Friedland Lawyer David Rudolf Raises an Objection; Author Responds

I read Part One of your article.  Near the end, you state that "In his complaint against the City of Charlotte, Friedland alleged that the District Attorney's office made a 'policy decision' to conceal incriminating evidence against Gales and to trump up a case against Friedland" and that "Friedland's lawyers further assert that hiding Gales as a suspect was . . . orchestrated by District Attorney Peter Gilchrist and forced upon then-Assistant District Attorney Richard Gordon, requiring Gordon to lie by falsely affirming that he was aware of Gales status as a suspect before he attempted to prosecute Friedland."

This is completely false and, frankly, irresponsible journalism that smears Richard Gordon and Peter Gilchrist and damages my reputation with those in the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's office who were not involved and will believe what they read.  There was never any allegation, in the complaint or otherwise, that the District Attorneys' office concealed anything about Gales, that Peter Gilchrist orchestrated anything, or that Richard Gordon lied about anything at any time. To the contrary, I always maintained that Richard Gordon and Peter Gilchrist, and their office, acted honorably and honestly in disclosing the Gales evidence as soon as they learned about it.  My only complaint about hiding the Gales evidence was against the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

-- David Rudolf

Cynthia Lewis's Response

Regarding the first of the two statements to which David Rudolf objects in Part One of this article, the complaint against the city makes clear in many passages that it is not the District Attorney's office that has allegedly concealed evidence against Gales, but the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department that has hidden the evidence from the District Attorney. My unfortunate attribution owes to a number of factors, including the abundant passive voice and the recurring absence of specific names to whom actions are attributed in the copious documents pertaining to this case. For example, in regard to the "policy decision" mentioned in the first sentence that Rudolf cites, the complaint reads, ". . . a policy decision was made," without specifying by whom.

My confusion over who did what was amplified by a key deposition included in a motion that bears Rudolf's signature. In the deposition, Assistant District Attorney Richard Gordon describes a conversation he had with his boss, District Attorney Peter Gilchrist. Gordon interprets Gilchrist as having urged him to "soft pedal" in an upcoming deposition his claims that he had no knowledge of Marion Gales's status as a suspect. The passage in the deposition clearly implicates the DA's office. I did not speak with Gordon before publishing Part One of this story, although I tried to more than once. (I have since communicated with Rudolf, and he says he does not recall why he included that particular portion of the deposition in his motion.)

With this background in mind, I would reword the second statement to which Rudolf objects this way: "A motion filed by Friedland's lawyers includes an excerpt from Richard Gordon's deposition in which Gordon asserts that Peter Gilchrist urged Gordon to 'soft pedal' what he said to the police concerning what he knew about Marion Gales and when." I have now heard from Richard Gordon, who maintains in clearest terms that he did no such "soft pedaling" and that he testified truthfully.

-- Cynthia Lewis

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