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Duke DA Faces Ethics Charges

Nifong withheld evidence that could have exonerated three lacrosse players
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2007 9:04 PM CDT
Duke DA Faces Ethics Charges
Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong listens during a North Carolina State Bar trial in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, June 12, 2007. The North Carolina State Bar charged the Durham County district attorney with several violations of the state's rules of professional conduct, all tied to his handling...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – North Carolina DA Mike Nifong, who spearheaded the rape and kidnapping case against three Duke lacrosse players, now faces his own set of charges for withholding evidence, making inappropriate public comments about the case, and lying to a judge and state bar investigators. His trial in front of a disciplinary commission starts this morning and could last four days.

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Nifong maintains his innocence, but if found guilty could be fired as Durham DA and prohibited from practicing law. Last spring, Nifong publicly disparaged the three players, including calling them "a bunch of hooligans" in an interview. He also allegedly withheld negative DNA matches from the defense and then lied to state and bar investigators. (Read more Mike Nifong stories.)

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