Local Politics

Easley campaign paid for vehicle feds are investigating

Posted April 20, 2009
Updated April 22, 2009

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— Former Gov. Mike Easley used campaign money to help pay for an SUV used by his son while Easley was in office, according to documents filed with the State Board of Elections.

According to published reports, federal authorities are investigating Easley's relationship with automobile dealers, including the apparent free use of vehicles by the former governor's family.

Bleecker sales ticket on Easley's GMC Yukon Feds looking into Easley family's vehicles

Easley couldn't be reached for comment Monday. Federal authorities wouldn't confirm or deny that an investigation is underway.

Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand confirmed to WRAL News that Fayetteville car dealer Bobby Bleecker has been contacted by federal investigators. One of Bleecker's dealerships provided a GMC Yukon for Michael Easley, the former governor's son.

Mike Easley paid Bleecker Olds/Buick/GMC in Red Springs $6,884 for the SUV on April 2, shortly after reports about the vehicle appeared in the media.

John Wallace, an attorney for the Mike Easley Committee, sent letters Friday and Monday to Gary Bartlett, executive director of the State Board of Elections, outlining the campaign's payment for SUV.

"The committee has determined that the vehicle in question was apparently made available for campaign use in connection with the 2004 primary and general elections," Wallace wrote. "It appears the vehicle was used for personal purposes after mid-2005."

About $6,710 in campaign money was used to pay Bleecker for the vehicle, according to the Friday letter.

On Monday, the Mike Easley Committee cut a check for $2,911 to the State Board of Elections to cover interest for the belated reporting of the use of the SUV. Wallace said several quarterly campaign-finance reports from 2003 to 2005 also have been amended to reflect the use of the vehicle.

Democratic political consultant Joe Sinsheimer, who played a role in the investigations that sent former House Speaker Jim Black and state Rep. Thomas Wright to prison, said he sees the early signs of a federal probe into Easley.

"Did the governor try to enrich himself at the same time he was being a public servant?" Sinsheimer said. "That is usually at the heart of most public corruption cases."

He said he believes investigators will also dig into a land deal Easley made with a private marina, as well as air travel supplied by the former governor's supporters while he was in office.

"My guess is that this inquiry will spread out pretty quickly," he said.

62 Comments

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  • james27613 Apr 21, 2009

    Can he share a cell with good old boy Jim Black ?

  • james27613 Apr 21, 2009

    What a disappointment this past Gov. and his family is.

    Disgrace to the State.

    What is up with his son, can't he afford a car within his means ?

    And Mrs. Easley got her pie job at NCSU while Coach Glance
    gets passed over for an outside hire.

    Nothing different here in NC, good old boy system in place,
    just like up north in NY.

  • illegals--GO HOME Apr 21, 2009

    Oh well, this does not suprise me one little bit. Politicians are the most crooked bunch ever!! Why do you think they spend so much money to get elected? It's not the salary they are after.....it's all the "pork" and "kick backs" and "freebies" they can get from everyone!!! Hope the Feds find what they need to prosecute.

  • cameragirl Apr 21, 2009

    It's about time that "Crook" Easley is investigated. Maybe he can join Jim Black in prison. They could even share a cell. He stole money from the good people of NC and now he is getting called on the carpet for what he has done. I wonder what he gave these people in return for all the "Reduced Prices/Free use" of items. Bet it had something to do with taxpayer money.

  • nufsaid Apr 21, 2009

    " I guess I am one of the RED NECK - Tea Party attenders that thinks enough is enough. I don't have a red neck, I have an MBA and I am a native of NC.
    Grandpeople"

    Watch out. You may be caught in the "right wing extremist" net the Obama administration has cast. Not that they are into profiling or anything.

  • RonnieR Apr 21, 2009

    Holding was let go by Obama, I don't think Hagan has come up with a candidate yet to replace him. She probably hasn't found replacements for the US Marshals yet eitehr.

  • Grandpeople Apr 21, 2009

    nufsaid
    Position - job whatever you want to call it - she is getting paid and the "position" should have never been created. Neither should the one Judy Easley has - she is the ex-wife of his brother Sandy - and Doctor who should have enough money to take care of her himself - but no - we the tax payer will be doing it till she dies. I guess I am one of the RED NECK - Tea Party attenders that thinks enough is enough. I don't have a red neck, I have an MBA and I am a native of NC.

  • nufsaid Apr 21, 2009

    "More media coverage is needed. All the news medias need to collectively keep this story in the public view. That way maybe the US Att'y George Holding can get started on an investigation before the Dems get Obama to replace him. Lying to the media is normal but lying to Federal Investigators is a crime in itself.

    Just ask him which story he wants to go by?
    marke3"

    The problem is that the majority of the media is in the tank for Obama. They now have a vested interest in making him seem like a success. No matter the cost to the USA.

  • didisaythat Apr 21, 2009

    Get rid of politician as a career. There is too much coruption when you are in an elected position. A couple of terms and then it is adios...oh sorry Goodbye...I was just in Miami and forgot to change back.

  • marke3 Apr 21, 2009

    More media coverage is needed. All the news medias need to collectively keep this story in the public view. That way maybe the US Att'y George Holding can get started on an investigation before the Dems get Obama to replace him. Lying to the media is normal but lying to Federal Investigators is a crime in itself.

    Just ask him which story he wants to go by?

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