I promised something tonight responding to the extremely thoughtful comments on the thread of this post: Local Coverage of Latest Suit.
What I’m about to offer isn’t as good as it ought to be because it’s a busy time of year. But I’ve reviewed what I’m posting here and think it’s a “not too bad” response I’ll stand with.
Now to begin:
In one way or another, most of you commenting have made clear you see the suit filed two days ago by attorney Bob Ekstrand on behalf of three unindicted Duke students who played on the University’s 2006 Men lacrosse as an action that moves the Hoax case into “a new world”
Ekstrand’s brief on the students’ behalf absolutely rejects the Allen Building/Chronicle/MoveOn.Duke storyline which has Brodhead struggling in “a confusing time” when, as he told the late Ed Bradley during a 60 Minutes interview, “the facts kept changing.”
Ekstrand’s brief doesn’t make any “facts kept changing” claims or concessions. It asserts laws and procedures were ignored and violated by many.
And who were they?
They weren’t just those we’ve all come to agree did such things – Nifong, Gottlieb, Himan, Meehan, Addison, DPD supervisors, and Baker.
They included the most powerful and senior of Duke’s trustees and administrators who acted in cooperation with the maleficents I’ve just named.
Ekstrand calls the collective of Duke University officers led by BOT chair Robert Steel and president Richard Brodhead, Durham City and Durham Police personal led by city manager Patrick Baker and police chief Steve Chalmers, and others “the Consortium.”
He asserts they cooperated and conspired against his clients while acting to convince the public they were acting to promote a fair and legal criminal investigation.
Examples of what Ekstrand’s taling about:
He documents Duke’s responsibility for the investigation of Mangum’s lies based on NC Statue and DU/DPD common practice. Thus, DU’s Police Department began the investigation of Mangum’s lies and quickly concluded they were just that.
Enter BOT chair Bob Steel who, Ekstrand asserts, directed DUPD to cover-up its investigation and finding, and to cede “authority” to investigate to DPD.
Ekstrand’s brief’s a long read but extremely interesting.
It’s too bad our local news organizations - mainly the Raleigh N&O and the Durham H-S (The Chronicle won’t publish until after the New Year) – won’t press Duke even half as hard to explain what it did as they pressed for the cancellation of the lacrosse team’s season.
To the commenters who noted Steel directed an awful lot of Duke's response (no surprise) but pushed to turn over the case from DUPD to DPD, I’ll say this:
I'm surprised Steel get involved in that kind of act so directly that Ekstrand would be confident enough of what Steel did to name him in the brief as doing it.
One commenter said: "Uglier" and Dukier."
An alum friend asked offline what I thought of Bob Ekstrand?
Here’s part of my response:
Bob Ekstrand knows what he's doing.I think that fits with what a lot of the commenters have been saying.
He is, by virtue of training and experience, IMO, one of the best, if not the best, attorneys this second 3 could have retained.
Bob knows Duke, Durham and "the street."
He knows the relevant past - eg. Gottlieb's treatment of Duke students compared to their treatment by other DPD officers.
And he knows the people who know Gottlieb has abused Dukies and those in Durham who supported what Gottlieb did.
So he knows where to go to find witnesses to support what he’s saying; and he knows who to subpoena to expose how Gottlieb was able to do a lot of what he did before and during the Hoax.
Also this from another email I sent today to let some folks know what I was seeing here in Durham:
Concerning reaction here to Ekstrand's suit: if I were to lump everything I've heard from people at Duke, attorneys here and others who are following the case closely, it would come out as an attitude shift by those people in the direction of seeing the case as "uglier and Dukier."Folks, I’m sorry this isn’t better organized.
I haven't talked with anyone who hasn't been moved in that direction.
Even MoveOn.Duke folks are saying things like, "This is something Duke's going to have to deal with," and they don't mean the suit itself.
They mean matters Ekstrand stated in his filing.
Sometimes they acknowledge that explicitly but always its apparent in their tone of voice and body language.
And something else: I've said to just about everyone I've talked to something like this: "If just half of what's being claimed in that filing is right, it's much worse than we thought."
No one's disagreed with that, and everyone has come back with an add-on type comment.
And finally something else: I've said to most people something like: "As I was reading the filing, I kept asking myself: ‘Where was Duke’s counsel's office during all of this?’"
To a person, everyone's come back with something like: "Well, if you were doing what they were doing at Duke, you wouldn't want the counsel's office involved."
But I’ll stand with it.
Now it’s your turn.