Local Politics

NC State settles with former first lady

Posted December 1, 2012

— More than three years after her contract with North Carolina State University was terminated, Mary Easley, the former first lady of the state, has reached a deal to secure her state pension payments.

The documents became public this week, but the agreement was signed and payments made at the end of August.

Easley's job at NC State, for which she was paid $170,000 per year to serve as executive-in-residence and senior lecturer, came under scrutiny as  a federal grand jury investigated the dealings her husband, Mike Easley, had with friends and contributors while he was governor. She was dismissed without a buyout in June 2009. N.C. State gives Mary Easley 88 percent raise Archive: Mary Easley Investigation

In the course of the scandal, NC State Provost Larry Nielsen and McQueen Campbell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, also resigned.

Mary Easley filed a grievance, alleging wrongful termination, but new Chancellor Randy Woodson dismissed it.

An NC State spokesman on Saturday said the university agreed to the settlement to avoid the potential cost of litigation over what Easley was owed. 

Under the terms of the deal, State paid $75,000 into the North Carolina Teachers and State Employees Retirement System on Easley's behalf and continued her state health benefits through Sept. 1, 2012.

According to NC State, no taxpayer or tuition money was used to cover the costs of the settlement.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • superman Dec 3, 2012

    She lost her job and she was compensated over 100k. How much did it cost to continue her health insurance for 3 years? It doesnt make any difference what pocket the money came out of--it is still money that is no longer available.

  • bhenderson Dec 3, 2012

    My husband and I retired from state gov't with a combined 67 years of service. Our retirement together is less than Mary Easley's. We had four children that we put through college. We did not have anyone providing cars and insurance for them. We paid for them, even though they were "hoopdies". But hey, I can hold my head up high and go out in public without feeling embarassed and our children are very proud and appreciative of what we did for them.

  • thenightfly Dec 3, 2012

    This story lacks an important detail. She was a state employee before her job at NC State. Ready the newsandobserver story: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/11/30/2517289/mary-easleys-pension-soars-with.html#undefined

  • keifer Dec 3, 2012

    If the money did not come from the taxpayers, then who did it come from ?? WRAL should investigate.

  • remer54 Dec 3, 2012

    Its seems that all goverment employees get what they want from the people. Its a shame.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 3, 2012

    "According to NC State, no taxpayer or tuition money was used to cover the costs of the settlement."

    Nonsense. There is not a way to separate out the specific money. It is time for these Universities to stand on their own. The taxpayer must be set free from serfdom.

  • kiljadn Dec 3, 2012

    She shouldn't be getting money. She should be in prison.

  • vter53 Dec 3, 2012

    Why is she getting anything from the state retirement, unless I am mistaken she did not work for 5 years as required for vesting and also when a state employee is fired as she was I also do not believe that the state carries health insurance for the fired employee. Just as Mike Easley should not get anything other than what he put into the retirement fund being that he was convicted of a felony for misdeeds while on the states payroll.

  • XLAW Dec 3, 2012

    This is an insult to all career state employees who actually worked the years used as a multiplier in the retirement formula [and who actually provided a service to the state during those years] and a raid on the state employee retirement fund. The formula uses 1.82% of the 4 highest consecutive earning years multiplied by the number of years worked and giving her credit for 4 unworked years at the obscene and unjustified salary of $170,000 is short of delusional. I'm also curious as to the total number of years in the final multiplier to give her the announced final retirement. Love to see the computations.

  • ccsmith1902 Dec 3, 2012

    Easley's termination was justified. I thought that you had to be employed 5 years as a full-time employee to be vested. N&O needs to look into this!