|Name||Michael "Mike" Nifong|
Durham, North Carolina , United States
|| September 14, 1950
Mar 24, 2016 10:45pm
Convicted - Disbarred -
|Info||A life-long resident of North Carolina, District Attorney Mike Nifong was born in Wilmington, where he graduated from New Hanover High School. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a Herbert W. Jackson scholarship, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with an A.B. degree in Political Science in 1971. |
Although he had decided on an eventual career in law while still in high school, Nifong worked for his first year after graduation from UNC as a teacher of mathematics and boys’ physical education in Southport. This was followed by a three-year stint as a social worker with the New Hanover County Department of Social Services in Wilmington before he finally enrolled in the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1975.
It was during this period of time that he began his involvement with youth baseball, a passion that has continued for more than three decades.
Upon graduation from the UNC School of Law and admission to the North Carolina Bar in 1978, Nifong sought a position as an Assistant District Attorney on the theory that it would be the best ticket to what he foresaw as a career in litigation. Initially unable to find such a job within the geographic confines of his search area, he volunteered to serve as an unpaid attorney with the District Attorney’s Office in Durham beginning in October 1978. That choice proved to be fortuitous, as District Attorney Dan K. Edwards, Jr., quickly secured funds to pay him on a full-time per diem basis.
When a vacancy finally occurred in a permanent ADA slot in Durham in April, 1979, it was offered to Nifong. He has been there ever since. By June of 1979, he had worked his way up to Superior Court, where he amassed a record of more than three hundred felony jury trials (nearly a quarter of which involved homicides) over the next two decades. In the years since 1999, he has experienced a decrease in courtroom involvement and a corresponding increase in administrative responsibilities and policy development.
In the course of his career as a prosecutor, Nifong has worked for three different District Attorneys, serving as Chief Assistant under both Ronald L. Stephens and James E. Hardin, Jr., both of whom now serve as Superior Court Judges. He was appointed District Attorney for Durham by Governor Mike Easley on April 18, 2005, and was sworn into that position on April 27, 2005.
Mike Nifong lives with his wife Cy Gurney (a regional coordinator for the Guardian ad Litem program), son Bryan (a student at Riverside High School), and dog Tillie (an Australian Shepherd) in a quiet neighborhood in northern Durham County, just across the street from the Eno River State Park. An adult daughter, Sarah, lives in Charlotte.