Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Three More File Suit, Name Brodhead Among Defendants

Current senior Ryan McFadyen as well as former lacrosse players Matt Wilson and Breck Archer have all filed a federal lawsuit against a long list of defendants including Mike Nifong, the City of Durham, Duke University, top administrators and members of the faculty. The complaint lists 35 causes of action, and among the allegations are fraud, negligence and conspiracy. The three players are represented by Bob Ekstrand, formerly a defense attorney for many of the lacrosse players not indicted.

Of particular interest is that the suit names Duke President Richard Brodhead as one of the defendants, a notable inclusion considering the Blue Committee, charged with a standard evaluation of the president conducted three years into his tenure, recently gave Brodhead an ostensibly hearty thumbs-up. A Duke spokesman David Jarmul offered part of Duke's defense: "Duke University reasonably relied on the statements of a prosecutor whose path of destruction could be stopped only by the North Carolina Attorney General."

However, as DSEDuke has repeatedly pointed out, the defense that Duke administrators were relying on flawed information from a district attorney who was the only man to blame is difficult to maintain when one considers that Duke administrators were repeatedly approached by defense lawyers (notably the office of Ekstrand himself) offering to disclose much (and later all) of their files as early as March of 2006, according to Ekstrand. These efforts were also documented in Until Proven Innocent. Though the Duke administration repeatedly met with Nifong and police, neither Nifong nor the Duke administration would listen to the defense.

We will post again soon after reviewing the 391 page complaint.

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