Local News

Judge Will Deny Resident's Call for Nifong's Removal

Posted April 23, 2007

— For the second time in two months, a local resident has filed court papers seeking the removal of Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong from office.

But a judge overseeing the case said he would again deny the motion.

Elizabeth Brewer filed a civil complaint against Nifong in February, alleging willful misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the office into disrepute. The charges stemmed from his handling of the investigation of sexual assault allegations against members of the Duke University lacrosse team.

Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson delayed any action on the complaint until an ethics case filed by the North Carolina State Bar against Nifong for his handling of the Duke lacrosse case is completed.

Hudson told WRAL on Monday he would deny Brewer's motion again, because ruling on it would deny Nifong's right to due process before the State Bar.

Brewer filed a motion Monday to bolster her earlier complaint. The recent dismissal of all charges against the lacrosse players by Attorney General Roy Cooper and the State bar's denial of Nifong's effort to dismiss some of the charges against him support Brewer's allegations of misconduct, the motion states.

"By his own misconduct, Mr. Nifong's continuing in office as district attorney is an absolute impediment to the existence of a trustworthy criminal justice system in Durham County," the motion states.

The State Bar has alleged Nifong withheld exculpatory evidence from defense attorneys representing the lacrosse players and violated professional conduct rules by making misleading and inflammatory comments about the defendants.

Brewer's motion contends there is no reason to wait for the State Bar disciplinary hearing in the case, noting it has "a different purpose than judging whether Mr. Nifong should be removed from office."

"Mr. Nifong should be suspended immediately," the motion states. "This will permit him to concentrate on his own defense while permitting the citizens of Durham County to have a restored faith in their criminal justice system."

Equating Nifong with a "rogue prosecutor" who misused his authority, Cooper recently dropped kidnapping and sexual assault charges against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans. Crystal Mangum had accused the three of attacking her at a March 2006 team party, where she was performing as a stripper.

Nifong stepped away from the case in January, saying the pending ethics complaints presented a conflict of interest for him.


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  • TrustMe Apr 26, 2007

    Durham . . . the road goes on forever and the party never ends. :-)
    an that's the way thangs go 'round here.

  • gonefishin2020 Apr 25, 2007

    free speech on WRAL?????????what a crock of crap!
    NIF#@* is an IDIOT!

  • natebrew Apr 24, 2007

    sean, the fact that "nothing that Nifong has been charged with in the civil complaint directly or indirectly affects Brewer" gives her complaint more merit; some one who is completely unbiased wants him removed from office so bad that shes willing to take any route possible to make it happen as soon as possible. i think judge orlando's delaying acting on this motion is not an action, by law he was required to act on this motion within 30 days and i don't think he has done so. he should have suspeneded nifong a month ago, if for no other reason, so he could prepare to defend him self properly for the bar hearing; this would have been acting on her motion and would be fair/just for all of us who live in durham and are at risk of being unjustly prosecuted by a 'rogue prosecutor'.

  • grayfox2 Apr 24, 2007

    Maybe a judge, from another district, should rule on this. Judge Hudson and Mike Nifong have known each other for many years. Too close for comfort.

  • wizard633 Apr 24, 2007

    His career, (Nifong), is short lived. I know that, & he knows that.

  • refiman Apr 24, 2007

    Hopefully the voters will deny the judge his bench in the next election

  • hollywood Apr 24, 2007

    I just don't see how they could keep a corrupt DA and not remove him pending his allegations.....No one is saying stop paying him...he just needs to be removed until this thing is over...

  • seankelly15 Apr 24, 2007

    Nancy (and others) – Hudson is a judge who applies the law equally. The reality is that the civil complaint has no merit; Brewer has no standing (nothing that Nifong has been charged with in the civil complaint directly or indirectly affects Brewer), and a superior court judge does not have the constitutional authority to remove a DA from political office. I want Nifong to be removed from office as much as anyone, but he has the same right to due process as anyone else (even if he doesn’t apply it to anyone else).

  • seeingthru Apr 24, 2007

    remove him too!!

  • Big Tex 52 Apr 24, 2007

    I have not read all the comments but isn't it ironic that Nifong is getting the "due process" taht he denied the three players