City Desk

Pershing Park Case Attorney Tom Koger Explains Himself

As we reported just minutes ago, AG Peter Nickles has submitted his sworn statement to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan regarding the missing evidence and discovery problems in a Pershing Park case.

With his statement comes the statements of other District lawyers attempting to explain the mishaps in the case. The main attorney for the District in this case, Tom Koger, directly addresses the deposition testimony of Sgt. Douglas Jones.

Jones had testified about the missing running resume documents. He had stated that there were at least 12 hard copies made as well as two electronic copies of the running resume. Koger tries to downplay Jones' sworn testimony; he states that Jones' testimony differs from that of his colleagues and supervisors:

"Jones' testimony is disputed by the declaration testimony of Trugman, Gaffigan, and Gaffigan's then administrative assistant, Cecelia Tilghman, who Jones recalled as having assisted him in putting copies in Gaffigan's office....Based on my long involvement in discovery in these matters, I am not aware of any evidence having been presented indicating that OGC ever received a copy of the September 27, 2002 JOCC Running Resume."

Koger then addresses the gaps in the radio tapes—if only to say that he has no idea why there are gaps if in fact there are any.

Koger states: "I am advised that the conflicting reports of whether and why gaps may exist in these recordings will be a focus of Mr. Nickles' investigation, as stated in his declaration."

Koger can't bring himself to admit that there are in fact problems with the radio dispatches—even at this late date, even after a police official admitted in a deposition that there were problems with the tapes.

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  • Truth Hurts

    Koger's honest and a good man. He doesn't deserve to be thrown under the bus by his superiors.

  • Ward 5

    Truth Hurts - I read the transcripts where Judge Sullivan actually said that about Mr. Koger. That he was a good guy and too bad he is falling on a sword for this. What an unfortunate situation to be in.

  • DB

    He may be a good guy, but a thorough lawyer reviews evidence before submitting discovery responses.

    He would be looking PRECISELY for those moments of time that cover the arrest--hard evidence which isn't subject to fading memories. Without it, he would have no basis upon which to conceive of a defense.

    You don't want to go into court shrugging your shoulders.

    Seems Sloppy. Unless, of course, his clients deliberately destroyed or negligently lost evidence and he doesn't want to admit this (zealous advocacy).

    When the client is a jackass, the attorney (official spokesperson) appears a jackass too.

  • Truth Hurts

    DB, that's essentially what's happened here. Koger gets 4 different sworn versions of events addressing the same events. And he has literally no support staff to index, analyze, organize and track huge discovery materials. The AG's office sent him to war, but armed him with a sling shot. Being a loyal soldier, he's defended the city in the face of superior firepower. He should not also be made the fall guy.

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