis didn’t fit Beeman’s ideological preconceptions. So in 2005, 2006, and 2007, she simply inflated the figures. And the Sacramento Bee discovered that Beeman was doing it for some time—and used her made-up figures as the basis for which to apply for federal grants.

Incredibly, when Beeman’s 2005-7 inflated figures were first brought to the University’s attention, Davis’ response was to suggest that her made-up figures were proof of her having created a “nationally recognized … model program for its outreach efforts and services for survivors.”

Only in academia.


The Durham Police Department is again under fire, and, as in the lacrosse case, again seems to believe that its own rules and regulations do not apply to its officers.

The North Carolina SBI is investigating a scandal regarding the Police Department billing the city for excessive overtime.

Will the usual suspects blame the inquiry on wealthy outsiders?


I supported AG Roy Cooper’s decision not to prosecute false accuser Crystal Mangum, largely because there’s no way he could have gotten a conviction. Magnum could have claimed that she was psychologically unable to tell the truth (and had 1000 pages of files to back her up); or she could have claimed that as the city’s police force and county’s “minister of justice” believed her, that should qualify as reasonable doubt to beat charges of her filing a false police report.

It’s much harder, on the other hand, to support the decision of Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice not to prosecute the Hofstra case false accuser, Danmell Ndonye.

In this respect, I agree completely with Newsday’s editorial board, which noted, “Rice justifies her decision not to prosecute because it would have a ‘chilling effect,’ making actual victims fearful to come forward. That concern is misplaced. Historically, police and prosecutors have been hostile to women who made rape charges, but the consensus now in law enforcement is that these cases should be fully and aggressively prosecuted. For legitimate claims to be taken seriously, however, society must also know that phony ones will be punished. That’s what will make the voice of every true victim even stronger. Instead, Rice’s resolution risks creating the perception that there isn't much downside to making up a story that could have sent someone to jail for 25 years.”

Hat tips: M.S., D.P.


Anonymous said...

It seems that the prosecutor in the Hofstra case has used some type of non-adjudicative process to dispose of the false accuser. I am glad to hear that she is getting a year's worth of counseling, but the punishment still doesn't fit the crime, and there remains a lack of deterrent effect.

We have a similar process in my jurisdiction. It is intended for first offenders who have committed low-spectrum misdemeanor crimes like littering, underage drinking and very minor property damage -- and only if the offender accepts responsibility and shows a great deal of remorse.

I think the problem lies in the fact that the crime of falsely reporting a rape is not properly classified as a felony. MOO! Gregory

William L. Anderson said...

Will Jennifer Beeman be prosecuted for fraud? After all, she cooked up fraudulent numbers in order to obtain large federal grants, and that is a classic definition of fraud, as opposed to the murky stuff that federal prosecutors use to charge most people with "fraud."

I will bet that nothing will happen to her. Nothing. You can bet that there will be a million defenders for her and this current administration, with all of its ideological baggage, will not touch this case.

No Justice, No Peace said...

One wonders how vocal the Women's Studies professionals will be regarding the Letterman affairs.

Private matters? Hardly, by his own admission they were with his employees.

The Letterman affairs will likely become another example of the race/gender/class warfare hypocrisy that consistently flows from the academic intelligentsia.

Their "open-mindedness" closes a bit more each day.

Jim in San Diego said...

The falsely accused young men in the Hofstra rape hoax are crime victims.

Usually, a prosecutor will consult with crime victims before disposing of a case. This is true certainly of plea bargains and dismissals.

I wonder what, if any, consultations took place in this case between the prosecutor and the crime victims?

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

The whacko world view that contributed to the groupthink of the gang of 88 is easily bent the other way as evidenced by the hollywood elite lining up in support of Roman Polanski. Maybe if the Lax players were all art majors they woulda gotten more support.

Anonymous said...

To the 7:03
Safe bet
North of Detroit.

Gary Packwood said...

UC-Davis has a $1 Million grant from the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women...

'to coordinate a model program to reduce the incidence of campus-based violence against women, including domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking'.

'Reported incidences of violence against women at UC Davis have risen. The total number of sex offenses (forcible and non-forcible) reported at UC Davis increased from 33 in 2004 to 68 in 2006, according to the latest statistics prepared in compliance with the Clery Act.'

US-Davis received a similar grant in 1999 for $543,000.

These dollars helped create the UC - Davis web site... VOICES NOT VICTIMS

The Violence Against Women Act is up for re-authorization next year (2010)

Perhaps the Feds will ask for their money back from UC-D so they can fund programs in neighborhoods where violence against women is a real problem.

Anonymous said...

The website provides DOJ crime statistics for the years 1999-2007. I looked at Detroit's rape numbers for comparison to UC Davis.

The highest rate in Detroit during those years occurred in 2000 at 83.4/100,000 population. This of course works out to 8.34/10,000.

According to the Sacbee, the rate of forcible sexual assault on the Davis campus for 2001-2007 using Ms. Beeman's figures was 16.9/10,000 students.

UC Davis must be a very dangerous place!

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that the Duke Board of Trustees met this past weekend?

I guess not. Whatever they did, and whatever they decided, apparently they aren't talking...

And apparently none of the local media thought it worth the effort to try and ask them any questions...

(Is that any way to run a tax-exempt, charitable trust? In total secrecy?)

Anonymous said...

Is there any wonder that with the advent of new technology . . . DNA . . . so many have been released from prison and even released from deathrow. There is not much new in these kinds of false accusations.

Anonymous said...

HHMMM. I am guessing that the route Bobby Steel took to obtain his most recent position of fiduciary responsibility and trust was a "gift and pledge" to the Hospital for Special Surgery of at least seven figures.

Buying his way onto boards has never been a problem for Mr. Steel in the past.

Considering Bobby Steel's most recent "efforts" on the Duke University/Duke Medical Center board and the Chairman's role in selling Wachovia, the Hospital for Special Surgery CEO is in for quite a ride.

Anonymous said... has a thoughtfully writen article entitled "A Trustee of What 'Caliber' for the Hospital..." that questions the criteria used by the Hospita for Special Surgery in New York in selecting Robert Steel as a trustee.

Steel continues to wear the "emperor's clothes".

Locomotive Breath said...

Duke's board has traditionally met, as often as they can, when the students are on some kind of break. Can't work when those pesky kids are hanging around a university.

Anonymous said...

Is Steel a Communist?

Anonymous said...

From the false reporting of rape article about UC-Davis and Beeman:

"Loessberg-Zahl said the university will work to re-verify its statistics for all 16 years that Beeman led the Campus Violence Prevention Program if the Department of Education "gives us some indication that we ought to go back and review those years."

UC-Davis is facing about $3 million in punitive fines for providing false information and they are waiting to see if the DoE wants correct numbers?

WOW!! I'm thinking if I were in charge everyone would be working day and night until correct numbers and profuse apologies were provided to the DoE. Must be a government job!!

Anonymous said...

Feds investigate allegedly inflated UC Davis crime reports

Federal officials said Friday that they are looking into reports of inflated campus crime data by the University of California, Davis.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice are considering whether the school appropriately earned more than $1 million in grants for violence prevention, while the U.S. Department of Education is reviewing statistics that UC Davis reported to the government and that the university now says are false.

The question of why Beeman would inflate campus crime statistics remained a mystery Friday. On Thursday, UC Davis officials said they didn't know why the longtime employee would do it. On Friday, they made it clear they had not asked her to explain her actions.

AMac said...

Re: Robert Steele's illustrious career, the expression Failing Upwards comes to mind.

Debrah said...

Two points:

First, Bob Steel is typical Durham.

No matter to what heights of professional grandeur he might ascend.

As I've said many times, Durham is an interesting and an eclectic place in a lot of ways; however, when I first moved to the Triangle someone said to me---"Durham is the dropping off place."

Didn't understand what that meant at the time, but have since found out.

Even the "old money" crowd seems to have no taste at all.

Just a different breed. Hard to explain.

Bob Steel also has the bad taste to help bankroll charlatan Timothy Tyson's little venture----which should be renamed "Puffy T Goes Hollywood.....with the Spirit of the Lynch Mob".

Even though the Diva has quite a travelogue under her belt, I must say that you haven't lived until you've been sitting inside an upscale and mostly-vegetarian restaurant drinking a chocolate martini as a nearby butch lesbian ogles your t*ts while stroking the nape of her partner's neck.

(All the while, a table of Duke professors, several porkers in town for the Rice Diet, and a few beer-chuggers from the sticks round out the room).

Only in Durham.

Debrah said...

"And, of course, the “clarifying” faculty did everything they could to downplay the rape of someone like former Duke student Katie Rouse, since that attack didn’t fit into their worldview."

Very true, as we know.

However, Rouse and her family didn't exactly fight back on this issue the way Reade, Collin, and David and their families did.

They essentially took what the Duke administration doled out.

That has to be mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Is Steel a Communist?

Debrah said...

Duke Endowment lost 24 percent last year

Michael said...

This week's episode of _Lie To Me_ is about a statutory rape claim at a college frat. It turns out that the accuser was a little loose with the facts.

Debrah said...

NAACP's Rev. Barber risking it all for justice once again.

And a grievous account this one is!

No Justice, No Peace said...

Is Steel a communist?

A former investment banker with GS could hardly be regarded a communist. However the lack of moral clarity which leads to Steels continued placement in positions of significant power ring a bell.

“If you meet with difficulties in your work, or suddenly doubt your abilities, think of him (_________) and you will find the confidence you need. If you feel tired in an hour when you should not, think of him (______________) and your work will go well. If you are seeking a correct decision, think of him (__________) and you will find that decision.”

If one considers the aforementioned and inserts Steel's name it helps explain how only a sycophant might endorse him for his positions within the Treasury, Wachovia, and Duke (both the board of trustees and endowment). Those making the hiring decisions seemingly ignore all those pesky scorched earth decisions he's made

The passage was written in the Feb 17, 1950 edition of Pravda encouraging Russians to adore Stalin. Those who've not read Paul Johnson's "Modern Times" should; it provides the well documented/footnoted history of the 20th century that you were never taught in school.

Siberski said...

A friend of mine who travels in the thin air of Bob Steel's financial circles wrote the following, and I thought I would share it: "Mr. Steel is part of the financial elite that is ripping off America. As Treasury Secretary, Paulson provided taxpayer support so that these so called “capitalists” could continue to make millions every year. The fact is these individuals make their money by trading which is a zero sum game—for every winner there is a loser—and therefore no productive value is created. His emphasis on “protecting the Duke brand” by sacrificing the lives of the lacrosse players and coaches shows that he is a man of few—if any-- principals. It only represents the corruption that pervades our government/financial sector."