Skip to comments.Appreciation luncheon held for beleaguered district attorney
Posted on 02/19/2007 10:42:21 PM PST by JLS
DURHAM -- "District Attorney Appreciation Week" was launched Monday for embattled Durham chief prosecutor Mike Nifong, who suggested the event's organizers are more in tune with reality than countless out-of-state hecklers who criticize his handling of the controversial Duke lacrosse sex-offense case.
"If you rely on certain media, you might think there is universal disapproval of me," Nifong said, referring largely to national television outlets that have relentlessly hammered him over the lacrosse incident.
"But if you're closer to home, you realize that's not true," he added.
Two of those behind Monday's Nifong appreciation luncheon in the DA's Office in the Durham County Courthouse were Victoria Peterson, rebuked by City Council members last month for making an anti-Duke statement at a public meeting, and former school board member Jackie Wagstaff, who five years ago received a favorable plea bargain on charges that she used a nonprofit organization to falsify requests involving $1,452 of taxpayers' money.
The original felony charges against Wagstaff were downgraded to misdemeanors.
Nifong was not chief prosecutor at the time, but was a veteran assistant district attorney. He reportedly had nothing to do with Wagstaff's deal.
Peterson, Wagstaff, Durham resident Minnie Brown and another woman were the only nonstaff Nifong supporters on hand when a Herald-Sun writer dropped by late into Monday's luncheon -- about 1:15 p.m. Peterson said other members of the public had been there and left. Roughly a dozen others still around the table at 1:15 work for Nifong.
No additional events are scheduled for "Appreciation Week," but Peterson said she hoped more people would participate by sending flowers, cards or any token of support to the beleaguered district attorney.
"A lot of people have asked me -- probably 100 or 200 -- to let Mr. Nifong know he is appreciated," said Peterson. "We feel he's done a lot of hard work for more than 27 years here. He's been loyal to the community. He's been faithful to the community."
"I see people at church who tell me they are praying for him and supporting him," Peterson added. "At the grocery store, people ask me to tell him to keep his head up and hang in there."
Numerous letters-to-the-editor writers from far-flung places are not representative of the real sentiment surrounding him, Nifong contended.
"I don't represent the people who write in from elsewhere," he said. "I do represent the people of Durham. They're the ones I need to do a good job for. Many people tell me they are very happy with our work. I think the results we're getting in court speak for themselves. The DA's Office has always been about more than just one case."
But as they munched barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes and corn at an "Appreciation Week" luncheon Monday, no one mentioned the fact that Nifong's law license is on the line for allegedly making unethical statements about the lacrosse incident and -- also allegedly -- withholding evidence favorable to three indicted defendants.
A hearing committee of the N.C. State Bar is expected to decide in June whether Nifong is exonerated, receives minor punishment such as a warning letter or is disbarred for the alleged misconduct.
Peterson, a local activist and frequent candidate for elective office, was called down at a City Council meeting in January after she became the only person to speak against a proposed rezoning of Duke's Central Campus.
She said the rezoning application should be rejected because of the university's role in the lacrosse case, and because of what she said was a rising tide of crime attributable to Duke students.
"Because it's Duke with their money and influence, you want to overlook a lot of the stuff they've done," Peterson admonished council members, who promptly silenced her.
Can you spell "denial?"
Global warming strikes again
Is it to late to take up a collection, and send him a Ho-Gram, courtesy of "FReepers Concerned About Official Injustices"?
They forgot the collards & watermellon.
Especially that red to the heart watermellon.
No I believe it is Corrupt DA week all week long. A Ho-gram for Nifong would be quite funny.
I don't know how anyone could eat a meal at a table with Peterson or Nifong. What a bunch of losers. No one showed up for the appreciation celebration except for the people who worked for him.
KC Johnson on Victoria Peterson:
In addition to her homophobic rants and her claims that Duke Hospital tampered with the DNA evidence, Peterson had shared the platform with the head of a hate group, the New Black Panthers, during the Panthers' visit to Durham. Most district attorneys would not consider this a welcoming resume. A recently released Duke Police report shows that Peterson did more than simply stand silently on the platform. According to the report of Officer S.M. Tiffin,
Capt. Evans informed me that during the rally, Ms. Peterson was advocating burning down the house at 610 N. Buchanan. Capt. Evans told me that he quietly asked her not to continue telling people to burn the house.
I wonder if they had a choice?
DA Appreciation week--there's a first.
With that "burn the house down" comment, it is amazing that the Herald-Sun continues to support Peterson.
What's just as pathetic is the Durham Herald-Sun, even now, continues to carry Nifong's water.
I'm glad the suppport is local, because they are the ones who will pay the taxes to cover the civil damage awards to those wrongfully accused.
As a shout out to our friend Locomotive Breath, it's also "Engineer's Week" at Duke (maybe elsewhere?).
Note to LB: You might wanna ask Duke to make sure EW doesn't coincide with AADA week next year..... :) .... although, the guy is a pretty good railroader...
Thanks. I'll tell Mrs. LB that I deserve extra appreciation this week.
Today's rhetorical question:
Imagine a society without lawyers.
Imagine a society without engineers.
In which society would you like to live?
I thought there were limits even to southern decency. Guess not!
Phffft. I guess the State Bar is an out-of-state heckler. This guy is coming completely unglued.
Duke Lax ping!
Thank you for the picture. Clears everything up. And you STILL can't make this stuff up, as the earlier post stated.
He's pandered to the "community". Big difference.
Hopefully the next appreciation luncheon for the Fong will be at his new residence, the homeless shelter.
He started this debacle by pandering to this 'community' and it looks like he is still trying to play the same card.
Whuch Lax player was forced to live in his car? Guess this case is different...:(
"As team captain, Matt was living in the house at 610 N. Buchanan. With angry protestors surrounding the house, the media in frenzy, and the New Black Panthers in town, Matt was forced to leave the house. With no safe haven to go, at one point, he was living out of his car."
Here's something worthy of a list ping, as well as a new thread: Another courageous Duke Professor (of a REAL subject) speaks out.
I'm sure Mike has a lot of supporters in there.
This is comical. :>
Liefong's biggest supporter is the local black racist lying gadfly.
:> I'm stealing it.
My best friend's husband is an engineer. Their son, Anthony, is graduating from law school in a couple months and will be taking the state bar exam.
I can hardly wait for their next family dinner party so I can razz Anthony with your rhetorical comeuppance. ;>
Thanks for the link. Very good reading!
Have fun. Let me know how it goes. :)
Ping for Hannity & Colmes tonight, Tuesday, February 20, 2007.
It's D.A. appreciation week.
"Thanks for the link..."
My pleasure. Is this (the one we're on now) still the "current" thread?
As far as I know, this is the current thread. Maggief pinged people here using the vacationing howlin's list. I linked to this one from the past thread on the arrest in the recent rape case. I am not sure if abb is here? It is still a pretty short and current thread so I think we should stay here.
Thank goodness it's a whole week instead of just one day. This way I still have time to buy something nice for my District Attorney.
I'm sure everybody noticed the $50k bail for Burch instead of the $400k bail for the boys, but nobody has commented on it yet. Some may think it's bias but it may not be. Bail is set, in part, based on the economic status of the accused. $50k to Burch may be the equivalent of $400k to the boys, so I don't find it suspect at the moment. The thing to watch for is what happens at a bail reduction hearing. If it gets lowered to, say, $10k with a 10% cash provision, then there's a clear bias at work. If Burch's attorney asks for a bail reduction and Nifong doesn't fight it, I would view it as his retribution/slap against lax defense attorneys and the white population of Durham in general.
Since this appears to be the new thread, I'll just post this here even though it's not about the luncheon.
Michael Jermain Burch:
Nothing very serious, but it looks like he's a real jerk.
Oops, wrong dude. Sorry. I think that's probably his dad.
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