RALEIGH, N.C. -- Facing ethics charges that could lead to his disbarment, the embattled district attorney in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case has asked the state attorney general's office to appoint a special prosecutor to take over the case.
Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, said Friday in an e-mail that District Attorney Mike Nifong sent a letter requesting the special prosecutor. She did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Nifong did not return several calls from The Associated Press. His attorney also declined to comment.
It was not immediately clear what impact the decision would have on the troubled criminal prosecution of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's office has previously declined to comment when asked about the prospect of taking over the case.
"If he accepts it, then they would transfer the files over, and they would probably have a lot of interviews to do," said Peg Dorer, director of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys. "It would probably stop things for a while I imagine."
Under North Carolina law, only a district attorney can formally request a special prosecutor. The request can be made when there are potential conflicts of interest, when a case is particularly complex or when there are other unusual circumstances.
I'm really sorta sad to see Mikey go. I was really starting to enjoy watching him twist in the wind. So much for the almost daily entertainment of seeing him slide deeper and deeper into the pit. It's almost a pity. It's pretty clear that without him driving this lynching, the case is dead in the water. There's no sane prosecutor on earth who would take this jalopy forward to trial even if God himself came down and offered to be a character witness for the accuser. Mikey will get his just desserts for what he's done. Now we just have to hope that whichever special prosecutor is selected will give the lying whore her comeuppance.