NC State blocks part of Easley job

May 29, 2009 8:37:12 AM PDT
Former North Carolina First Lady Mary Easley has been blocked from doing part of her controversial job at NC State.Citing budget problems, the school has put an academic center that was to study public safety leadership on hold.

The academic center is just one part of Easley's job description. She also runs a speakers program at the campus and teaches.

Easley was first hired by the school in 2005 to run the speakers series while her husband Mike Easley was still governor. Last year, she was given the additional responsibilities plus a 5-year contract that more than doubled her salary to $170,000 a year.

There have been repeated calls for her to step down following allegations the job was given to her as a political quid pro quo. The controversy has already forced the resignations of two high level school officials.

Easley has refused to resign - saying through her lawyer that she has gotten nothing but positive performance reviews. Attorney Marvin Schiller has vigorously denied her hiring was anything but above board and said she brought valuable skills to the job.

Easley and her husband are the subject of a wide ranging investigation of their activities by a grand jury and the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

They're looking at free trips plane trips that the Governor may have taken, his relationships with car dealers, and a land deal.

Governor Easley has refused interview requests, but did put out a statement saying he's "confident" in the outcome of the investigation and that he's looking forward to getting on with his private life.


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