RALEIGH, N.C. -- The North Carolina State Bar on Thursday issued a formal order disbarring former district attorney Mike Nifong for his handling of the now-discredited Duke lacrosse rape case.
Nifong must surrender his law license to the bar no later than
30 days from when he is served with the order. He also must pay
costs associated with his June ethics trial.
A disciplinary hearing committee decided to disbar Nifong after
finding he had committed at least two dozen violations of the
state's rules of professional conduct. The violations included
lying to the court and withholding DNA evidence that showed genetic
material from several males -- though none from a Duke lacrosse
player -- had been found on the accuser.
The accuser had told police she was attacked by three men at a
March 2006 lacrosse team party where she was hired to perform as a
Nifong secured indictments for rape, kidnapping and sexual
offense against three lacrosse team members, but the rape charges
were dropped in December after the accuser changed a key detail of
her story, and state prosecutors who later took over the case at
Nifong's request dropped the remaining charges in April.
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper called the three
players who had been charged innocent victims of a "tragic rush to
Nifong resigned as Durham County district attorney last month.