Federal investigation not deterring Virginia officials' Vick investigation
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.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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