Ace worries that the Bar’s setting him up for a wrist slap by punishing him for violating the rules about prejudicial pretrial statements instead of, say, these:

Rule 3.4 Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel

A lawyer shall not:

(a) unlawfully obstruct another party’s access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to do any such act;…

Rule 3.8 Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor

The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;…

(d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal;

They’ve had a file open on him since March, which makes me think maybe these were older charges that they’d already finished investigating and about which they felt confident enough to proceed. The accusation of suppressing evidence is more recent. It could be they haven’t gotten around to it yet and are planning to amend the complaint when they do.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Ace was right, though. State bars exist first and foremost to inflate the prestige of the profession. They’ve moved on Nifong now because they sense that public perceptions about his misconduct are threatening that prestige, but they have no incentive to expose just how shabby his behavior’s been. That’s why some people want to bring this out of their jurisdiction and into the state AG’s.

Four hundred complaints filed against him thus far, by the way. All things considered, I should say “only 400.”