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 investigationWell 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:
Timeline:Now this from the Liestoppers post:
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.
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. . . .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.
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.
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.