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: DC091460 DR. CHRISTOPHER NULF (represented by Attorney Raul Loya) vs. SOUTHWESTERN INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC SCIENCE (SWIFS) AND DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS (indirectly represented by Attorney David Alex) ...and criminal proceedings: F0873084V THE STATE OF TEXAS (represented by Attorney David Alex) vs. STANLEY VERNELL LEDBETTER (represented by Attorney Lori Ordiway) Judicial District Court 292nd of Dallas County, Texas. (Witness testimony, December 17-23, 2009) (Civil) Attorney Raul Loya, (Appellate Defense) Attorney Lori Ordiway, and (State Prosecutor) Attorney David Alex are the lawyers alleged of ethical misconduct. Three different complaint documents have been submitted specific to each of these attorneys, but each document should be cross-referenced with the others to accurately ascertain the entire sequence of events that occurred. BACKGROUND I was employed as a forensic biologist at the Dallas County Crime Lab (aka The Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science, SWIFS) from March 2008 to May 2009. Due to observed scientific misconduct within the crime lab, I wrote a number of internal memos, spoke with Investigator James Hammond (Investigator with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, Conviction Integrity Unit), and wrote reports to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) and the Texas Forensic Science Commission (TFSC) describing the various scientific and protocol violations occurring. I was terminated from the lab shortly after notifying external authorities of the on-going unresolved scientific problems in the crime lab. My wrongful termination from the crime lab lead me to hire civil Attorney Raul Loya (contracted July 27, 2009 – see attached) who proceeded to file a Letter of Intent to Sue (dated August 6, 2009 – see attached) followed by a Wrongful Termination/Whistleblower Civil Law Suit (filed October 21, 2009 – see attached.) At the encouragement of Attorney Raul Loya, several local news stations were notified of the Wrongful Termination/Whistleblower Law Suit which subsequently lead to television and newspaper publicity1.
Thursday December 17, 2009 On the night of, I was handed a subpoena (see attached) by an Investigator for Defense Attorney Lori Ordiway to appear in court the next morning to testify (a 13 hour notification.) In a brief phone call to Attorney Lori Ordiway that night, I told her I received the subpoena and would be at the court house Friday morning. She informed me that she was representing the defendant on appeal due to prior inadequate legal representation. Attorney Lori Ordiway also told me that my testimony would be in support of her argument that the Dallas County Crime Lab was using inadequate scientific practices and that the defendant’s prior legal representation should have been informed of these questionable scientific practices. A subsequent phone call was placed to my Civil Attorney Raul Loya to inform him of the subpoena. I, of course, was adamantly against providing witness testimony because of my pending civil litigation against SWIFS (whom Attorney David Alex was defending in the criminal proceeding). Attorney Lori Ordiway knew very little of my background or experience within the crime lab (and was not concerned with protecting or defending my information pertaining to my civil litigation.) Dallas County Attorney David Alex, on the other hand, had knowledge of my entire work history at SWIFS and prominently displayed a litany of paperwork of memos and reports pertaining to my work across the jury bench during my testimony (there was no jury). Because Attorney Raul Loya was not allowed to speak or object during my testimony in the criminal proceedings, my testimony under direct examination and cross-examination would be used as a means to gain information to impeach my credibility for the pending civil law suit against the crime lab2. I viewed this legal tactic as an unfair advantage for the Dallas County crime lab in the pending civil proceedings and thus a compromise of my constitutional rights to due process. It is wholly unethical to use a criminal proceeding for the sole purpose of gaining information from a witness for pending civil matters involving that witness. Friday December 18, 2009 Per the subpoena, I arrived and waited at the court house until Attorney Lori Ordiway informed me later that afternoon that my testimony was suspended until Monday morning. Attorney Raul Loya did not appear at the court house to assist me even though several phone calls were made to him. During our brief conversation, Lori Ordiway mentioned that she did not have the crime lab reports regarding the criminal case at hand, she did not have my 2 reports that I sent to the Texas Forensic Science Commission in March 2009 (alleging scientific misconduct and a number of protocol violations in the crime lab), and she did not have the responding memorandum from the crime lab (rebutting each of my allegations of scientific misconduct within the lab). Under normal circumstances these documents would have been available to any other expert witness hired by the defense to scrutinize or contradict opposing expert witness testimony (In this case, I was not hired or compensated for my time.) In my opinion, these documents, some of which are readily available from either the TFSC or me, would be absolutely critical for establishing
Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 4.04 Respect for Rights of Third Persons (a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person, or use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person. (b) A lawyer shall not present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present: (1) criminal or disciplinary charges solely to gain an advantage in a civil matter.
scientific misconduct and poor practices in the crime lab. It is inconceivable that she did not have these reports or would make such statements to the fact. In addition, during my testimony, opposing Attorney David Alex suggested the existence of a secret audio recording of an interview occurring on March 9, 2009, between me and Investigator for the Dallas County DA’s Office, Jim Hammond. The interview was a discussion concerning the poor scientific practices occurring within the lab. Many details of the secretly recorded conversation were discussed during the trial. I’m of the opinion that neither this audio recording nor the notes from the interview were made available to Attorney Lori Ordiway or the defendant’s previous attorneys from Attorney David Alex3, a clear violation of Brady Rules4. This information, too, would have been beneficial to Attorney Lori Ordiway’s defense arguments if she had procured it. (During testimony, Attorney Lori Ordiway made no attempt to corroborate or acknowledge the existence of the audio recording.) Attorney Lori Ordiway presented no other information to me that would support my testimony for her zealous representation of her client5. Monday December 21, 2009 In an attempt to help Attorney Lori Ordiway with her argument of questionable scientific practices within the crime lab (in exchange for my testimony), I presented her with an internal document from the crime lab, a SWIFS Corrective Action Request (see attached -- CAR #07-007. I obtained it via a Public Information Act-Open Records request from SWIFS in the Summer 2009 in preparation for my civil proceedings.) I then verbally explained to Lori Ordiway the contents and the important aspects of the document as it applied to her arguments of her case (and my subsequent testimony), including:
1. The Trace Evidence Lab and offices of the crime lab were discovered to be contaminated
with blood (evidence of an inept SWIFS Management at maintaining the integrity of the evidence inside the crime lab). 2. The document does not state the root cause of the blood contamination and that blood contamination still occurs within the lab uncontrollably. 3. The document only states when blood contamination was first reported by the analysts, and not when it first occurred. This suggests that blood contamination within the lab
Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.09. Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor ... (d) timely disclose to the defense all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal.
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.01 Competent and Diligent Representation ... (b) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not: (1) neglect a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer; or (2) frequently fail to carry out completely the obligations that the lawyer owes to a client or clients. (c) As used in this Rule neglect signifies inattentiveness involving a conscious disregard for the responsibilities owed to a client or clients.
6. 7. 8.
could have been occurring over an extended period of time and that thousands of evidence items could have been contaminated prior to the discovery. The document does not state that evidence examined in the lab PRIOR to the date of discovery of blood contamination must be subjected to DNA analysis to ascertain if blood contamination in the lab has been occurring for an extended period of time (on a large number of evidence items)—i.e., a retroactive examination. The document does not state that a particular course of action is initiated in the event contamination is discovered within the "monitoring" time-frame. All evidence examined within the "monitoring" time-frame in which blood contamination in the lab is found must be subjected to DNA analysis to ascertain whose blood has contaminated the lab during this time-frame (and possibly other evidence items). The term "remediated" is not defined within the CAR. Dr. Tim Sliter (Chief of the Physical Evidence Section at SWIFS) is the responsible individual listed for initiating and completing the CAR. He signed and dated the document when the actions described within were completed. The document has a 16 month time-lapse between being initiated (by Dr. Tim Sliter on 07/16/2007) and completed by other superiors at SWIFS (signed 11/25/2008.) Because this CAR was incomplete prior to 11/25/2008, any PIA-Open Records Request for this CAR by Criminal Defense Attorneys and Prosecutors prior to this date would have gone unfulfilled (The absence of this document suggests the absence of contamination in the lab.) Per my PIA-Open Records Request for "...All Corrective Action Requests ("CAR") forms from 2001-2009...", no other CARs pertaining to blood contamination in the lab were received from SWIFS. This suggests that either no other CARs were initiated and completed when "...Trace levels of blood are occasionally detected and remediated...", or the documents were never sent to me (violating the Public Information Act). My name is not associated with the document. However, I was employed at SWIFS as an analyst during the time period that the document was “open” (I was employed from March 2008 to May 2009.)
And most importantly... 11. The document was not initiated in July 2007. The document was created in November 2008 and backdated to July 2007 by Dr. Tim Sliter. Factually, SWIFS Quality Manager Karen Young did not begin employment at SWIFS until the Fall of 2008. Therefore, her name would not be printed at the bottom of the page. Moreover, the blank form of the document (v2.4 printed at the bottom of the page) was not created until November 1, 2008. The blank form for CAR documents initiated before November 1, 2008 are formatted differently. Because all members of the SWIFS Executive Committee signed and dated this document on 11/25/2008, this is conclusive evidence of fraud perpetrated by the entire Management at SWIFS. Attorney Lori Ordiway subsequently photocopied and presented the document to Attorney David Alex to which I fully expected Attorney Lori Ordiway to communicate the fraudulent nature of the document to Attorney David Alex. (Dr. Tim Sliter, Chief of Physical Evidence at SWIFS and the author of the CAR #07-007 document, was acting Expert Consult for Attorney David Alex and therefore not required to testify at the criminal proceeding.) Attorney Raul Loya was also fully aware of the contents of the document but wanted to save the damaging information for the forthcoming civil proceedings. (My Attorney Raul Loya was not present Monday when I presented the document to Attorney Lori Ordiway.)
Although I had repeatedly asked Attorney Lori Ordiway about alternatives to me providing testimony, she insisted there was none. And because Attorney Raul Loya was not in attendance and unavailable to assist me with a testimonial strategy, under the advice of a court-appointed Public Defender I was forced to exercise my Fifth Amendment Rights to the disappointment of the court. (I was threatened by the judge with contempt of court if I did not participate with testimony.) Attorney David Alex subsequently was prepared to grant me Use Immunity (see attached) in exchange for my testimony for the next day. I, of course, wanted to refuse Use Immunity because the allegations it presented were completely false. In my opinion, accepting Use Immunity is tantamount to admission to the criminal activity described whereby testimonial immunity is needed (ironically, in this case, tampering with a government document). That is, if I committed no crime then I would not need immunity. However, for reasons unexplained to me by any of the Attorneys, I was forced to accept Use Immunity and proceed with witness testimony. Tuesday December 22, 2009 and Wednesday December 23, 2009 During my testimony (while under Use Immunity given by Attorney David Alex), he made several references to supposedly illegal notations I made in a notebook from the crime lab. Unfamiliar with the policies and procedures of the crime lab, Attorney Lori Ordiway made little to no attempt at objecting to the irrelevant line of questioning, nor did she present a counter argument by referring to the crime lab’s “Quality Assurance Manual for the Forensic Biology Unit” containing the policies and procedures which I provided to both Attorney Lori Ordiway and Attorney David Alex. (This is the only document I had time to review prior to testimony.) Also during my testimony, Attorney David Alex proceeded to use the fraudulent information in the SWIFS CAR #07-007 document (the date: July 2007) to prevent me from providing an opinion on the contents of the document stating that I was not employed at the crime lab in 2007; therefore, I would have no knowledge of the events described in the document. Attorney David Alex made no mention of the fact that I was actually employed at the crime lab prior to, and after, the date 11/25/2008 that was signed at the bottom of the document 6 times by the Executive Committee of SWIFS (the closing date of the document). Attorney David Alex also did not mention that the document had been fraudulently backdated by his Expert Consult Dr. Tim Sliter. Strangely, Attorney Lori Ordiway made no attempt to object or correct the deliberate oversight of Attorney David Alex during his cross-examination6. It is unknown if this same document was used during the subsequent expert witness testimony (in favor of Attorney David Alex) of Dr.
Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.03. Candor Toward a Tribunal (a) A lawyer shall not knowingly: (1) make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal; (2) fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer; (3) 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 (4) offer or use evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. ...
Stacy McDonald, the Deputy Chief of Physical Evidence at SWIFS (subordinate to Dr. Tim Sliter, Chief of Physical Evidence.) Attorney David Alex then proceeded to question me about information from my online social network Facebook account. Attorney David Alex was not a “Friend” who I had previously given permission to access my Facebook profile. Therefore, he could only have accessed my information by posing as a “Friend” through a third party (who already was a “Friend”) or otherwise deceptively gained the information by deceitful practices through a third party. Because Attorney Lori Ordiway was ill-prepared, she was not aware that my Facebook account had privacy settings such that only “Friends” had my permission to access information in my Facebook profile such as “status updates”. Strangely, Attorney Lori Ordiway did not object to the irrelevant nature of the questioning. On the record, Attorney Lori Ordiway stated that she made several attempts to contact my Attorney Raul Loya by phone in order to elicit my assistance. She continued to list a long series of dates of the numerous unreturned phone calls she made to Attorney Raul Loya. However, Attorney Lori Ordiway failed to make any attempt at contacting me directly, either by phone, email, or visit to my residence. I was unaware that Attorney Lori Ordiway needed my assistance until the night of the subpoena. Therefore, there was insufficient time to prepare my testimony for her legal defense. CONCLUSION The civil adjudicative process is primarily designed for the settlement of disputes between parties, while the criminal process is designed for the protection of society as a whole. Threatening to use, or using, the criminal process to coerce adjustment of private civil claims or controversies is a subversion of that process. Further, the person against whom the criminal process is so misused may be deterred from asserting his legal rights and thus the usefulness of the civil process in settling private disputes is impaired. As in all cases of abuse of judicial process, the improper use of criminal process tends to diminish public confidence in our legal system7. Inasmuch as a single questionable ethics violation by a single attorney would have compromised constitutional rights to due process and a fair civil and criminal proceeding, the collective actions of the ethically bankrupt Attorneys Raul Loya, Lori Ordiway, and David Alex (see attached complaints) most certainly have destroyed any chances of receiving a fair trial and is, by definition, a corruption of justice.
(c) If a lawyer, the lawyer’s client, or a witness called by the lawyer, has offered or used material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall make a reasonable effort to persuade the client to authorize the lawyer to correct or withdraw the false evidence. If those efforts are unsuccessful, the lawyer shall take other reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure of the falsehood to the tribunal. (d) A lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicatory 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 of the falsehood to the tribunal.
American Bar Association Model Code of Professional Responsibility (1983), EC 7-21.
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