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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Duke/Nifong Hoax: Day #281 - State Bar v. Nifong, round 1

"the day I walk into a Dunkin Donuts and Mike Nifong hands me a dozen crullers across the counter will be the happiest day of my life." - Tucker Carlson
Updated - today's items:

Mike Nifong faces new ethics chargesABC11 TV/WTVD:
Nifong's Lawyers Comments on Ethics Charges — Eyewitness News has learned Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong has some regrets about how he handled the Duke Lacrosse case and that he's devastated by the whole ordeal. The new insight comes from Nifong's attorney, David Freedman. He's defending Nifong on ethics charges brought by the state bar.

Freedman is shedding light on how Nifong is coping with the outcry over his handling of the case along with two new charges brought Wednesday charges that if proven true, could cost Nifong his career. "He's devastated," Freedman said. "It's very upsetting to be attacked by, it's like he's public enemy number one."

In an exclusive interview with ABC News correspondent, Jim Avila, the attorney defending District Attorney Mike Nifong says his client is saddened and surprised by the angry criticism his peers have leveled against him, when he believes he was just doing his job.
"I have asked him if he had to do it all over again, would be bring the charges and he says yes, because he believes indeed this occurred. So he may regret some of the things he said," Freedman said...
  • Meanwhile, Nifong has a month to respond to all the state bar charges.
  • His trial will likely be this summer.
Fox News:
Former Duke Lacrosse 'Rape' DA Charged With Withholding Evidence, Misleading Court — Former Duke lacrosse rape prosecutor Mike Nifong has been slapped with additional ethics charges by the state bar association, which has accused him of withholding DNA evidence and making misleading statements to the court.

The new charges by the North Carolina State Bar against Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong were announced Wednesday and could lead to his removal from the state bar, according to a copy of the updated complaint. Nifong last year indicted three men from the Duke lacrosse team on charges that they raped a stripper at an off-campus party in March of 2006...Nifong was to appear with his attorney at a procedural conference Wednesday morning to discuss scheduling and other administrative details of the ethics complaint. His presence was not mandatory....

Video of hearing - (26 minutes)
Transcript of Bar hearing - 10 to 10:30 am, Jan 24th (21 pages)
Amended Bar Complaint, State Bar v. Michael B. Nifong - filed Jan 24th (33 pages)
LieStoppers: Nifong Conflict of interest?, Understatement — how well did Nifong know the false accuser's [Mangum] family prior to the Duke case?
LieStoppers: A Cold-Blooded Frame, Part III, Highlights from the Bar Complaint

KC Johnson: The Bar lays down the law (see comments)
TalkLeft: Too cute by half - lying to the Court & the Grievance Committee
FreeRepublic: New Ethics Charges For Duke Prosecutor
Aaron Beard, AP/CBS News:
New Ethics Charges for Duke Prosecutor — The state bar lodged new and more serious ethics charges Wednesday against the district attorney in the Duke lacrosse case, accusing him of withholding evidence from the defense and lying to both to the court and bar investigators.

Mike Nifong - who withdrew from the case earlier this month - could be disbarred if convicted by a disciplinary board...
"If these allegations are true and if they don't justify disbarment, then I'm not sure what does," said Joseph Kennedy, a law professor at the University of North Carolina. "It's hard for me to imagine a more serious set of allegations against a prosecutor."
Joe Neff & Ben Niolet, News & Observer:
Nifong faces additional ethics charges — Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong withheld DNA evidence in the Duke lacrosse case and then lied about it to judges and the North Carolina State Bar, according to a complaint filed today by the bar, which licenses and regulates lawyers.

Today's complaint ratchets up the legal troubles facing Nifong; in December the bar had charged Nifong with making inflammatory public statements to the media and misrepresenting the facts in the case...

State Bar to Hold First Hearing on Nifong Charges — Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong was expected to attend a hearing Wednesday into the North Carolina State Bar's charges against him for his handling of the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case.

The bar was expected to hear a request from Nifong's attorney for an extension so he and Nifong can examine records and formulate his response to the bar's ethics complaint. Nifong was expected to attend the hearing, though he is not required to be there...

Linwood WilsonMichael Biesecker and Joseph Neff, News & Observer:
Ethics of Nifong's detective at issue — With the North Carolina attorney general reviewing the Duke lacrosse case, the new prosecutors must weigh evidence gathered by Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's chief investigator, whose private detective career was marked by ethics complaints.

Nifong hired Linwood E. Wilson, a gospel singer with limited experience working criminal cases, less than four months before the March 13 lacrosse team party at which an escort service dancer said she was raped, beaten and robbed. Wilson, 58, is the only full-time investigator on Nifong's staff. Twenty years ago he was investigated on suspicion of making false statements on the witness stand and setting up an illegal telephone tap, according to his file at the state agency that licenses private investigators....

At issue is a Dec. 21 interview with Wilson in which the accuser reportedly changed her story of who assaulted her, how and when -- contradicting all her previous statements, records of calls to her cell phone, 911 records and time-stamped photos from the party.
The Johnsville News: Linwood Wilson's Investigative Report Dated 12/21/06

TJN: Duke Case: Pick a Number - 3, 5, or 20 Rapists? - Joe Cheshire & Linwood Wilson have a "bitter exchange" about the evidence outside a court room on June 21st. Cheshire sends a letter that shows Wilson is clueless.

LieStoppers blog: Linwood Wilson - A Comedy

LieStoppers forum: Linwood Wilson in Trouble??
FreeRepublic: Ethic's of Nifong's detective at issue

David HawpeDavid Hawpe, editor, Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY:
On wrongful prosecutions, the right engages in selective outrage
— The contempt heaped on District Attorney Mike Nifong over his handling of the Duke University lacrosse team legal fiasco was predictable. Conservative pundits have had a fine time, luxuriating in the collapse of a stripper's charges that she was beaten, raped and sodomized by three of the school's athletes.

Right-wing talk shows have depicted the accused as victims of the leftist mob -- the hysterical do-gooders who rush, unthinking, to any place where a black woman claims to have been victimized by a white male, no matter what the evidence really suggests … the liberals, who take special delight in condemning a lineup of elite white male athletes at a socially and academically precious Southern school, before the facts are in.

The critics cite, as a prime example, my Male High classmate, distinguished scholar Houston Baker Jr., who was on the Duke faculty at the time and who demanded to know, "How many more people of color must fall victim to violent, white, male, athletic privilege before coaches who make Chevrolet and American Express commercials, athletic directors who engage in Miss Ophelia-styled 'perfectly horrible' rhetoric, higher administrators who are salaried at least in part to keep us safe, and publicists who are supposed not to praise Caesar but to damn the unconscionable … how many?" ....But what amazes me is that you don't see the same kind of fury when other people are definitively proven innocent of crimes for which they were sent to prison...
La Shawn BarberLa Shawn Barber:
Duke Rape Case: Unnatural Selection on Both Sides? — Columnist David Hawpe makes a good point in his latest column about the Duke case...Hawpe points out that men have gone to prison and perhaps even to their deaths for allegations that were just as far-fetched as the stripper-accuser’s, as was the case with James Waller, accused of a heinous crime...

I’ve always been pro-prosecution, even when I was a liberal. Law and order preserved and justice dispensed have been sources of great satisfaction for me. Because I believe those state functions are vital for a safe, well-run, and prosperous nation, I tend to give the state the benefit of the doubt, even though prosecutors are fallible human beings. However, I’d rather they erred on the side of letting a criminal go free than locking up an innocent person....
LieStoppers blog:
Strange Bedfellows — As the implosion of the Hoax threatens to bring the farce to its long overdue end, the most ardent promoters of the Hoax have now teamed up in a desperate attempt to resuscitate the dying fraud. Having proven time and again that truth is no obstacle when it comes to advancing her agenda, Wendy Murphy continues to wage her war on civil rights and the criminal justice system. In her latest contribution to the perpetuation of the lie, Murphy joins local activist and Black Press columnist, Cash Michaels, who has personally referred to the efforts to promote the Hoax as a “war.” ...
LieStoppers forum: Wendy & Cash ride the dead horse
Can Attorney General compel lacrosse party witnesses to come cleanCash Michaels, Wilmington Journal/BlackPressUSA.com:
Can Cooper Force Witnesses to Speak? — But Professor Wendy Murphy, a former sex crimes investigator and strong advocate for the Duke case accuser, took issue with Coleman, saying that state investigators should have some leverage to get answers...

The accuser and Durham police investigators in the case have all been served with subpoenas from the Duke Three defense team to appear at the Feb. 5 pre-trial hearing. So far, it is not known whether the State Attorney General’s Office will be up to speed on the case by that time...

John in Carolina:
"Reading" messages in Durham — With the foregoing in mind, let's look at some of the Durham Herald-Sun's Jan. 17 story, "Has Peterson crossed the line?" and then "read" a few of the messages some Durham city council members sent to citizens, including two of Durham's most prominent citizens...
Victoria Peterson, a local activist and perennial candidate for elective office, was the only person who spoke against the rezoning. She felt the council's wrath when she essentially argued that officials should reject the application in retaliation for the university's role in the Duke lacrosse sexual-offense case...
William L. Anderson, LieStoppers forum:
Wendy Murphy Targets Reade Seligmann, Murphy continues her big lies (1/23) — Duke case from the victim advocate's point of view. I am forwarding the opinion of Wendy Murphy...
Murphy's Law — As the Hoax nears death, Wendy Murphy desperately attempts to promote the fading fraud. Having proven repeatedly that truth is but a minor inconvenience, Murphy’s latest efforts demonstrate just how far she is willing to distort reality in order to advance her agenda. In an email to supporters and a six page talking points memo published by the government funded National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Murphy appears to have found it necessary to contradict Defendant Nifong and the prosecution’s “evidence” and witnesses, including the false accuser herself, in order to continue to perpetuate the Hoax....

KC Johnson:
Murphy's Latest — Her statements bring together a collection of Murphy’s distortions and outright inaccuracies (reviewed earlier in this post). It is almost as if she believes that she has the right to make defamatory public statements without consequence....

Michael Gaynor:
Duke case disgrace: wicked Wendy Murphy — Ms. Murphy is so invested in the myth that the Duke case is a noble prosecution instead of a perverse persecution by a rogue prosecutor championing a person whom even liberal feminist Susan Estrich has described as a liar that she embarrassed herself greatly. Ms. Murphy even may be oblivious to that reality...

LieStoppers: NSVRC "talking points" memo
John Cole, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, PA:
A rape at Duke

John Cole cartoon - A rape at Duke
The appalling fiasco otherwise known as the Duke lacrosse case strikes close at what-used-to-be-home for my family and me.

Prior to arriving in Scranton, I spent nearly two decades drawing cartoons for the daily newspaper in Durham, North Carolina. Like my new town, Durham is a politically fractious place, although the dynamics and motivations underlying the politics are markedly different.

A long-running love/hate relationship exists between Durham and Duke University, which with its money, power and prestige is essentially the town's 800-pound gorilla. Durhamites (which sounds more like an infestation than a population) appreciate Duke's economic benefits, but resent the perceived arrogance and elitism...

I can't say I'm surprised by the circus. It's brought every wart on the Bull City into high relief.

The Johnsville News - The Vultures (cartoon)

LieStoppers forum: John Cole cartoon, The real rape

Yesterday (1/23):

Lara Setrakian, ABC News:
Former Duke Prosecutor's Recusal Letter Revealed - Nifong cites ethics charges, conflict of interest - Nifong also provides some insight into his timing, explaining why he handed over the case when he did. He held off from stepping down until he could speak directly with the accuser, a 28-year-old woman who said she was assaulted by three lacrosse players. Nifong wanted to tell her of his decision before stepping down so that she wouldn't learn about it from the press.

"I was not able prior to this week to discuss these [conflict of interest] developments with the victim because of the precariousness of her personal health due to complications in her pregnancy," Nifong wrote. "We finally spoke at length about this matter yesterday, after which she agreed that the case should be referred to you for prosecution." Court documents show that the woman was present at Nifong's office on Jan. 12, one day before the letter was sent...
TalkLeft: Nifong's Recusal Letter Revealed
FreeRepublic: Former Duke Prosecutor's Recusal Letter Revealed

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