In another strange twist for this city it was announce today that City Manager Baker will be leaving his post as City Manager and become the new City Attorney. Baker will be replacing City Attorney Henry Blinder who is retiring. Baker cited this as his reason,
"I am proud to have been a part of a great time in Durham's history
and to have worked with such a talented and dedicated group of employees," Baker said in a prepared statement.
"Serving as the city attorney is a great professional opportunity that will also allow me to spend much-needed time with my family." N&O
Considering that the City of Durham has been sued for 30 million dollars in the Duke Lacrosse Hoax it seemed like a strange excuse. Especially since it was announced that Baker was added as an individual to the Civil Lawsuit.
The lawyers representing the three exonerated lacrosse players amended the civil suit in federal court today to include City Manager Patrick Baker as one of the officials they are suing.
The players amended the lawsuit on the day Baker announced he would be stepping aside as city manager on June 30 to become city attorney, a job that comes with the same salary but less decision-making power.
As Baker met with reporters to discuss his plans to end a tumultuous three years as the city's manager, the lawyers for the exonerated lacrosse players filed their amended complaint in a Greensboro federal courthouse.
The new complaint portrays Baker as a city official who was very involved with decisions to push ahead with the Duke lacrosse case despite evidence to the contrary.
The lawsuit now details at least one meeting on March 29, 2006, where Baker was among high-ranking police officials and other city administrators and investigators assigned to the case.
According to the lawsuit, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and investigator Benjamin Himan were summoned to a meeting on March 29 by Baker, Steve Chalmers, who was then the police chief, and other senior city and police officials.
At that meeting, the investigators were ordered or "otherwise pressured" to push ahead with a case that already had shown evidence of the players' innocence. N&O
So far in the Durham shake-up over the false prosecution of three totally innocent Duke Lacrosse players Cpl David Addison has been promoted to Sergeant, Former Chief of Police Steve Chalmers has been working as a special assistant to City Manger Baker while receiving his salary as Chief even though there is a new Chief in town so he can build up his pension benefits, and City Manager Baker who oversaw the PD activities in the Hoax is getting pay raise and deciding to take it easy as the City Attorney.