Poole, Easley's general counsel while he was governor, claimed attorney client privilege and filed a lawsuit to quash a subpoena from the board in October. The board appealed when a judge agreed with Poole's position.
Despite not having Poole's testimony, the Board of Elections referred accusations of campaign finance violations by the Easley campaign to a special prosecutor.
Wednesday, Poole stepped down from the Golden LEAF Foundation board ahead of new ethics requirements for state boards and commissions ordered by Governor Beverly Perdue.
The new standards include a measure to remove gubernatorial appointees indicted for a felony or who refuse to cooperate with a state or federal investigation.
Poole said he was leaving because he was becoming a distraction to the foundation.
He will go before the state board of elections on December 17.
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