Friday, March 11, 2011

Document Excerpts: DSI File

Here is Meehan's complaint misrepresenting his May 2006 report, which actually did everything it could, short of simply lying about the results, to prop up "client" Nifong's case.
Given the reality of his report, Meehan really didn't want to appear in court on Dec. 15, 2006, as this deposition excerpt from a Meehan co-worker suggests. Not too hard to figure out why. Meehan's 2006 W-2, showing how he earned $125,000 even as his unprofessional behavior helped prop up a case against innocent people.
From his complaint, Meehan affirms that he testified truthfully in the Dec. 2006 hearing. Leaving aside the absurdity of this claim (since he initially tried to parry Brad Bannon's questioning until he figured out that Bannon knew what he was talking about), this admission seems to confirm that he told the truth to Jim Cooney.

From his complaint, Meehan blames Nifong for his problems.
From his deposition, Mr. Obfuscation suggests that he can't remember who Lane Williamson was.
From Meehan's deposition, a potentially significant revelation: he and Nifong, in spring 2006, appear to have discussed the non-lacrosse player DNA found in Mangum's rape kit.

Meehan had admitted that he followed the lacrosse case pretty closely in the media before he got involved. But, he claimed, he stopped reading newspapers--especially the N&O--once he was the subject of negative scrutiny.
Meehan's refusal to admit error consisted of his suggesting that DNA labs are always attacked by defense lawyers and the media. The company's attorney asked him whether the SBI DNA lab was attacked in the lacrosse case.

In his deposition, Meehan occasionally would lapse into his "Mr. Obfuscation" mode. Here, he tries to imply that his amended report in the lacrosse case (in which he added test results he hadn't reported) could be seen as the equivalent of correcting a typo.

In his deposition, Meehan conceded that the lacrosse case was the biggest case DSI ever had--showing again the financial incentive to pacify the firm's "client," Mike Nifong.

In the annals of chutzpah, this e-mail from just over a month after the disastrous Dec. 2006 hearing features Meehan complaining about his not having received his promised raise.
Clark's letter firing Meehan combined the DSI head's blustery refusal to acknowledge error with his obsession with image.

Meehan's friend and fellow lab director, Bo Scaife, defended Meehan's May 2006 report. Scaife is based in Mississippi--which raises questions about what sort of cases he's handled there.

Scaife adds that the finding of no DNA matches should have been enough to prove the lacrosse players' innocence. Meehan, of course, doesn't appear to have pressed this point to Nifong.

In his deposition, Meehan claimed he didn't have enough time to prepare for the 12-15-06 hearing. A lack of preparation wouldn't seem to explain his admissions that his report didn't contain all the results and that he and Nifong had mutually agreed upon such a strategy.

In his deposition, Meehan admitted that initially he was "excited" to have been involved in the lacrosse case.

DSI saw the 60 Minutes show as the last chance to save the company's public image; here was the script prepared by DSI lawyer Fred Antoun on how Meehan should handle the inevitable tough question about his testimony.
DSI president Richard Clark testily denied coaching Meehan for the 60 Minutes interview.
Despite his passionate denial (above) that he had not coached Meehan, Clark subsequently admitted that he had done so:

60 Minutes
might have been a last-gasp for DSI's reputation, but DSI official Michael Burrows also understood the grim situation that the company occupied given the program's interest.
Another DSI employee, noting that really no one wants to go on 60 Minutes.

If Meehan, as this deposition suggests, actually did prepare for the 60 Minutes interview for three days, what would he have been like without any preparation at all?
To say the Meehan-led DNA Security was a fly-by-night affair is an understatement; at the time the company was sold to Clark (in 2004), DSI had less than $2000 cash on hand.
When speaking of the company before the sale, Meehan had a tendency to speak of himself in the royal "we." Here, he concedes that he functioned not only as lab director at pre-2004 DNA Security, but also as the company's janitor.

The firm never did very well: Meehan bought out his two DSI partners for . . . $3000.

And Meehan sold the company in 2004 for a rather paltry $80,000.

DNA Security official Michael Burrows, reflecting on repeating the company line that DSI made no mistakes:

More on the harmful financial effects resulting from the exposure of Meehan's dubious conduct.
This DSI e-mail confirms how the lacrosse case devastated business for the company.
A DSI official on Clark's determination to get rid off Meehan, at any cost:
This cryptic item from the Clark deposition suggests that DNA Security representatives remained in contact with Mike Nifong even after Nifong was off the case.
An unintentionally comical statement from Clark on why he didn't allow Meehan's COLA adjustment in 2006:
DSI head Richard Clark, confirming the initial financial boost to the company caused by the Duke case.
The contents of this file would be interesting to see.

When all else failed, DSI employees suggested Meehan had been "tricked" by 60 Minutes:

DNA Security's Michael Burrows, outlining the devastating business effect that Meehan's performance at the 12-15-06 hearing:

And this is Burrows on the business impact of Meehan's weak 60 Minutes showing:

Here is Burrows suggesting that the company officials read a certain blog that "doggedly" criticized Meehan and his cohort.
Clark, like Burrows, appeared quite concerned with what people on the internet were saying about the company. (He appears to be referencing this post.)
Here's the accreditation agency's letter confirming the investigation of DNA Security.

Just as Mike Nifong exploited his son at the State Bar hearings, so too did Meehan cite his son as the reason he wanted to come clean to 60 Minutes.

Here is what Fred Antoun, brought in to advise DSI on how to handle the post=Dec. 2006 controversy, wanted Brian Meehan to say during Meehan's 60 Minutes interview:

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