Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cline Hearing

Update, 4.54pm: The hearing has now come to a close. The judge says there will be no meeting tomorrow; Wednesday will have closing arguments; and the case might be decided by Friday.

Update, 4.23pm: Now on the stand, as a pro-Cline character witness, is Judge Marsha Morey. This is the same Judge Morey who served in his ethics hearing as a character witness for Mike Nifong, about whom she said, on 15 June 2007, "I have never doubted his truthfulness."

And she also had this exchange:
Q: Is it your testimony that Mike Nifong currently enjoys a reputation for truthfulness?
A: I think he does.
I'd say that Judge Morey was a particularly appropriate witness on behalf of DA Cline.

Update, 3.22pm: Cline might have just lost any chance to get hired by a Group of 88-dominated department if she's removed from her position: she suggested that people can claim racism when it's not there, and in so doing can disturb efforts to combat real racism.

That answer, alas, came as part of a give & take in which Cline refused to back down on any of the specific words she used in her anti-Hudson motions.

Update, 3.14pm: Cline continues to insist that everything in all of her filings is true, and says that she has no regrets about her decision to file complaints against Hudson.

The hearing continues:

Update, 1.22pm: From the N&O's coverage:
Cline insisted this morning that she was unfairly criticized by the News & Observer, repeating complaints she has lodged for months despite evidence that she is wrong in her assertions.

"I’m not saying I disagree with them. I’m saying they were false," Cline said. The N&O stands by its reports.

Editors at the N&O refuted Cline's assertions that it failed to report the district attorney's office provided rough notes from the SBI in a case that has since been dismissed. Last summer, Cline backed down from that after being shown the exact passage in the article that details that information. Use the controls on the right side of this page to listen to audio of that interview.

This morning, Cline again asserts that the N&O left out that piece of information.

Cline also refused to back down from assertions that N&O reporter J. Andrew Curliss was held in contempt of court in the Allen matter, even though an assistant clerk testified last week that there's no evidence of that anywhere in the court file or in the database of criminal charges.

Cline admitted she never checked the file to look for any contempt filings for Curliss. Still, she insists he was charged.

Update, 1.00pm: Cline is now saying that when she attacked Hudson's rulings for raping the community, she wasn't personally attacking Judge Hudson. She adds that she has "stacks and stacks of e-mails" to corroborate her claims. The proceedings are in recess until 2.30pm.

Update, 12.50pm: Cline seems wholly incapable of giving direct answers to simple questions. By the time she gets to the end of most of her responses, no one in the courtroom seems to remember what question was asked.

Update, 12.30pm: After repeatedly accusing Judge Hudson of improperly holding ex parte communications with defense attorneys, Cline has just admitted that she held an ex parte communication with Judge Hudson about the Allen case. But she says she didn't go to the meeting as a "prosecutor."

Update, 12.12pm: Cline is now doubling down regarding her allegations (ultimately disproved by the N&O, based on a broken time-stamp clock) that Hudson filed an order before all the evidence came in. On Friday, the clerk's office employees testified that the time-stamp clock was broken. Cline says she doesn't know if the clerks were telling the truth.

Update, 11.36am: Cline is currently being called upon her . . . incomplete . . . answers on Friday. Her general approach thus far has been to filibuster rather than offer answers, and to assert that it was "impossible" for her to remember every motion that was filed in the cases under discussion. This is an extraordinary line of defense--she's justified in lying on grounds of her not remembering whether motions have been filed.

Cline also has made a bizarre claim that she didn't go through the relevant court files to prepare for this hearing. In other words: in a hearing to decide whether she should be able to keep her job, Cline couldn't be bothered to actually research the cases under dispute.

The link to today's hearing is: .
Update, 8.59pm: Coverage of the hearing from the N&O and the H-S.

Update, 4.34pm: Cline has concluded her direct testimony; cross-examination will begin Monday morning at 9.30am. She maintains she did nothing wrong other than use some intemperate language about Hudson's behavior in her motion.

Update, 4.21pm: Cline is now complaining that Judge Hudson was pursuing a vendetta against the DA's office by refusing to schedule cases from the office. She's also suggesting that she had no choice in upholding justice but to file her complaint.

Update, 3.23pm: Cline seems unable to give a 1-minute, concise answer when a rambling 15-minute response will do. She did just say, however, that she wished that her "words had been chosen better" in her anti-Hudson motions, although she continued that she was "morally" obligated to act as she did; and that the content of her motions was "absolutely true."

Update, 3.06pm: Cline is now giving a lengthy, borderline-incoherent, response to the N&O series. She said she wanted to "explain the mental processes I was going through."

Update, 2.45: Cline now is arguing that there was no evidence for Hudson's claims that the DA's office didn't turn over all exculpatory evidence. Her basis for this claim? She says so.

Update, 2.22pm: Cline just resurrected the Mike Nifong line of defense on DNA! (She suggested that negative tests don't necessary mean a negative result.) She also is defending her bizarre town hall meeting, and has now returned to railing against the N&O.

Update, 2.20pm: Cline is now complaining about the N&O series. In what seems an almost certain untruth, she just stated that she hadn't anything heard about the various cases discussed in the Twisted Truth series for several weeks before the articles appeared. Yet the N&O reached out to her for comment at the time.

Update, 12.43pm: The hearing is now on mid-day recess. The Cline defense strategy appears to be that Judge Hudson's order in the Allen case was wrong, and the errors in the order explain (excuse?) Cline's subsequent overheated responses. As I said earlier, this is a curious line of defense, but perhaps it's the best that Cline has.

Update, 11.00am: The live-stream of the hearing is below; to date, Cline has failed to get the hearing suspended; and currently her attorneys are going through, in painstaking details, the specifics of Judge Hudson's order in the Allen case, challenging it here and there. This is a most curious line of defense.

In an even more curious development, Judge Hobgood is allowing DA Cline (a figure whose grasp of the truth is a bit of a stretch) to allow what she claims that Judge Hudson told her in various conversations.

Suspended Durham DA Tracey Cline gets to defend her record tomorrow before Judge Hobgood. I'll post a link to the hearing when it becomes available, and will have commentary on the proceedings here.

In the meantime, this blast from the past ("David Saacks and the Unethical Duo"), courtesy of the Mike Nifong 2006 website.


Anonymous said...

Has Cline's head shrunk? Did her hair explode or what? gosh darn, I could almost hear them singing, "KumBaya"....

Anonymous said...

Is Saacks a Communist?

Pierce Harlan said...

Anonymous said...

Hope Tracy is feeling better and is able to enunciate clearly today. This is an example of the Peter Principle unfolding
before us. What we expect to see is an incompetent DA incompetently defend herself in her new role as her own defense attorney. Maybe she will have obtained counsel by now and her day in court will not be a mockery of jurisprudence.

Lance the Intern said...

The hearing is being broadcast here ...It's currently on 15 minute break for a discussion between the lawyers and the media about microphone placement.
To this point, all of Ms. Cline's motions to dismiss have been denied.

Anonymous said...

Tracy Cline will almost surely be thrown out of office for her attacks on the judge, but she deserves to be tossed aside for her negligent and intentional actions in her cases. To me, it is substance over form or politics over reality. I'm hoping that people eventually are able to get that.

It should not have taken insanely vulgar attacks of a judge to make this move. The bar is set way too low. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

If I took this stuff seriously, I'd be depressed as hell. Durham is so poorly run, the only reason it has not died is so many federal dollars have been pumped in to keep it on life support. Even Duke and nearby RTP is not enough. It is like a Third World recipient of USAID largesse.

Cline and Hudson are representative of the quality we can expect from now on in Durham.

Anonymous said...

Is Hudson a Communist?

silent_l said...

Well, Friday's testimony was... interesting...

Tracey Cline's attorney spent much of the time vainly trying to direct the testimony of his witness and client. In response, she lectured him from the witness stand on why she needed to give 15-minute answers to simple questions. This only reinforced the image of her as out of control. Several times he tried to tell her that they'd be getting to that, or tried to get her back to the actual question, and she simply ignored him and kept talking until she was ready to transition back to the subject of the actual question.

She did at least manage to remain relatively calm. Whether that will be true under cross-examination remains to be seen.

She also acknowledged that she should have phrased some of the things in her filings better. For anyone who has read them, that goes without saying. But she didn't specify which things she'd have said differently, or whether saying them differently would involve less invective, more invective, fewer typos, or what.

And immediately after that she then proceeded to assert the truth of every single thing she wrote. Presumably this includes the "reprobate mind of a monarch" comment. She may feel she should have used different words, but she stands by the allegation about his mind. She also thus stood by the part where she asserted that a ruling was filed before the arguments were made, despite the clear evidence that this merely reflects an issue with the time clock. And, of course, there are a ton of other unsubstantiated allegations that she also stood by.

silent_l said...

Here's another thing that caught my attention.

Cline is shocked, just shocked, that people might actually forward emails without telling her.

She discusses what she seems to think is a smoking gun she found when she used a public records request to get the judge's emails.

An email she sent to a defense attorney was forwarded to a different defense attorney, then to the judge's assistant, and then to the judge.

Given the filings she's made, it's not too difficult to imagine that she might send an email that attorneys might feel is relevant to defense attorneys in other cases, and to the judge in the case.

Why she thinks this is inherently wrong, I don't know. Why she thinks it indicates that the judge is in some way at fault, or that it excuses her behavior in any way, I don't know.

She does say that the judge's assistant sent it to the judge flagged as "as per your request", or words to that effect. But there's no indication that this means that the judge orchestrated anything. It could be a reference to an outstanding request to forward emails related to a specific case, or the assistant could have said that an odd email arrived that the judge should read, the judge could have then asked that it be forwarded so he could read it later. Who knows. All we know is that Cline took offense at the forwarding of the email, and chose to bring it up in her defense.

Anonymous said...

In another WTF moment, Cline testified that prior to her coming to Durham to work she was in the middle of a murder trial in Elizabeth City. Records show her license was suspended before and after being hired as an ADA in Durham by Hardin. Is that another murder trial at risk of review?

Anonymous said...

Is Cline a Communist?

Denver DUI Attorney said...

This is a sad display of the judicial system. Cline is forcing her agenda and making herself look like a fool.

Anonymous said...

she must be allegedly advised by the afro professors at the nearby universities whose alleged contribution to scholarship relies on 'emotional' feelings and perceived bias without a shred of she passed las school needs to be examined in academic truth...noone could be as dumb

Jim In San Diego said...

You must roll over in your mind, again and again, that this illiterate, irresponsible liar is largely responsible for justice in Durham, North Carolina.

Place yourself in the position of an accused, subject to her vindictiveness and psychological dissociations. Can you?

Your only defense as a citizen would be to move from Durham, before it is too late.

Jim Peterson