On Friday Beth Brewer, a Durham resident who led the Recall Nifong – Elect Cheek campaign, filed a sworn affidavit in Durham County Superior Court asking the court to exercise its authority to remove DA Mike Nifong from the office he’s abused and disgraced.
News organizations are now reporting the court, in the person of Nifong’s long-time judicial colleague and fellow Democrat, Judge Orlando Hudson, will claim the court needs to let the NC State Bar complete its response to charges brought by its Ethics Committee against Nifong.
On that basis, the reports say, Hudson will stay Brewer’s request.
There’s always a chance the news reports are wrong, but it isn’t likely.
If the order is stayed, many will say Brewer’s action was a futile gesture.
It was no such thing!
Brewer’s action has already achieved important results.
I’ll cite some of them today; and others tomorrow.
Brewer’s affidavit filing and the news it’s generated has been one more public reminder of Nifong’s unfitness to serve as DA.
Even worse for Nifong, the affidavit, in effect, told Durham's public: “You don’t have to accept four more years of this guy. There’s a way to get rid of him. A judge can order Nifong out of office because he did all those things we can still see him doing on the video tapes.”
If Brewer accomplished nothing else but those two things, what she did would still be a “big deal.”
But there’s so much more.
Others may have missed the importance of the “You don’t have to ..” message, including the threat it poses to Nifong as he maneuvers to hang on to the DA’s office with its large staff which currently acts under his supervision.
But Nifong didn’t miss it.
That’s why, instead of hiding from the press as is his usual practice when his travesties are revealed, Nifong was suddenly talking to reporters yesterday.
Nifong dismissed Brewer’s action with a personal slap at her (“This was filed by a woman who tried to defeat me…”) as he urged the public to “withhold judgment until they hear the evidence.”
Nifong also told the N&O:
"I'm looking forward to having the case heard and having the opportunity to have my side told publicly."Some people will insist Nifong helped himself with his comments.
They’re wrong. He hurt himself.
Every time Nifong attacks someone personally, as he did Brewer, he reminds people of his repeated, vicious and false attacks on the lacrosse players which now even Duke’s President, Richard H. Brodhead, acknowledges were unfounded.
Even worse for Nifong is this: Every time he asks the public to withhold judgment until it sees the evidence against him, he reminds fair-minded and informed persons of at least three things:
1) Nifong didn’t have any evidence before proclaiming the players guilty;
2) Nifong, along with certain Durham police officers, actually manufactured evidence in order to frame three of the players ( “ Any three students would do; there could be no wrong choice." )
3) Nifong conspired to withhold DNA evidence of the players’ actual innocence as discussed in this post.
After months of slamming and framing the players and hiding evidence of their innocence, Nifong’s insistence that the public should wait for “my side” has the same effect now as did Nixon’s Watergate insistence that “I am not a crook.”
I’ll wrap this post up by citing another very important result of what Brewer and the other justice seekers who team with her accomplished with the affidavit filing. From a WRAL News [excerpt]:
The complaint is significant, former federal prosecutor Dan Boyce said, and raises questions not only about Nifong's ability to serve as district attorney, but also his right to practice law.Boyce ran in 2000 as the Republican candidate for NC attorney general against present incumbent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, who won with 51% of the popular vote to Boyce’s 46%. Republican candidates for governor and lieutenant governor also received 46% of the vote. (Results here)
"I think he's got to consider whether, in the interest of justice and in fairness to the people of Durham County, whether it's time to resign," Boyce said. "There's too much attention being focused on him and not enough attention being focused on the (Duke lacrosse) case itself."
As far as I know, Boyce is the first state-wide NC political leader of either party to publicly suggest it’s time for Nifong to consider resigning.
With Friday's affidavit filing, Brewer and those working with her accomplished everything I’ve noted in this post and more.
I’ll talk about “more” tomorrow.
Question for Nifong and his helpers: Can you think of a way for Nifong to excuse what he did without in the process making things worse for him by calling attention to everything he did in the first place?
Question for Brewer and her helpers: Will you all promise to keep doing the kinds of things you’re doing?
Message to Brewer and her helpers: Well done. Thank you.