Local News

Calls Come for Nifong to Step Down

Posted April 12, 2007

— Calls began to be heard Thursday for Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong to resign.

Nifong came in for remarkably straightforward criticism when state Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday that his office was filing papers to drop all charges against the three men accused of sexual assault and kidnapping.

“We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations,” Cooper said. “In this case, with the weight of the state behind him, the Durham district attorney pushed forward unchecked. There were many points in the case where caution would have served justice better than bravado.”

Nifong was back in his office Thursday after spending Wednesday conferring with his attorneys about ethics charges brought by the North Carolina State Bar. WRAL was told he has no plans to step down.

Some attorneys questioned that decision.

“The public cannot have confidence going forward in the actions taken by his office under his direction. And for that reason, it's time for Mr. Nifong to resign,” said defense attorney Bill Thomas, who represented a Duke lacrosse player never charged in the case.

“He's one of the most powerful people in the state (because of) the effect he can have on the common person. If he has lost his credibility, he should no longer have that office, and he has lost his credibility,” said Mark Edwards, another defense attorney.

"People have to trust their DA to do the right thing, to be fair, to be honest and above board," Edwards also said. "I'm afraid with what he did to those players, he's lost that."

Others think Nifong can still be effective, however.

“Just because a district attorney makes a mistake on one case, that does not mean he’s going to make a mistake on every case. Hopefully, he’s learned his lesson here. Hopefully, he will realize that he should handle these cases different next time,” said John Fitzpatrick, a defense attorney.

Nifong faces ethics charges brought by the state bar. He's due in court Friday for a hearing on those matters, and a trial is set for summer.


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  • Jackaroo Apr 13, 2007

    Nijerk needs to resign. Since he was elected, unless he is disbarred, not sure how he will go. Roy Cooper needs to run for higher office. That new conference was the most direct and accurate presentation I have seen in years from a politician. Before Cooper came on, the commentators were all saying he would not use the word "innocent"...but he did, and then Nijerk used it later with his pittiful excuse. Mikey...please do the right thing for Durham. And Easley, do better with yo next appointment.

  • davidgnews Apr 13, 2007

    The city of Durham was a laughing stock long before this stuff happened.

    Folks like Nifong and Bell just keep it going.

  • jdman Apr 13, 2007

    are the professors and the university of duke going to appologize to the 3 lacrosse players?????

  • superman Apr 13, 2007

    Who is responsible and who can fire him?

  • superman Apr 13, 2007

    I thought people had been asking Nifong to resign for months. Does this mean that people are beginning to be listened to and heard?

  • deerslayer Apr 13, 2007

    There needs to be more calls for Nifong to be thrown in prison...

  • cagerat42 Apr 13, 2007

    I want to know how Al and Jesse can come out and say racially stirred comments about these young men and not face any firings or dismissals from their radio shows.They screamed for Imus to be fired and he didnt do anything they haven't done.I would like to see them apologize for there comments to the players.Imus had what God gave him to step up and try to make ammends.I am not an Imus fan but right is right.

  • Irock Apr 13, 2007

    listener; after reading your post its obvious that you didnt do well in grammar and that you were not there either; none of us were. But, i do know that there is a big difference in a court of law between someone being " innocent " and not being found guilty. First, the latter: not guilty means that there was not enough evidence and the charges were dismissed, on the otherhand the former: Being declared "innocent" means that there is or was proof that the players didnt do it, eg., the woman admitted to the attorney general that she lied may be an example that i am guessing on. But none of us will know that because the attorney general probably will not say. So therefore, everyone has an opinion, but it should be so with educated facts and not ignorant biasd claims.

  • NC_VET Apr 13, 2007

    Thanks to Mike Nifong, the City of Durham, has become the
    laughing stock of the world. Race relations in Durham are
    again strained. If those three lacross players what to file
    for civil action the City/County of Durham will pay which
    comes out of the taxpayers pockets. Yea thanks Mike!!!

  • Bob3425 Apr 13, 2007

    He has lost all creditability, therefore he should be fired. When Durham and hopefully DUKE get sued over this I am sure the people of Durham will demand that he fired.