Local News

Sources: Nifong Wants to Resign, Effective Monday

Posted June 27, 2007
Updated June 28, 2007

— Sources tell WRAL that suspended Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong wants to resign, effective next Monday.

Details about his request are expected to be revealed during a Thursday morning hearing at the Durham County Courthouse. It will be up to a judge to decide whether to agree to Nifong's request.

Sources also tell WRAL that Nifong is out of town and is not expected to attend the hearing.

On Monday, deputies tried to serve a notice for the hearing, in response to a civil complaint, but had to leave it at Nifong's door.

"Mr. Nifong's wife informed one of my officers earlier in the day that Mike had taken his guitar and left, and she didn't have any idea when he'd return," Capt. Bill Wrenn with the Durham County Sheriff's Office said.

Neighbors told WRAL they have not seen Nifong, nor has the special prosecutor preparing for Thursday's hearing.

"I have not spoken with him," Robert Zaytoun said. "I would have liked to have spoken with him, but I haven't yet."

Durham resident Elizabeth Brewer filed the petition in February alleging willful misconduct in connection with his prosecution of three former Duke University lacrosse players accused of raping an exotic dancer.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson stayed actions on the request pending Nifong's North Carolina State Bar ethics hearing.

Nifong was disbarred June 16 after a disciplinary committee determined he violated several rules of professional conduct.

Under State Bar rules, however, the disbarment isn't effective until the organization issues an official order.

Concerned about potential problems with open cases, Hudson then suspended Nifong last Tuesday after he announced his intent to resign from elected office on July 13.

Hudson has said he does not expect Nifong to show for Thursday's hearing but that it would proceed without him.

Zaytoun said Nifong can avoid the hearing if he submits his immediate resignation by 9:30 a.m. Thursday, when the hearing is scheduled to begin.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Mike Easley replaced Nifong with his predecessor, Jim Hardin, who will serve until Easley appoints a permanent replacement. Hardin said he would evaluate the district attorney's office, its staff and procedure but that his main goal was to restore integrity.

"We're going to learn from this and move forward in representing the people of Durham County in an ethical and legal way in everything we do," he said.

A separate request filed by the three falsely accused lacrosse players -- David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann -- is expected to be heard by Durham Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III, although no date has been set for that hearing.

The players, who were declared innocent earlier this year by state Attorney General Roy Cooper, asked Smith to hold Nifong in criminal contempt of court.


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  • ncmom65 Jun 28, 2007

    I can't believe we have to have all this debate over when Nifong should be out of office...he is the DA, the "A" stands for attorney, he is disbarred, therefore he is not longer able to practice law, therefore he doesn't meet the requirements to be the DA.....duh.....he should be out of office effective immediately.....why do our taxdollars still have to support a DA who is not qualified to do the job?

  • SANDHILL Jun 28, 2007

    Why can't he do the right thing and resign as of yesterday?
    Descorp: "Rich getting away with murder." Who were they suposed to have murdered? I missed that part.

  • jonathanstrange Jun 28, 2007

    USA Retired
    If they are NOT innocent because they "hired strippers" then clearly, being a stripper is illegal. I don't hear you calling for the strippers/single mothers/NCCU students to be arrested...

    Bit if a double standard hey?

  • jonathanstrange Jun 28, 2007

    Descorp: "I can feel it"

    Well, by all means lets decide innocense and guilt based on your feelings. What a savings we could have. We could do away with the entire judicial branch of government and replace it with "your feelings"....

    (sure is a lot easier than thinking isn't it?)

  • 68_polara Jun 28, 2007

    "well I have to say I support Nifong, I know what those boys did and I know they did something wrong."


    Well it just goes to show that, now that all the evidence is now out, no matter what some people will never look at things objectively when race is involved. Thank for the insight to some of the ignorance that still exists every time this lacrosse thing rears it's ugly head.

  • inform Jun 28, 2007

    Our public officials are and should be held to a higher standard. Nifong pulled a Nifong and should pay with the most severe consequences. Public hanging at 11.

    This case only exposes what everyone already knows about our justice system, race, and politics.

    Nifong lived and will die by his own brand of class elitism.

  • Descorp Jun 28, 2007

    well I have to say I support Nifong, I know what those boys did and I know they did something wrong. I can feel it. Duke and duke hospital even was trying to cover up the whole thing by supressing all kinds of evidence. It is the biggest duke cover up in history. Rich getting away with murder and rape! its disgusting.
    Wow, thanks for the comment! Didn't know Nifong actually read these blogs. Apparently his cabin in the mountains has internet access. Keep it up, Mikey!

  • Freda93 Jun 28, 2007

    Mike made some major mistakes no doubt. However I beleive even a seasoned D.A.( which he wasn't ) would have had problems with this case. Young african american girl accusing white rich kids of rape. He didn't ask for the case. He didn't ask for the media to be hounding him 24/7. He started out with good intentions and the the thing just blew up on him. The same nay sayers who are crusifying him now would have crusified him also if he had dropped the case from the get go. I dis agree with him being disbarred. SAME CASE WITHOUT THE MAJOR HYPE AND MEDIA COVERAGE THERE IN NO DISBARMENT. NOW YOU GUYS CAN WRITE WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT THAT BUT THERE ARE ALOT OF PEOPLE THAT I HAVE SPOKEN WITH WHO FEEL THE SAME WAY. THIS MAN HAD A SPOTLESS RECORD OF PUBLIC SERVICE BEFORE THIS CASE

  • bigmoe Jun 28, 2007

    jetset.......why leave him alone? Did he leave the accused and their families alone? No he didn't. And it goes way beyond humiliation.....it's about justice and letting a public representative run amuck within our judicial system and wasting tax dollars. Maybe when this is over, you can give him a job mowing your lawn so he can feed his family.......

    Took his guitar and left???????....maybe he is playing in a club where Crystal is dancing......

  • Slip Kid Jun 28, 2007

    "These young men may not be "Guilty" but by no way are they "innocent", they still had the party, hired strippers, and violated their scholarship contract. Everyone at the party should have their scholarships retracted, the coach definetly needs to be rehired. Nifong's soverinity needs to be reviewed" - USA Retired

    I'm glad you're not in charge of my country! Last time I checked, it was legal (and innocent) to have a party and to hire strippers. Any contract with Duke and their scholarships is a private contractual matter not a matter of guilt of innocence. Get off you high horse and let others live their lives in freedom with the expectation that we are all innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.