When the carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse defendants declared jihad against former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong because he had the nerve to charge their boys with a crime, the media, judges, state officials all made full commitments to assist in their vindictive cause. As stated in her call to arms which aired on CBS – TV’s “60 Minutes,” defendant mom Rhea Evans made clear their mandate… to see that Mike Nifong and his family “pays” every day for the rest of his life.
The North Carolina State Bar went above and beyond the call of duty, and are deserving of special carpetbagging recognition. First, it trumped up a flimsy ethics complaint that was so weak, that even they had to amend it a second time and re-file. The State Bar’s action was necessary in order to get the dedicated D.A. Nifong off the Duke Lacrosse case, and into friendly hands. Unbeknownst to Mr. Nifong at the time, the Attorney General’s Office was in bed with the carpetbagger crew, following its every directive to the tee… such as later carrying out the dismissal of the Duke Lacrosse case and innocent promulgation of April 11, 2007.
The State Bar’s F. Lane Williamson, who headed up the grievance panel, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, went so far as to claim that Mike Nifong pursued the Duke Lacrosse case for the political purpose of being elected to the district attorney position to which he had been appointed. What makes this widely held motive so laughable is the fact that simple math would point out that the way to assure victory in the May 2006 primary was to dismiss the Duke Lacrosse case, not pursue it. Williamson and Duke Lacrosse defense attorney Kirk Osborn, among others seemed to believe that by wooing the black vote, Mr. Nifong would win the primary. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the voting results confirmed that. Of the African Americans who made up 38.2% of the total registered voters, they accounted for only 34% of those who voted in the primary. Fewer blacks turned out percentage-wise. Of the white voters who comprised 56.3% of the total registered voters, they accounted for a whopping 63% of the voters for the May 2, 2006 primary. A higher turnout of white voters percentage-wise. Yet, Mike Nifong won, proving wrong the WTVD ABC 11 Eyewitness News poll that proclaimed the primary race was a dead heat with Nifong requiring a huge black turnout in order to beat chief rival Freda Black. ABC 11 News deserves a lot of credit for this Jedi Mind-trick, for its poll and coverage convinced many that Nifong would benefit by pursuing the Duke Lacrosse case. The fact is, that pursuing the Duke Lacrosse case presented a tremendous impediment for him to overcome on his way to victory.
Besides disbarring Mr. Nifong, the North Carolina State Bar decided to turn the knife in his back while simultaneously pouring salt in his wounds. They decided to send Mr. Nifong an invoice to cover the costs of holding the five day hearing to disbar him. The bill amounted to eight thousand, eight hundred ninety-seven dollars and 91 cents ($8,897.91), with payment due within ninety days. According to the Bar’s counsel, Katherine E. Jean, the Bar is given this authority under regulation: 27 NCAC 1B .0109(8). She informed me that this regulation was used when it fined David Hoke and Deborah Graves for their disciplinary hearing held years earlier… however they were billed a total of $702.10… an amount which they shared, each paying half. Even though David Hoke’s actions against Alan Gell were far more egregious than anything Mr. Nifong was accused of doing in the Duke Lacrosse case, Hoke got off paying $350.05, whereas Mr. Nifong faced a tab that approached nine thousand dollars. The disparity in the amounts of the fines can be attributed to but one thing…the carpetbagger jihad against Mike Nifong. How many other attorneys have been sent an invoice by the State Bar to pay for the costs to discipline them? Not many, I bet. I was only given the one example other than Mike Nifong.
All I can say is, “How shameful.” Selective persecution against Mike Nifong has sadly been widespread among state agencies, especially the unregulated State Bar.