Friday, May 16, 2008

The Mar. ’06 Duke trustees’ conference call

Readers Note: Between the time I began this post and now, access to the Durham Herald Sun’s archives shut down. I feel sure it’s a temporary system problem. Because of it I can’t provide a link to the H-S story I reference in the following post. But I’ll check back later today and if need be Monday with the H-S so I can access the archives and provide you a link.

In the meantime, I want to get this post published.


Near the bottom of The Durham Herald Sun’s Apr. 6, 2006 lengthy report of President Brodhead’s announcement of the cancellation of the Duke Men’s lacrosse season, the resignation of the coach, Mike Pressler, which we now know was forced and related matters, there’s the following:

Brodhead said he has been in "almost daily" contact with Robert Steel, chairman of Duke's board of trustees. The trustees have been "very supportive" and participated in a conference call last week, Brodhead said. (emphasis added)
It’s long been known the Steel was heavily involved in Duke’s response to the lies of Crystal Mangum, Mike Nifong and others.

In fact, in a civil rights violations suit complaint filed by Durham attorney and Duke Law School lecturer Robert Ekstrand on behalf of three unindicted lacrosse players, Ekstrand asserts Steel was from the beginning the de facto leader of Duke’s “throw them under the bus” strategy which has already forced the University to settle a number of law suits and involved it in others, with still more suits very likely.

But until I read the H-S Apr. 6 story reporting Brodhead’s actions and statements of the previous day, I hadn’t been aware Duke’s trustees participated in a conference call the previous week. Or, if I had been aware of it at one time, it had dropped from my conscious memory. What about you?

The “last week” Brodhead referred to a very critical week in the implementation of the Duke hoax, the frame-up attempt and its cover-up, which continues to this day.

On Sunday, Mar. 26, the Trinity Park potbangers held their CASTRATE and GIVE THEM EQUAL MEASURE hate-fest and threatened Duke students. N&O columnist Ruth Sheehan now says on that Sunday she received information from someone (s) at the N&O who told her the information source was Mike Nifong. Sheehan says, and the N&O has never disputed, that she used that information as the basis for her column that ran the next day. Titled “Team’s silence is sickening,” Sheehan ended with a demand Duke “shut down the team.” (Note: Some months later Sheehan expressed regret for the column. – JinC)

On Monday Nifong began speaking publicly about the case. He excoriated the players and assured the public crimes had been committed, including gang rape. That was just after a meeting at which the two principal Durham police investigators have testified they told Nifong there was no credible evidence of crimes as alleged by Mangum.

The following day Durham Police Cpl. David Addison, acting in his role as CrimeStoppers coordinator released the Wanted poster. DPD, Nifong and very likely others in Durham City government learned the DNA findings by the state lab were negative for all 46 Duke students.

On Wednesday, Mar. 29, Duke’s head of campus security, Aaron Graves and its then police director, Robert Dean, met with Durham’s police chief, its deputy police chief, a Durham police attorney, Durham city manager Patrick Baker and others for what Baker has preposterously claimed was a meeting to check with the two principal Durham Police investigators who attended to make sure they had the resources they needed.

That same day Vigilante posters were circulating on campus, Houston Baker, with support from many faculty, released his letter calling for the immediate expulsion of all the white members of the lacrosse team, and the media was reporting Brodhead had issued on behalf of the University a full, written and unconditional apology to the person then known as “the first caller” and “your friend.”

On Friday Duke Police delivered Duke students' records to Durham Police. In doing so, Duke very likely violated the students’ federal privacy protections. Who at Duke authorized the release of the students' information is, as far as I know, still an unanswered question.

By Saturday Duke’s VP for student affairs Larry Moneta had cautioned Duke students for their safety amidst rumors of planned drive by shootings targeting them while in Raleigh the N&O was preparing to publish the Vigilante poster photo in its Sunday edition after the University had expressed concerns that doing so would add to the danger the players were already facing.

Those of you who’ve followed the case closely know much more related to it happened that week.

The trustees involved in the conference call Brodhead mentioned would have had plenty to listen to and talk about.

It’s no exaggeration to say Mar. 26 to Apr. 1, 2006 is one of the most important weeks in the University’s history.

Does anyone reading this know anything about the call?


Anonymous said...

The answere to this, and many other serious questions is why we need DISCOVERY!

Jason Trumpbour said...

Well spotted John!

The Board has an Executive Committee that makes decisions requiring board approval in between regularly scheduled sessions. I am going to guess that that is what this was. Also, a teleconference with 37 people on the line would be a little unwieldy.

As near as we can tell, the executive committee tends to do a lot of the Board’s work and the larger board is mostly passive. Bob Steel, as Chairman, is on the Executive Committee.

Bob Steel told me himself that he was in charge of Duke’s response. President Brodhead saying that he was in almost daily contact with Bob Steel is quite an understatement.

Anonymous said...

Of the people on the Executive Committee of the BOT, how many were trying to get new jobs around 4/06-5/06, such as high level gov't positions or high level Wall Street positions in a different firm, etc? If they were in the middle of a vetting/interview process, how important were the pictures/stories of politically incorrect happenings at Duke in regard to their being hired?

Anonymous said...

Executive Committee 2006 Thanks to Way back Machine

The Hon. Daniel Terry Blue, Jr.*
Mr. Bruce A. Karsh*
Dr. Richard H. Brodhead*
Dr. Paula Phillips Burger*
Mr. Frank E. Emory, Jr.*
Dr. Kimberly J. Jenkins*
Mr. Bruce A. Karsh*
Dr. Rebecca Trent Kirkland*
Dr. Ernest Mario*
Dr. Robert Coleman Richardson*
Mr. Robert King Steel, Chair*
Mr. Karl M. von der Heyden*
Mr. G. Richard Wagoner, Jr.*

Perhaps they need to be on the cover of Newsweek? maybe we should ask them what did they know and when did they know it?

"What they didn't do was bad enough! Love Baldo