Local News

Nifong Asks More Time to Answer State Bar Complaint

Posted January 23, 2007

— Durham County District Attorney wants more time to respond to an ethics complaint levied against him by the North Carolina State Bar.

Last month, the bar cited dozens of pretrial comments Nifong made to the media early on in his investigation of three Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting an exotic dancer.

David Freedman, who represents Nifong, said it is common for attorneys facing ethics complaints to ask for an extension.

"You only have 20 days, and that's not enough time to take in this case," Freedman said. "There's volumes and volumes we need to review. We need to discuss the case with him, and we need to get a better feel before we respond to the case."

Tom Lunsford, with the state bar, said he does not object to giving an extension, but it has not yet been granted.

The issue will likely not be discussed until a bar meeting scheduled for Wednesday. Nifong is expected to attend the hearing, but he is not required to be there.

The case against Nifong could go to trial as early as May.

Last month, Nifong dropped rape charges against the three defendants in the case after the accuser wavered in her account of key details in the case. The three men, Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans, still face sexual assault and kidnapping charges. All three men have maintained their innocence.

Nifong stepped down from the case earlier this month because the pending ethics charges created a conflict of interest, Freedman said.

"He regretted having to leave the case," Freedman said. "It was no indication of his views on the strength or weakness of the case. It was in no way a concession to the allegations against him."

State Attorney General Roy Cooper has appointed two lawyers in his office to take over the lacrosse case. They are reviewing all the files in the case.

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  • geowilrlst2 Jan 24, 2007

    I wonder why he needs an attourney . His words , " only the guilty need a lawyer " !

  • boostjunkie1986 Jan 23, 2007

    patty the only reason nifong put him self in that position was because it would put him in the front for election. think about it the photo line up all locross players no other people???

  • mslisac363 Jan 23, 2007

    I'm glad this case happened! Maybe now people will be more careful about using the race card. The race card is getting old and people are tired of it. There are just as many black men that rape black women and that seems to be fine. It's a shame people only care about rape when it might involve race. The NAACP seems to be sending messages that crime is ok as long as it is not done by a white man or woman. If it had been all black there would have been no problem. I don't see the NAACP complaining about the four black football players that raped the 12yr old girl a few months back.

  • BRUCEY BABY Jan 23, 2007


  • whocares Jan 23, 2007

    How long does it take to make a defense for how Mike Nifong acted publically. It is not just "guilty" or "not guilty". His actions are part of public record. This case needs to be dropped and both Nifong and the stripper sued. All this started because someone thought they could make some money off the "rich boys" at Duke. Well, people these 3 gentlemen are not Kobi Bryant, they are innocent, he was not.

  • BlackRob Jan 23, 2007

    I doubt this ever makes it to trial. The accuser has absolutely no credibility after changing her story on multiple occasions, her co-stripper has changed her story, and the timeline doesn't add up. If she was assaulted, strangled, and beaten for 30 minutes with all of these lacrosse players in the house...no one saw anything? Not a peep? None of them have souls or any decency? Maybe because there was nothing to see. The way I see it, a bunch of drunk frat boys had strippers over for their party. The accuser showed up drunk, made a mockery of herself, and the boys (being severely stupid and ignorant) made racial slurs out of anger to the lack of services provided. The accuser took it upon herself to 'get these rich Duke boys back' and Nifong milked the cow for all he could, along with the media to pull the race card and stir up the melting pot.

  • Notebender1970 Jan 23, 2007

    Patty31us, Last I checked our justice system decides "Guilty" or "Not Guilty" and you are presumed innocent until "Proven Guilty" Proving someone guilty cannot be done in the media (Nifong's first mistake.) I'm with you for the trial to start but this can never be done without a certain degree of bias now. Its gotten too big.

  • diwanicki Jan 23, 2007

    I wish this case would be dropped and she be brought up on charges for lying. Nifong burned himself as well. He is just as bad as a defense lawyer that is full of coruption.

  • Forgetaboutit Jan 23, 2007

    Menendez brother, Dana Ewell, and the Kennedy brothers, dude you need to calm down. We know you are republican...we understand your issues. If you could have went to Duke, you would have went to Duke. Please sit down...

  • OLD PIRATE Jan 23, 2007

    She started into this for money and continues for the same reason. She placed herself in this position (no pun intended)
    She must take some of the blame..as for this DA, he used race as his only hope of being elected. When does the AA community pick up on this and stop being used.

    If the DNA doesn't fit (at least these men) you must acquit.