Perhaps today’s embarrassing performance at the Durham County Courthouse will finally prompt Governor Mike Easley to issue a statement demanding the return of law to
Mike Nifong, as WRAL noted, was defiant: “I don’t feel I’m part of the problem. I feel that I have assisted in revealing the problem.”
He “assisted in revealing the problem” by, according to a State Bar ethics complaint, having “engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
Meanwhile, Nifong struggled to get his story straight as to why the swearing-in of a public official—the county’s “minister of justice”—was closed to the public.
The initial line? A scheduling snafu, caused by the fact that the building didn’t open till 8.30. Yet, as Liestoppers noted, the building had opened earlier for previous swearing-in ceremonies.
Then he admitted he had played a role in keeping the public out, but the explanation came in the need to protect his staff: “The whole point of this was this was not a media event, This was an event that was required of us so we could get back to work and do our jobs. The message we tried to send was this: This is 2007. We’re here to do our jobs. We’re not here to basically help you guys sell newspapers or press coverage.”
But, of course, his staff wasn’t required to attend the event (I gather that few of them did), and the swearing-in didn’t take place in the D.A.’s office, where it would hamper their work. Moreover, Nifong certainly seemed to be eager to issue public statements when it served his purposes.
And then the explanation was the type of swearing-in: it was a formality, unlike his initial swearing-in (which was open to the public).
By this logic, the swearing-in ceremonies of re-elected presidents should occur outside the public view.
This is a man who appears to be delusional, and yet holds enormous power as his county’s top prosecutor. Where is the federal government?