Tuesday, July 10, 2007

DPD/Duke 3/29 Mtg.: More Questions

The Durham Herald Sun recently reported Durham City Manager Patrick Baker’s explanation for why he met on March 29, 2006 with Durham Police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Inv. Benjamin Himan:

Baker on Tuesday said the March 29 meeting allowed him to hear from Gottlieb and Himan first-hand, to make sure they and Duke police were working smoothly together and to make sure the detectives had the resources they needed to finish the investigation
Well that seems simple enough. We can all understand the city manager wanting to meet with the two principal investigators in a case the Raleigh N&O said involved “a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence.”

But why was DPD Deputy Chief Ron Hodge at the meeting?

You say he had day-to-day charge of DPD at the time because, as Baker told us for many weeks, DPD Chief Steve Chalmers was “away” taking care of his “sick mother.”

But that doesn't work. Chalmers was at the meeting, too.

Why weren't Gottlieb and Himan’s supervisors, Capt. Lamb and Lt. Ripberger, at the "just checkiing" meeting?

And why, according to the H-S, did a “police attorney” it failed to name attend a meeting Baker said was just to make sure Gottlieb and Himan “and Duke police were working smoothly together and to make sure the detectives had the resources they needed to finish the investigation?”

A “police attorney” isn't needed at such a meeting.

Besides, Baker himself is an attorney who before he became city manager provided legal counsel to DPD.

When Duke University’s Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security Aaron Graves and Duke’s Police Director, Robert Dean, walked into the meeting, were they surprised to find all the other people there? Or had they been told in advance?

Folks, I’m sure you've figured out the Baker/Duke/DPD March 29 meeting wasn’t about "just checking” with the detectives and making sure they had the “resources they needed.”

Baker’s explanation is preposterous.

Something else: why would Graves and Dean participate in a meeting at which DPD had an attorney; at which the person who called the meeting, Baker, is an attorney; and at which Duke is not represented by an attorney?

Did Graves and Dean have a green light from their Duke supervisors to attend a meeting with Baker and a “police attorney” without Duke being represented by an attorney?

I don’t know what the actual purpose(s) of the March 29 meeting was/were.

But it was surely something very, very important involving law, rights and proper legal conduct. That’s why all those “heavy hitters” were there cum “police attorney.”

I said more about that on May 30 when I first posted on the Baker/Duke/DPD “just checking” meeting in this post: “INNOCENT: DPD & Duke Contacts: Questions.”

Now I just want to provide two parts of an outstanding Liestoppers post and end with a few brief comments.

First, part of a Liestoppers’ timeline based on depositions and Bar trial testimony:

March 27, 2006: [Nifong assistant] Sheila Eason requests [via email] information from Duke Police

Hi, Lt. Best.

As we discussed on the phone, Mr. Nifong, our DA wants any and all details documented in writing concerning the incident involving the alleged gang rape by the Duke Lacrosse Team members of Crystal Mangum….All details, even though they may seem insignificant, may add together to help us with this case. Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

March 27, 2006: Nifong, Himan, Gottlieb possibly discuss obtaining emails and additional "stuff" from Duke. . . .

March 31, 2006: Duke PD delivers key card data to Sgt. Gottlieb. Gottlieb notes that key card information was "requested by us."

Inv. Smith and Stotsenberg from Duke Police drove up to the District 2 substation as I was leaving. They had three reports they delivered reports to me requested by us. Two were for staff at Duke who are being harassed due to this case (Duke reports #2006-1548 and 2006-1515), and one is a key card report for the team members on 3/13/06 to 3/14/06.
Now this from the Liestoppers post:
It appears that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) protected key card records of Duke University students which District Attorney Mike Nifong sought by subpoena 0n May 31, 2006 were actually provided to the Durham Police Department, and in turn to the ex-DA, on March 31, 2006. . . .

A review of the case notes and State Bar deposition of Sgt. Mark Gottlieb reveals that the private key card records were obtained from Duke University without a court order and in violation of FERPA.(emphasis added)

Gottlieb's deposition also reveals that the information provided illegally by Duke University contributed to the indictment of Collin Finnerty while leading directly to the indictment of Reade Seligmann.

The key card date, illegally obtained and purposefully misconstrued by Sgt. Gottlieb,offered the only "corroboration" presented to the Grand Jury of Seligmann's presence at the scene of the imagined crimes.
We need to know more about what really went on at that March 29 meeting. The best way to find out is to put all the particpants under oath and question them.

The need for state and federal investigations into criminal acts and civil rights violations becomes more obvious and urgent every time we learn more about the frame-up and what people at Duke and in Durham may have wittingly or unwittingly done to enable it.


LieStoppers said...

Thanks John.

I added the 3/29 meeting to the timeline.


Anonymous said...

John - Any idea who from Duke gave out the key card information? No wonder Duke settled so quickly

kbp said...

Anon 12:09

A settlement, if duke can get all 46 players to settle, would eliminate answering to the public for that keycard problem.

Duke would not be liable to any of the students for that violation.

See SCOTUS case posted by Liestopper.

Anonymous said...

This is a mystery - Who would have access to this information? This is against the law and someone at Duke did it. This is what Duke wanted to keep quiet most of all. Who and how did this information come to light?

AMac said...

Duke University and the City of Durham are teaching me some important lessons.

#1. Proper procedures are very important--except when there is an ongoing case with high Public Relations value. Under those circumstances, expediency and improvisation must carry the day.

#2. Privacy rights are very important--except when there is an ongoing case with high Public Relations value. Then, it's time to jump-start the ad-hoc bulldozer.

Fortunately, the NGOs established as guardians for civil liberties are on the job. In particular, I'm thinking of the ACLU and the NAACP. Gosh, those guys just don't know how to stop!

Also, fortunately, governmental agencies and elected officials are hard at work. A link to the many investigations underway at the Federal and State levels is here.

And, of course, the media continue to be tireless in pursuing the fallout of the Hoax/Frame. The editors and newsies at papers like the Herald-Sun go after sacred cows without fear, and highlight the glaring misconduct of local government employees.

Bringing me to the third lesson.

#3. Accountability is very important--except where #1 or #2 apply. In such cases, no exposure or outrage is called for when the agenda of the (alleged) wrongdoers comports with our own prejudices.

Thus, pajamas-clad bloggers such as Philip Wood and J-in-C should definitely go back to sleep.


Anonymous said...

Do we know which police force the "police attorney" represented, DPD or Duke PD?

Anonymous said...

I hope the other 43 Families send this on to their attorneys! I think I just heard the sound of a slot machine ringing up a higher total.

What was Duke doing? Just bending over to convict the whole Lacrosse Team for a crime that never happened?

Anonymous said...

"I urge everyone to cooperate to the fullest with the police inquiry..." Brodhead statement of March 25, 2006.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead's public directive of 3/25 that all parties "cooperate with police" preceded by only 4 days the meeting of 3/29. Duke administrators and police understood Brodhead's directive, together with any others that may have been issued internally, as a directive to turn over information held by Duke to the Durham police and DA.

Anonymous said...

Re: 8:39 AM
Is that a little bit like leaving the fox to guard the hen house, or what?