DURHAM, N.C. (AP) _ A judge ordered Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong on Monday night to leave his duties immediately after he was disbarred for his misconduct in the Duke University rape case.
The veteran prosecutor had announced earlier in the day he would leave July 13. But that wasn't soon enough for Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, who decided to immediately suspend Nifong from office.
As part of the suspension, Hudson said he would order the sheriff to prevent Nifong from carrying out any duties of the district attorney.
``I have thought about the situation, and this is way I wish to proceed,'' Hudson said.
A disciplinary committee of the North Carolina State Bar concluded Saturday that Nifong had lied to the court, made inflammatory statements about the three indicted lacrosse players and their teammates, and withheld critical DNA evidence from defense attorneys. After some administrative steps, Nifong will have 30 days to turn in his law license.
Duke suspended Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans after they were charged last year with raping a stripper at an off-campus party. The university also canceled the team's season and forced their coach to resign.
The allegations were debunked in April by state prosecutors, who said the players were the innocent victims of a ``tragic rush to accuse'' by Nifong.