Wednesday, October 31, 2007


The Raleigh N&O’s’s just posted: “AG asks for federal investigation of lacrosse case.”

Here’s the story in full, followed by comments:

The state attorney general has asked federal prosecutors to help conduct a criminal probe into former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong and other government officials involved with the Duke lacrosse case, according to a lawyer representing one of the three exonerated players.

Charlotte lawyer Jim Cooney outlined the request in a three-page letter sent to three high-ranking U.S. Justice Department administrators.

The letter was copied to Jim Coman, a special prosecutor for the state who led the criminal investigation that led to the exoneration of the three lacrosse players, Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann.

"On behalf of Reade Seligmann and his family, I respectfully request that the government of the United States grant the request of the North Carolina Attorney General and participate in a joint investigation into the events of this prosecution," Cooney wrote in his Oct. 9 letter.

The letter was addressed to Craig S. Morford, acting U.S. deputy attorney general in Washington; Christopher J. Christie, U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, and Anna Mills Waggoner, U.S. attorney for the middle district of North Carolina.

In January, Seligmann and his father filed a complaint with Christie, according to Cooney's letter.

By that time, the case against the three players had crumbled in court. What began with an escort service dancer's allegations of gang-rape at a lacrosse team party in March 2006 ended with Nifong, the Durham prosecutor who brought the case forward, losing his law license and his job.

In September, Jim Hardin, the acting district attorney appointed to succeed Nifong, asked the State Bureau of Investigation to consider a criminal probe. Cooney's letter said that it was "my clients' understanding that since the time of that referral... the Attorney General's Office has transmitted a written request for federal involvement in a joint investigation into the events of this case."

Such an investigation would almost certainly target Nifong. It was not clear from the letter whether others connected to the case might also be involved. Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general's office, said she could not comment on the letter or whether a request for federal assistance had been made.

In the past, Talley said, the state attorney general has sought power from the state legislature to convene investigative grand juries that could help with corruption probes.


All of you who are justice seekers are happy knowing Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s Attorney General, has asked the Feds to finally come to Durham, and join with his office to investigate the attempted frame-up of three young men Mike Nifong, the DPD, Brian Meehan, the Raleigh N&O and Duke’s Dike Brodhead and Bob Steel all knew were innocent.

But before anyone breaks out the champagne, remember at this point it’s only a request.

What’s more, where violations of citizens’ civil rights are concerned, the federal Justice Department, like most government agencies, has two standards.

The DOJ’s standards are as easy to distinguish as telling black from white.

There's no doubt if the Duke Hoax victims had been black, the DOJ would have been in Durham long ago, very likely about the time Judge Ron (“Whatever Mike wants”) Stephens ordered 46 citizens, based solely on their race, to submit to police DNA testing and photographing.

But the people the Hoax criminals attempted to frame are white.

So the Feds may yet hesitate to step in and bring some measure of justice to Durham.

I’m betting the Feds won’t be able to leave things in the hands of Durham’s “civic leaders” because there's been too much public attention and outrage.

But they could.

So a word to the wise: Let’s keep the pressure on the Feds to come on in. Letters, phone calls. You know what’s needed.

A word to Dick Brodhead: You said last December you wanted Mike Nifong to explain what he’d been doing all those months you were endorsing his plan to put David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann on trial.
How about you and Duke BOT Chair Bob Steel demanding the Feds investigate what Nifong and others were doing all that time?

A word to all of you who’ve been active in trying to bring the Feds in: Thank you. Your work may yet pay off to the benefit of us all.


conhed said...

I am of the opinion that government is simply incapable of doing anything well. Any government, anywhere.

The DOJ should investigate. The North Carolina legislature should investigate. Will they? Will they do a good job? Will justice be served?

I bet you can guess my answers.

Anonymous said...

"Hope springs a kernel."
Denny Crane, Boston Legal

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Feds, I believe it was Sandra Bulluck who said, "Hope Floats".

That ain't all.

Anonymous said...


"How about you and Duke BOT Chair Bob Steel demanding the Feds investigate what Nifong and others were doing all that time?"

That really is the $64,000 question, isn't it? Why would the university sit idly by and let their students be brutalized by a corrupt prosecutor?

Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

Just what exactly will the "FEDS" investigate? Will they probe deeper into the deviants of Durham? Do you honestly believe they will actually seek indictments and show the world their dirty laundry? Numerous high ranking officials in Washington monitor these sites daily. You have to ask yourself, why? The answer is crystal clear. The "Powers That Be" do NOT want to become involved in any Federal Investigation. They most definitely fear the exposure of the corruption and abuses in office. Again I ask the media and readers to dig deeper into Durham's notorious past. From the prostitution ring being run from the DPD in the 90's to the most recent SBI "sting" into the La Zona, owned by a deputy sheriff. Reported and caught on tape admitting to murders for hire, trafficking women and children for prostitution, massive cocaine distribution, counterfeiting, and God only knows what else. 3 of these men were all deputies, one even the HEAD of the Gang Unit, and author. What has become of the people mentioned on the "hit" list? Were they ever even told they had even been mentioned? What happened to the poor innocent souls entrapped into sexual slavery, have they been rescued? Then too about the drugs, and other crimes committed by Durham's finest in Law Enforcement, does "ANYBODY" care?!

Has Mr Cooper, or "ANYBODY" ever acknowledged these crimes against humanity, and put forth any effort to take action? The sheriff and his own spokespersons have been quoted as saying these "officers" were the BEST, and did not have enough evidence to bring further charges? Yet, they were more than willing to allow 3 innocent men go to prison for a crime they KNEW they did not do, all for political gain? Where is the outrage?! Murders go unsolved, drug abuses escalate, and all of these government entities are fully aware of these most nefarious deeds and fail to not only acknowledge them, but further conspire to hide these crimes to ensure they never see the light of day.

I personally beseech my request for citizens, legislators, journalists, and the Department Of Justice to take action! The LAX3 Hoax is but the tip of the iceberg. This is much larger then one man, (Nifong) and long past due to be addressed. Saying "I did not know" is not an excuse. Pleading ignorance proves just that, ignorance! Deeper issues beg for resolution, along with my own personal quest to find JUSTICE for my dearest brother, whose murder in Durham in 2005 remains unresolved. I DEMAND accountability, and will continue to fight until there is a roar so loud, "THEY" will have no choice than to open their eyes and ears and realize WE will not tolerate the denial any longer!

Rhonda Fleming
Cleveland, Ohio

Jack said...

There will be no Federal investigation. We all toss around the ideas that politicians are corrupt, that they want to cover their back sides, etc. I believe that the conduct of the public officials in the Lacrosse case is just the tip of the iceberg. An indepth, legitimate, thorough and unbiased investigation could undermine the legitimacy of many governmental entities, not to mention Duke university.

Anonymous said...

I hate sounding like a broken record, but why don't we hear something--ANYTHING--from North Carolina's two RINO US Senators? They bloviate about everything unimportant (Dole recently got her face in the Outer Banks papers when she travelled all the way to Hatteras Island to visit a defective bridge!), but not a word about the probability of civil rights violations in Durham! All you loyal Republicans out there: see if you can't get Dole and Burr to do the right thing for once!

Anonymous said...

I find Mayor Bell's quotes to be preposterous, and offensive. How all of these people can lie and deny facts of massive corruption, just boggles the mind! The crimes of guilt exceed the LAX case, and goes back much further into Durham's notorious past.

These people deny the truths, then when forced to comment, always use excuses. I am sick of excuses! The "BULL" in Durm has existed far too long, and is beyond just having Washington leaders peer in and have a "Look-See."

My family has waited almost 3 years needlessly for an investigation to be done into my brother's murder. Other families have suffered the same cruel fate at the hands of the courts, officials, and law enforcement. There are no reasons big enough to convince us "THEY" care, and are "moving forward?!"

I have personally sent hundreds of FOIA requests, spoken to every department and official in legislature but the president, and have still been ignored. They know all about me, and am quite sure I have been a burr in their saddles.

WHEN, the FEDS finally decide to move to action, I am nationally requesting my own personal meeting to take my testimony of the abuses and abject denial of due process of law, and the numerous personal and civil rights violations.

THIS is why I have had to come forward into the blogosphere to have a voice. I have not made my quest a secret, and am not alone.

Far more than Duke University has been touched, actual lives have been destroyed. The respect and dignity of an entire city and state has been greatly tarnished, and most of all our leaders in federal government have failed us all immensely.

The clock on the wall has silently ticked away long enough, and is anxiously awaiting for the alarm. So are we!
Rhonda Fleming
You Know Where
You Have My Number