After what seems like eons to those who have followed this tawdry case from its beginnings, the decision yesterday of the North Carolina State Bar to strip soon-to-be former Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong of his law license seems almost anti-climatic. It was a rough week for everyone involved last week...including those once accused of the crimes Nifong wrongfully pursued them of, who testified on the stand against him...and culminated in Nifong surprisingly resigning from office on the last day of his self-defense.
The decision laid down by the panel overseeing the ethics charges came down harshly and sternly on Nifong. They essentially called him a liar throughout their final judgment. You can read the highlights of what rule violations had been brought...and Nifong was convicted of 27 of the 32 of them...here. To the surprise of some, Nifong's attorney stated Saturday that his client would not appeal the decision of the panel. (WRAL-TV has done a superb job in covering many angles of the trial, and has several videos of testimony within that coverage here.) Lord only knows where this leaves the state of justice within Durham County now.
All of this brings us to the next phase of this saga (oh no, we're not done yet, folks)...who pays for how much of this, to whom, and how much money, all told, will actually change hands in the end. The dollars and cents battle is just beginning. Breitbart is reporting today that Nifong's future is dim, and that also his material possessions and wealth may be few. Will the civil (and perhaps even criminal) charges to be brought stop with Nifong, or perhaps spread also to the Durham Police Department, the County of Durham itself, maybe even back to Duke University?? Blame, and how much that blame should be, is just now starting to get assigned to the guilty party(ies). Time...and somebody's wallet...will surely tell.
UPDATE June 18: Well...and this isn't all that surprising...you take Duke University off the future docket in civil court in regards to this case. From local Durham TV station WTVD: "Duke, Exonerated Lacrosse Players Reach Settlement" (complete with video). So that leaves Nifong, Durham County and maybe the Durham Police Department still in the line of fire, eh?