Two days after he was stripped of his law license, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong indicated Monday that he will remain on the job for another month..
Nifong submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Mike Easley, saying that he would leave office on July 13..
He announced his intention Friday during a North Carolina State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Commission hearing into his handling of the Duke University lacrosse team sexual assault case..
The State Bar charged Nifong with making misleading and inflammatory comments about the lacrosse athletes, lying to both the court and State Bar investigators and withholding critical DNA test results from the players' defense attorneys..
The three-member disciplinary committee unanimously agreed with the Bar on almost every charge, including the most serious allegations -- that Nifong's actions involved "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation." The decision disbarred the career prosecutor..
Nifong also notified Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson of his decision to leave office..
"It is my fervent hope that this action will spare this community the further anguish a removal hearing would entail and will allow the healing process to move forward," Nifong wrote to Hudson.
Mike Nifong, who was disbarred Saturday, said he plans stay on the job as Durham district attorney for another month..
In a letter delivered today to Gov. Mike Easley, Nifong said he would leave office July 13..
"Consistent with my publicly announced intention, I am writing to tell you that I am resigning my elected position as District Attorney for the 14th Prosecutorial District (Durham), effective at the end of the business day on Friday, July 13, 2007," Nifong wrote in a later dated Sunday..
"Should the person you appoint to succeed wish to speak with me during the remainder of my term of service about facilitating transition to a new administration, I would be more than happy to attempt to accommodate his or her needs.".Under state law, Easley will appoint someone to be acting district attorney until voters choose a replacement in the November 2008 election..
Under the rules of the State Bar, Nifong loses his law license 30 days after he is given the official order of disbarment by the Disciplinary Hearing Commission..
Lane Williamson, chairman of the panel that disbarred Nifong, said Saturday that the final order would take some time to draft and publish..
Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson in Durham has a petition pending before him asking that he remove Nifong from office. Hudson said today that he does not plan to act on the petition. He said Nifong would be gone from office before he had all the necessary paperwork to remove him.
Judge Orlando Hudson said he will conduct the hearing, requested by Nifong critic Beth Brewer, without waiting for Nifong to appeal any punishment imposed by the State Bar.
The appellate process could drag on for months, and Hudson said he doesn't want Nifong's fate in limbo that long.
Hudson said the local hearing will occur even if the State Bar exonerates Nifong on charges he made unethical media statements about the lacrosse case in its infancy last year and withheld DNA evidence favorable to three defendants and lied about it.
"If the Bar doesn't find any violations by Mr. Nifong, it certainly doesn't mean Ms. Brewer can't establish a violation," the judge said. The State Bar disciplinary hearing against Nifong is scheduled to begin Tuesday.
Hudson said his own hearing will commence "almost immediately" afterward.
Hudson said Nifong's disbarment will become effective 30 days after being served with a written disbarment order, which probably won't be until late this week.
Since the disbarment date will fall after Nifong's final work day of July 13, Hudson said there no longer is a need for him to hold a removal hearing.
"This takes me out of it," Hudson said. "I'm not seeing a need for a hearing unless he doesn't resign when he said he will."