Easley subpoenaed for hearing

October 23, 2009 3:26:10 PM PDT
Former Governor Mike Easley has been subpoenaed to appear at a state board of elections hearing next week for a review of his campaign finances. Easley is one of 28 people called to testify at the hearing that begins Monday.

Click here for the full list of witnesses (.pdf)

Also on the witness list is Highway Patrol Captain Alan Melvin, who headed Easley's security detail from 2003 to 2007, and the man who was involved in keeping records of Easley's travel.

Other notable names include political contributor Dell Murphy, a farmer and son of pork baron and N.C. State booster Wendell Murphy, former state DOT board members Lannie Wilson and Cameron McRae, and former Democratic Party officials Jerry Meek and Scott Falmlen.

The board plans to dig into Easley's campaign fundraising and spending. The campaign filed amended finance reports in April after it failed to disclose a vehicle provided to the campaign by a car dealer. There have also been reports of travel on the private planes of contributors - something that has to be counted as a contribution under campaign finance rules.

Former agriculture commissioner Meg Scott Phipps and legislators Jim Black and Thomas Wright all went before the NC Board of Elections and ended up behind bars.

"They [the BOE] will ask questions," said Gary Bartlett, executive director of NC Board of Elections. "Witnesses will provide documents. They will also provide testimony. We will try to get the truth, make it public."

The hearing is expected to last a week. When it's over, the board will have several options.

"There could be exoneration," Bartlett explained. "There could be a rebuke. There could be a civil fine."

And there could be a referral to the district attorney at the Wake County Courthouse. That's exactly what happened in the Phipps, Black and Wright cases.

Although those three were convicted in state court, Phipps and Black already had been the subject of federal investigations. They all served time in federal prison.

Easley also is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation, but he has denied all of the allegations that have surfaced.

When previously asked by ABC 11,"Any implication that you were violating ethics laws is incorrect?"

Easley replied, "Ridiculous. Ridiculous."

Most of the corruption allegations against Easley would likely land him in state or federal criminal court. In addition to the use of free cars, Allegations include getting his wife a high paying job at NC State and a sweetheart deal on coastal property.

No matter the outcome of next week's hearings, the board of elections will have provided an important service, according to Bartlett.

"The biggest winner of this is the public because they have the right to know what happened," Bartlett said.

And even if the election board exonerates Easley, the federal investigation will continue.

You can watch llive coverage of the hearing on abc11.com beginning Monday.

Send pictures | Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts
Most Popular  |  Follow abc11 on Twitter  |  abc11 on Facebook


Load Comments