√Fact Checker here. Chronicle, stay on the story!! Many angles to explore.
It's no surprise that Chief Dailey dodged legitimate questions by saying an investigation is underway. No one should assume this means that when the investigation is complete, he or Duke will give full details to the community.
I have been thinking about four separate instances where someone studying or working at Duke has been charged with a serious crime. I will detail these below, because I find Duke's treatment of the individuals involved to be totally inconsistent.
Perhaps this is why President Brodhead promised after the three lacrosse players were declared "innocent" that he would convene a national conference to explore how Duke and other universities should deal with these matters.
Fact Checker has never been able to find out if Brodhead fulfilled this promise -- his PR man at the time of my inquiry blew up and send me an abusive reply.
I believe Brodhead did not hold such a conference because Duke's defense lawyers in the continuing lacrosse litigation felt that the conference might reveal matters that would compromise their position. Allow, please, Fact Checker to make clear: this position was NOT required by the plaintiffs. It's Duke's decision -- which is another way of saying Duke's highest priority is to wiggle out of the lawsuits, not to pursue the truth.
OK four instances:
A) the indictment of Duke Police Officer Webster Simmons for first degree rape and sodomy. (The careful reader will note, given yesterday's Letter to the Editor from Chapel Hill, that I am not in any way saying the rape did or did not occur). Trial pending. Duke decision: suspended with pay.
B) the indictment of Frank Lombard, a high level administrator and researcher in the medical center, for attempting to lure a john across state lines to have sex with his five-year-old adopted son. Trial pending. Duke decision: fired.
C) The indictment of three lacrosse players -- one just graduated and two sophomores -- for the rape of prostitute Crystal Gail Mangum. While the trial was pending, Duke decision: sophomores suspended. All three were later declared "innocent" with the state attorney general finding no evidence of rape or any other crime.
D) The indictment and conviction of William Lane during his term as a university trustee. He participated in a savings and loan scam that swindled U S taxpayers out of $404 million. Duke decision: that's fine by us. Fellow trustees rallied to his side, with Harold Yoh (donor of the football building) explaining he was "a super guy." The felon finished his term on our board. To present the complete picture, which Fact Checker always does even though some shallow readers find this tedious, I note that after Lane's term on the board expired, he was acquitted on a technicality.
Brodhead was right. We need a consistent policy to apply, rather than a seat-of-the-pants, emotion-of-the-moment response.
Thank you for reading this. √