Judge won't dismiss charges against Easley aide

Former attorney for Gov. Mike Easley, Ruffin Poole arrives at a N.C. State Board of Elections hearing in downtown Raleigh on Monday, Oct. 26, 2009. (Chris Seward)
April 1, 2010 10:11:51 AM PDT
U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle has declined to dismiss any of the felony charges against former Governor Mike Easley aide Ruffin Poole.

Boyle said he found no fault with 57-count indictment filed by federal prosecutors against Poole earlier this year.

The 38-year-old served as a personal assistant and special counselor to the former governor.

Poole is accused of participating in a pay-to-play scheme, in which a real estate developer would give him lavish gifts and secret investments in order to ensure various permitting issues were resolved. Prosecutors say he helped move along state permits for coastal housing projects while receiving gifts and making a sizable investment return on two of the subdivisions involved.

Poole's attorney asked Boyle last month to throw out 51 counts, arguing prosecutors failed to allege essential elements of crimes and made other errors. Boyle said the indictment was adequate and contained necessary allegations to charge Poole.

A trial could begin April 26.

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