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Former NC lawmaker gets probation for misspent campaign money

Posted May 19

— A former North Carolina legislator who was sentenced earlier this week to prison for improper use of campaign funds was given probation Friday on similar state charges.

Former Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, R-Cabarrus, was indicted last year on three felony counts of filing false campaign reports. He pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to up to 18 months on unsupervised probation as part of a plea deal.

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced Hartsell to eight months in prison after he pleaded guilty to federal tax and fraud counts. An investigation alleged he used more than $200,000 in campaign funds for his personal benefit. The probe found Hartsell used the funds on such items as vacations, speeding tickets and haircuts.

Hartsell was the longest-serving senator when he decided not to seek re-election last fall after 26 years.

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  • Norman Lewis May 20, 11:56 a.m.
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    So he stole $200,000 from his campaign fund and he gets basically a slap on the wrist? 8 months in prison for stealing $200,000. Wow, the burglar who stole $200 and got 3 years is probably upset right now. This type of thing continues because they know there is really no penalty. With "time served" and other reductions, likely, he will spend only a token week or two in jail.