Durham DA Mike Nifong to Leave Office in July

The prosecutor disbarred for his handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case has told the governor he will leave office next month, according to a letter released Monday.

Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Mike Easley, saying he would quit July 13. There was no immediate word on whom Easley will chose to replace Nifong.

"Consistent with my publicly-announced intention, I am writing to tell you that I am resigning my elected position," Nifong wrote in a letter dated Sunday.

A disciplinary committee disbarred Nifong on Saturday, finding he had lied to the court, made inflammatory statements about the three indicted lacrosse players and their teammates, and withheld DNA evidence from defense attorneys.

In all, the panel found that Nifong broke more than two dozen rules of professional conduct — a decision that will result with Nifong turning in his law license.

During tearful testimony Friday in his own defense, Nifong stunned his staff at the district attorney's office and his own lawyers by announcing he would resign.

Nifong also sent a resignation letter to Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, who is overseeing a pending request to remove Nifong from office.

"It is my fervent hope that this action will spare this community the further anguish a removal hearing would entail and will allow the healing process to move forward," Nifong wrote.