City Desk

Jack Evans Says He Still Supports Peter Nickles

Councilmember Jack Evans is sticking by controversial AG Peter Nickles. Last week, a U.S. District Court judge strongly condemned the OAG's conduct surrounding a Pershing Park civil suit in which discovery has taken at least five years, and crucial evidence has gone missing or been destroyed. Yesterday, we highlighted one particularly egregious screw-up involving a troubling affidavit submitted by city attorneys to the court. His colleagues on the Judiciary Committee—Phil Mendelson and Mary Cheh—have called for Nickles to resign.

Evans also thinks the U.S. District Court judge's strong recommendation that the D.C. Council should investigate the OAG is misplaced. "I would think that the more appropriate agency would be the inspector general," Evans tells City Desk. "Certainly, someone would have to determine if there was wrongdoing. That's not the city council's job that's the inspector general's job."

Evans is sure that Nickles did not commit any of the alleged wrongdoing. For one thing, Nickles was not in office during the bulk of the Pershing Park case's activity. That fishy affidavit? Well, that's come up under his watch.

Should Nickles resign? "Oh God no," Evans says. "I think Peter Nickles does a great job for the District. This is the first time we got an attorney general that actually defends the city."

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  • Q™

    And you're surprised by Evans' comments? In all the tomfoolery with this case, there are far more OTHER things to beat Nickels about than this.

  • Abigail J

    Jack Evans is right. Peter Nickles is the best thing to happen to this city. His no-nonsense approach is exactly what we need in DC. He's the only one who isn't afraid to tell it like it is and stick his neck out.

  • Skipper

    That "fishy affidavit" was filed before Nickels was AG.

  • Ward 5

    No surprise here... "Peter Nickles is the best thing to happen to this city" - what a joke!!! The same guy who spends our tax dollars fighting bogus cases in courts (ie, special ed lawywers) to soothe is ego....

    f'outta here!!!

  • Downtown Rez

    Agree with Evans, Abigail, and Skipper.
    Another thing maybe worth thinking about- Nickels didn't just inherit a bunch of lawsuits, he inherited a bunch of existing legal strategies in said lawsuits, and completely changing course in said strategies might be more damaging/costly than seeing them through as best possible. But that's just idle speculation on my part. Moreover, while I'm at it, I'll speculate that it's possible the judge was asking the AG's OFFICE (as in the institution from 2002 forward) be investigated, not a particular person (such as the current AG) IN that institution.

  • Nickles is a disgrace

    You have got to be kidding me. The prior posts must be Evans' staffers. Nickles has no concerns about lying, about trampling constitutional rights, about blaming others when he and his cronies destroy evidence. Evans ought to be ashamed for backing such a vile person who has brought tremendous harm to the city.

  • Concernedaboutdc

    Peter Nickles thumbed his nose at a U.S. Supreme Court Decision resulting in the District nearly loosing ANY ability to regulate firearms. He is a loose cannon. He believes that if the ends justify the means that laws, for him, are inapplicable and subpoenas are to be ignored. Since he has become AG, I strongly suggest that the position be elected as other states have. Now how many of you think that Peter Nickles would survive a public vote for that position? With all of the fine lawyers we have in this city.

  • Jason Cherkis

    The affidavit may have been filed before Nickles took over but it remains part of the record. Under Nickles, it has been brought up by plaintiffs as inherently false.

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Nickles is suborning perjury by not withdrawing the affidavit, as well as improperly attempting to put false evidence before the court. Any ethical attorney - & yes, there are thousands of us - would have withdrawn the affidavit & apologized to the court as soon as it was shown that the affidavit was false.

    I hope Judge Sullivan orders Nickles to appear in person in his court so that Nickles can answer in open court the charges against him & the other thuggish miscreants in the District's "government".

  • Truth Hurts

    Al, you're right that the AG's office needs to withdraw that affidavit promptly, with apologies to all. I recall Cherkis writing the "Man Down" cover about a prisoner who died at the jail after suffering cardiac arrest and receiving no basic first aid/cpr/aed treatment. Cherkis reported that DC attys had represented to the judge, in writing, that the video tape showed the guards performing cpr. Once DC attys realized they had made false statements to the judge, they had the good sense to file an amended pleading correcting the record. I believe Cherkis even wrote about this and could locate his posting. So yes, God save the AG's office if it doesn't withdraw that affidavit pronto.

  • No Relation to Angry Al

    I'll jump on the "Abigail and others are Evans staffers" bandwagon. They might also work for Nickles.

    To be fair, the "AG's office" has a long history of unethical behavior. A few years back Royce Lamberth lambasted (love the way those words go together) what was then the Corporation Counsel's office for similar misdeeds.

    So the agency has a deeply-ingrained corrupt culture BUT Nickles -- the supposed "reformer" -- lost no time going native. Cf. Peter Cammarano.

  • Jason Cherkis

    Here is one of the piece from "Man Down" in which the District's lawyers actually corrected the record:

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2007/06/29/government-admits-error-in-inmate-death-case/

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Yes, Abigail, Skipper, & Q are connected to Fenty, Nickles, &/or Evans. A lawyer has an ongoing duty not to defraud the court, & to correct any previous attempts to defraud the court. & actually, it is easy & simple to correct the record as a lawyer who has become responsible for a previous fraud - all you have to say is, X was not true & I did not do it. Changing strategy is even easier.

    Thanks, JC, for the post on yet another time the DC "AG" office lied in court.

    Here's the citation [DC rules are identical][see Rule 3.3(a)(1):

    Model Rules of Professional Conduct
    Advocate
    Rule 3.3 Candor Toward The Tribunal

    (a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:

    (1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;

    (2) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel; or

    (3) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer’s client, or a witness called by the lawyer, has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.

    (b) A lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicative proceeding and who knows that a person intends to engage, is engaging or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceeding shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.

    (c) The duties stated in paragraphs (a) and (b) continue to the conclusion of the proceeding, and apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.

    (d) In an ex parte proceeding, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.

    Source: http://www.abanet.org/cpr/mrpc/rule_3_3.html

  • Q™

    Angry Al, you are NOT listening. I am not "connected to Fenty, Nickles, &/or Evans". The only sensible thing you've added to this argument is when you said, "A lawyer has an ongoing duty not to defraud the court, & to correct any previous attempts to defraud the court." I agree with that. If that makes Nickels guilty of perjury, "throw the book at him." Did Nickels ignore the facts out of malice or arrogance, probably. But, even you know that incompetence abounds when asked for records from DC Govt. I am in no means advocating Nickels getting a mere slap on the wrist. What I've been saying is that although the "buck stops" with Nickels, he clearly isn't the only party worthy of punishment. Equal energy should be spent on ALL RESPONSIBLE, not just the one with the highest pay grade/title.

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  • candycane1

    So Jack Evans stil supports Nickles. Big Deal! No surprises here. I haven't gotten past Evans wanting a shower built in his District Government office. Who was going to pay for that? I'll give you one guess. The only thing that stopped it was the fact that we had budget issues and it would really look bad for Jacko!

  • Q™

    Be careful candycane1, having no opinion about Jack Evans' supporting Nickles will only get you labeled as someone who is PRO-corruption and Pro-Fenty, Pro-Barry, Pro-Allthat'swrongwithDC by Angry Al and his disciples.

    No need to defend yourself and infuse rational thought because they don't read that, due to their obsession of controvesy, scandal, etc. Get out while you can. LOL!

  • Terry Miller

    The current AG, Jack Evans, and the other pro-Fenty posters, just don't get it. The duty of the government attorney is to represent his client, and the client is not necessarily the Mayor. The client is the governmental entity. A good government attorney is cognizant of the costs associated with prolonged litigation. In some types of cases, namely EEO cases, whistleblower cases, employment cases, etc., the District of Columbia is required to pay the attorneys fees of the prevailing party. So if if looks likely that a plaintiff will prevail in the end, it makes better economic sense to settle early and minimize. Example: a case settled where the damages to the plaintiff are at most $50,000. Attorneys fees to litigate the case through trial would be much more. It is more fiscally and legally sound to settle this case. Non-attorneys see this as a loss, but the AG and other government officials should see this as a win because it limits the government's liability. Peter Nickles DOES have a strategy of delay, delay, delay, even when there is little or no hope that the city will prevail at the ned. He is racking up huge legal bills in this case and just about every other case that is pending against D.C. That is fiscally irresponsible AND is does deservice to his client, the District of Columbia government.

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