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Federal investigation not deterring Virginia officials' Vick investigation

6/8/2007 - NFL Michael Vick Atlanta Falcons + more

RICHMOND, Va. -- The prosecutor who questioned why federal
authorities would take an interest in a suspected dog-fighting case
possibly involving Michael Vick sounded a conciliatory tone Friday
and said there would be "parallel investigations."

Surry County Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter said
he, Sheriff Harold Brown and the rest of the team that has been
investigating the case since 66 dogs were found on the property on
April 25 still intend to meet soon to review their evidence.

"They launched a separate, independent federal investigation,"
Poindexter said of the government, which has had a representative
involved in the local probe all along.

"We are just pursuing parallel investigations."

One day earlier, within hours of being told that a sealed
federal search warrant was being executed at the house, Poindexter
reacted much differently, suggesting that Vick's celebrity as an
NFL quarterback was driving the government's interest.

"What is foreign to me is the federal government getting into a
dog-fighting case," he said in a telephone interview with The
Associated Press on Thursday.

"I know it's been done, but what's driving this? Is it this
boy's celebrity? Would they have done this if it wasn't Michael
Vick?"

Poindexter also said that while he was insulted that he wasn't
told the government was interested in pursuing the case, "There's
a larger thing here, and it has nothing to do with any breach of
protocol. There's something awful going on here. I don't know if
it's racial. I don't know what it is."

He said the notion that he felt he was having the case taken
away a day earlier was a misunderstanding, and that he'll watch how
the government pursues with interest.

"Obviously they can drown us out; they can't take it over," he
said.

Meanwhile, Vick this week canceled his youth football camp at
Christopher Newport University, citing a scheduling conflict. The
camp was scheduled to start June 30, but an e-mail sent from the
camp's Web site said all payments would be refunded promptly.

The camp's Web site had been taken down by Friday morning.