Wednesday, August 15, 2007

DPD’s Hodge & “evidence collected”

Monday I posted “ What Did DPD's Hodge Say?” It concerned an MSNBC report of the forum held at NC Central University last April at which then DA Mike Nifong said would continue to seek to indicte Duke lacrosse players despite DNA evidence from the state crime lab which the public had just learned was negative for all the lacrosse players tested.

MSNBC’s report included this:

"I don't think we would be here if it wasn't (a strong case)," Maj. Ron Hodge, the assistant (sic) chief of the Durham Police Department, said after the forum. (Hodge is deputy chief. The parenthetical "a strong case" is in the MSNBC story. – JinC ).
Responding to the post, two Anons provided links to a Raleigh News & Observer Jan. 13, 2007 story reporting reactions to Nifong’s decision to recuse himself and turn the case over to the NC Attorney General’s office.

In that N&O story we find a subhead,
A police view,
followed by this:
Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge said Nifong's stepping aside won't change the substance of the evidence collected by the department's detectives that a sexual assault occurred.

Hodge said he thinks that the case will still go forward and that the remaining charges will be prosecuted.

"I don't think it changes anything that we've done," Hodge said. "It just means that we'll have to deal with a different attorney."
My reactions?

Wow! And thank you, Anons. I’d either missed or forgot the Jan. 13 N&O story.

But look at how significant it now is.

Three months after that story appeared NC Attorney General Roy Cooper announced to the world there never was any actual evidence collected by DPD or Nifong. And just a few weeks ago Nifong himself admitted during a court hearing there was no evidence.

So why was Hodge last April talking to MSNBC about a strong case?

Why was Hodge telling the N&O in January about “evidence collected by the department's detectives that a sexual assault occurred?”

Didn’t Hodge know DPD never had any credible evidence? He was in day-to-day charge of DPD during much of “the investigation, wasn’t he?

Why did Hodge say DPD had a strong case to arrest and help indict and prosecute for multiply felonies three men when there was no evidence of their guilt?

Aren’t police department administrators supposed to prevent that kind of thing from happening?

Is it possible Hodge didn’t know his department had no evidence of David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann’s guilt?

Was Hodge lied to about “this horrific crime” the way the public was?

Is it possible Hodge sincerely believed what he was saying because Nifong, DPD Cpl. David Addison, the department spokesperson who kept proclaiming crimes had been committed, and other DPD officers misled him?

The Durham City Council has asked the Whichard Committee to find out why DPD arrested and charged three men without any evidence of their guilt.

Surely the committee members will ask Hodge about the MSNBC and N&O reports.

The City Council and the public need to hear his answers.


Anonymous said...

John: If you think anything will be done to put Hodge on the spot, let me show you the specs on a swell bridge in Brooklyn.....

Anonymous said...


"The City Council and the public need to hear his answers."

So, the incompetent Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge gets a free spotlight.

The hounds have been set loose.


sceptical said...


We need to find out how high in the Durham Plice Department hierarchy did responsibility for the hoax/frame-up go.

Was it just Sgt. Gottlieb and Inv. Himan? Unlikely because they regularly reported to their superiors.

Was it Lt. Mike Ripberger or Capt, Jeff Lamb, who were in charge of District 2 and to whom Gottlieb reported?

Or was it the higher-ups such as Major Russ or Deputy Chief Hodge?

If the Whichard Committee doesn't answer this question, it will be a failure.

Anonymous said...

They are so corrupt and Durham lacks the moral courage to do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

Where are the feds? This deserves a full federal criminal investigation. The corruption apparently runs deep. Easley and Cooper are showing no effort to clean it up.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the reasons Hodge is not the new Police Chief. The culprits are Nifong, Chalmers and the serior DPD officers. Gottlieb and Himan are foot soldiers. Their superiors signed off on the stuff Nifong was doing out side of the law. Gottlieb had a heart attack to get out of the case. It is clear that all investigation stopped once Nifong took over.