For Nifong, Disbarment and Disgrace Are Enough

Mike Nifong, the Durham County DA whose questionable conduct in the prosecution of three Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape led him to be disbarred this week, may face significant legal action in the near future.

The three defendants and their families have racked up legal bills in the millions, and they will certainly file civil suits to reclaim that money from Durham County. Mr. Nifong will probably be named as the defense.

The problem is, Mr. Nifong has no money, other than a soon-to-be-terminated $110,000 salary, his home, some unspecified real estate in North Carolina and a modest mutual fund and 401(k) retirement portfolio. Certainly he doesn’t have the millions that the three vindicated families will seek.

Nifong’s career and reputation are already in tatters – he will never recover. All he has now is his home, and his retirement. If the three defendants try to sue him out of these final assets – all that Mike Nifong has after over 30 years of otherwise faithful service to Durham County – they would be guilty of the same rapacious cruelty and opportunism of which Nifong was found guilty.

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