A disciplinary hearing panel found Michael B. Nifong, the Durham County district attorney, guilty today of ethical violations arising from his pretrial statements and handling of DNA evidence while pressing a false accusation of sexual assault against three former Duke University lacrosse players..The three-member panel now enters a penalty phase in the five-day ethics trial, which could result in Mr. Nifong’s suspension or disbarment later today.
KC Johnson, Durham in Wonderland:
Mike Nifong broke several rules of professional conduct during his disastrous prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of rape, committing "deceit and misrepresentations," a disciplinary committee ruled Saturday.
The committee must now decide if the longtime prosecutor in Durham County, who has already pledged to resign his post as district attorney, should be stripped of his law license.
The North Carolina State Bar charged Nifong with breaking several rules of professional conduct, including lying to both the court and bar investigators and withholding critical DNA test results from the players' defense attorneys.
The committee, after deliberating for a little more than an hour, unanimously agreed with the bar on almost every charge, including the most serious allegations, that Nifong's actions involved "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation."
Blogging live from the courthouse, KC Johnson outlines each of the finding madeAdditional updates will follow shortly.
by the DHC. Click here to read the list.