Local News

Congressman Again Calls for Feds to Investigate Nifong

Posted April 12, 2007

— A North Carolina congressman has renewed his call for a federal investigation into Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong and the way he handled the sexual assault investigation involving three Duke University lacrosse players.

Third District Rep. Walter Jones in December asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the case, saying Nifong mad prejudicial statements to the media and had told police to violate identification procedures.

The Justice Department declined to intervene, saying it was more appropriate to allow the case to play out. Federal attorneys also noted that Nifong already faced ethics charges from the North Carolina State Bar.

The State Bar has alleged that Nifong violated his ethical responsibilities by making inflammatory comments to the media early in the investigation and by withholding evidence from defense attorneys that could prove the players' innocence.

All charges against the three players were dismissed Wednesday. State Attorney General Roy Cooper said there was no credible evidence to show that Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans assaulted Crystal Mangum at a lacrosse team party in March 2006.

"“In light of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper’s dismissal of all criminal charges against the three men, it is clear that this matter now cries out for oversight," Jones wrote Wednesday in a letter to the Justice Department. "I again urge you to launch a federal investigation to review Mr. Nifong’s conduct to determine if it constitutes prosecutorial misconduct and has denied these students their civil rights as U.S. citizens under federal law.”

Jones said at least eight other members of Congress also have called for a federal investigation of Nifong.

"Now that the state has dismissed all charges, the Justice Department has no reason not to investigate the substantial legal evidence suggesting Mr. Nifong violated these young men’s civil rights. I strongly encourage you to take action in this case," he wrote.


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  • Bob3425 Apr 13, 2007

    This is a NC problems, why does NC need the federal government to come in a clean its' house. I would hope our elected official can handle this, if nothing else they should have a chance to do so before we start crying to the federal government.

  • Matthew 19_21 Apr 12, 2007

    "One of the defendants, David Evans, is the son of a particularly well placed Washington power couple. His father, attorney David C. Evans, is a managing partner in 1000-member Reed Smith, among the 20 largest law firms in the world. The firm employs Duke law grads among others and has extensive political ties, mostly GOP, solidified through its PAC.

    That's why Congressman Jones got involved. Don't expect him to extend that courtesy to the little guy, but if a rich white boy is wrongly accused, Jones will stop at nothing to get him off the hook.

  • GWALLY Apr 12, 2007

    PDMARTIN........GWally (correct spelling) here, yes as a matter of fact I am on a soapbox......better to be on one with the truth than hiding under one with a lie!!!!!!!!!!!! Bush done it, Bush done it, my whole life is ruined, cause Bush done it. Wake up my friend and get out from under the soapbox!!!!

  • inmyopinion3 Apr 12, 2007

    Republicans are ok (as are Democrats for that matter. I sway back and forth with who I think is the better candidate rather than blind party ploitics) but Bush is an IDIOT no matter what your political allegances, if you cant see that you are politically blind! Congressmen/women should be woring harder to reduce Gas costs, energy costs, taxes etc etc instead of trying to score cheap political points from a case everybody knows was a mess from the start!

  • spookysoldierworm Apr 12, 2007

    "but a powerful CONGRESSMAN who is neglecting the real needs of his district to coddle the lacrosse players whose parents give lots of money to....anybody? anybody?

    yes, to the Republican party" Chris.Nelson420

    Can you PROVE that statement? Or cite a reference? Have you read the TOS for WRAL? Specifically the part about 'Prohibited Content By using our site, you agree that you will not post or otherwise make available any content or material that:

    * is false, deceptive, misleading, deceitful or misinformative;"

    You sound like you're posting politically motivated gossip.....again.

  • PDMARTIN Apr 12, 2007


    or should it be Gee Wally, are you on a soapbox or what????
    NIfong's an idiot and Bush is a couple lengths ahead of him.

  • GWALLY Apr 12, 2007

    Yea, Yea....blame it on the Republicans......don't forget Bush, I'm sure he is at fault somehow! Lets you forget, "easy" Easly appointed Nifong!! Now, I suppose, you think Easly is a Bush problem also??

  • I hear voices Apr 12, 2007

    I'm in no way trying to defend Nifong; however, had he not at least investigated with such vigorus means the Al Sharptens and such would have had a field day. He went about it wrong but he had to do something. He was in a lose lose situation.

  • Matthew 19_21 Apr 12, 2007

    we should all be so lucky as the lacrosse players. Like their attorney said, this kind of thing goes on a thousand times a day, but most of us would just rot in jail if it happened to us.
    These guys however have not only money, and public opinion on their side, but a powerful CONGRESSMAN who is neglecting the real needs of his district to coddle the lacrosse players whose parents give lots of money to....anybody? anybody?

    yes, to the Republican party

  • suchhappiness Apr 12, 2007

    Calling for the Feds to investigate? That's like asking the fox to guard the hen house.