Ex Easley aid takes the Fifth

Ruffin Poole (center) and his attorney before the board (WTVD)

December 17, 2009 9:20:39 PM PST
A former aide to ex-North Carolina Gov.Mike Easley refused to testify before the State Board of Elections Thursday after he sought to halt the board's attempts to question him under oath.

Instead, Ruffin Poole claimed his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.

The board had wanted Poole to testify in October during a hearing into Easley's campaign finances, but Poole filed a motion seeking to quash his subpoena. A trial court judge agreed with Poole, but the state Court of Appeals issued a stay of that order.

The board has ordered Easley's campaign committee to pay $10,000 for previously undisclosed campaign air travel and it asked for further investigation into possible misuse of campaign funds.

Poole use to work at the same law firm as Easley, but according to McGuireWoods, Poole no longer works there as of Thursday.

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