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Duke lacrosse DA accused of ethics violations


__Kratos__

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RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina bar filed ethics charges Thursday against the prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case, accusing him of saying misleading or inflammatory things to the news media about the athletes under suspicion.

The punishment for ethics violations can range from admonishment to disbarment.

Among the four rules of professional conduct that District Attorney Mike Nifong was accused of violating was a prohibition against making comments “that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused.”

The charges will be heard by an independent body called the Disciplinary Hearing Commission, made up of both lawyers and non-lawyers.

In a statement, the bar said it opened a case against Nifong in March 30, a little more than two weeks after the party where a 28-year-old student at North Carolina Central University hired to perform as a stripper said she was raped.

Nifong did not immediately return a call for comment.

Another of the rules Nifong was charged with breaking forbids “dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.” The bar said that when DNA testing failed to find any evidence a lacrosse player raped the accuser, Nifong told a reporter the players might have used a condom.

According to the bar, Nifong knew that assertion was misleading, because he had received a report from an emergency room nurse in which the accuser said her attackers did not use a condom.

Defense attorney Joseph Cheshire, who represents one of the three lacrosse players charged with sexual offense and kidnapping, declined to comment.

Last week, Nifong dropped the rape charges against the athletes after the stripper wavered in her story.

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Looks like his lies finally caught up to him.

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