A judge suspended District Attorney Mike Nifong effective immediately Tuesday after learning the prosecutor disbarred for his handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case intended to stay in office for another month.To be sure there's nothing wrong with trying to be the big hero, but if I understand the facts of this case correctly, it's not worth playing games with the truth and the reputations of those who may well be innocent of the crime.
The sheriff immediately stripped Nifong of his badge and the keys to his office.
There is probable cause to believe that Nifong "has engaged in willful misconduct in office and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, which brings the office into disrepute," Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson wrote in his order.
Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill went to Nifong's house with a deputy to serve the order Tuesday morning.
"We took his keys and his badge that gave him access to the building," Hill said. "We'll make arrangements to help him get his personal belongings later."
Candy Clark, Nifong's legal assistant, said the one case he was handling was being reassigned.
Later Tuesday, lawmakers unanimously approved legislation that would allow Gov. Mike Easley to immediately remove Nifong from office.
Nifong had sent a resignation letter to Easley and Hudson, saying he would leave office on July 13. The governor had said he would immediately remove Nifong if he could.
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