Saturday, June 16, 2007

Just in! - Duke D.A. Barred from Bar

Looks like yesterday's crocodile tears and offer to resign were not enough to convince the ethics panel. They told him this afternoon "You can't quit, You're Fired!"
N.C. panel disbars Duke prosecutor

By AARON BEARD, Associated Press Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. - District Attorney Mike Nifong will be disbarred for his disastrous prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of rape, a disciplinary committee decided Saturday. Even the veteran prosecutor said the punishment was appropriate.

"This matter has been a fiasco. There's no doubt about it," said committee chairman F. Lane Williamson.

Nifong sat motionless, one hand resting over his mouth, as Williamson recounted how he engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct. He said Nifong's early comments about the case — which included a confident proclamation that he wouldn't allow Durham to become known for "a bunch of lacrosse players from Duke raping a black girl" — were purposefully designed to boost his campaign for district attorney.

"At the time he was facing a primary, and yes, he was politically naive," Williamson said. "But we can draw no other conclusion that those initial statements he made were to further his political ambitions."

Nifong will not appeal the punishment, his lawyer said.
Williamson questioned why it took several months for the defense to get DNA test results that found genetic material from several men in the accuser's underwear and body, but none from any lacrosse player.

"It wasn't just one little oversight," Williamson said later. "This was conduct over an extended period in a very high-profile case."

Aware of those test results, Nifong pressed ahead with the case anyway and won indictments against Dave Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. State prosecutors later concluded the three players were "innocent" victims of a rogue prosecutor's "tragic rush to accuse."
Looks like from now on the only bar Mr. Nifong will be addressing is the one with whiskey bottles and beer taps.

And it isn't over for him, either. Attorneys for the three lacrosse players are planning to seek criminal contempt charges, too.
N.C. panel disbars Duke prosecutor - Yahoo! News
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