Jury hears from Mary Easley co-worker

July 9, 2009 7:49:14 AM PDT
A grand jury heard more testimony in the Mike Easley investigation Wednesday. Federal prosecutors continue their probe into allegations that former governor Mike Easley engaged in political corruption while in office, including what role he played in his wife's hiring at NC Sate.

Former Mary Easley co-worker, Wendy Brown, took the stand Wednesday. She used to work for NC State University as a fundraiser, and she reportedly helped the First Lady raise money for the university's speaker series.

Brown told a local newspaper last month that when Easley approached people and companies for money, the First Lady implied that those sources owed the Easleys.

Brown declined to speak with reporters. However, her attorney, Philip Isley, said his client was at the courthouse for "a little chat with investigators."

It is believed that at least two other NC State officials have answered questions regarding Mary Easley's hiring, but only one university official has testified.

Former chancellor James Oblinger took the stand in June and former Provost Larry Neilson could be next.

Both Nielsen and Oblinger resigned from their positions amidst the controversy surrounding the First Lady's hiring. Mary Easley was fired on May 8.

Click here to read more about Oblinger's testimony

E-mails and other documents released last month confirm Mike Easley played a role in getting his wife a lecturer job at State in 2005, and her high paying job as a person who brought speakers to the university.

Click here to read more about the e-mail and documents

In June, the jury heard from the chair of the North Carolina State Ports Authority about his connection with a deal surrounding a Southport, NC marina and Mike Easley. That deal led to an ethics complaint against the former governor.

The Office of the State Auditor has also been subpoenaed in the investigation. It is not known who from that office may take the stand.

Investigators also continue to review the Easley family's travel records and personal property deals that were made while the governor was in office to see if any campaign laws were violated.

A Highway Patrol captain has already testified about those travel records.

The grand jury is scheduled to hear more testimony Thursday.


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