Local Politics

Environmental officials subpoenaed in Easley probe

Posted September 16, 2009

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— Two state environmental regulators have been called to testify before a federal grand jury, including one who examined the permit for a development where then-Gov. Mike Easley bought some land four years ago.

Federal prosecutors in Raleigh asked Nathaniel Thornburg and Jim Bushardt to visit the grand jury, which was slated to meet Wednesday.

A state Division of Water Quality document shows Thornburg was the primary reviewer of a 2005 wastewater treatment license for Connonsgate, a Carteret County development where Easley later purchased a waterfront lot at a below-market price.

Thornburg and Bushardt are involved in express permitting, in which licensing decisions are performed more quickly compared to traditional permitting. The applicant must pay higher fees to receive the more intensive attention. There has been no evidence released that Cannonsgate received preferential treatment.

The grand jury has been examining Easley's dealings with friends and contributors while in office. In addition to the land deal, federal investigators are looking at Easley's travel while he was governor, vehicles that car dealers provided to the Easley family, former first lady Mary Easley's high-paying job at North Carolina State University, the state's sale of a Southport marina to a group that included political contributors and Division of Motor Vehicles moves that might have benefited a political contributor.

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  • beachboater Sep 17, 2009

    It seems to become more clear every year that North Carolina has got one really corrupt government. It really is a shame when the taxpayers and citizens get the impression of a corrupt government.

    Even if it turns out to not be corrupt, (highly doubtful) something was done to give the people that idea. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.....................

  • jet2rdu Sep 17, 2009

    "The grand jury has been examining Easley's dealings with friends and contributors while in office. In addition to the land deal, federal investigators are looking at Easley's travel while he was governor, vehicles that car dealers provided to the Easley family, former first lady Mary Easley's high-paying job at North Carolina State University, the state's sale of a Southport marina to a group that included political contributors and Division of Motor Vehicles moves that might have benefited a political contributor."

    As the last sentence of this series of WRAL articles, shown above, gets longer, you can wonder what the real length of the real final "sentence" will be.

    North Carolina, thanks to our Democratic leaders, past and present, makes New Jersey look more like Vatican City.
    North Carolina is the New New Jersey.

  • SailbadTheSinner Sep 16, 2009

    “...involved in express permitting, in which licensing decisions are performed more quickly compared to traditional permitting.”

    For those of the general public that don’t know, express permitting is a process whereby you pay ADDITIONAL money to get the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to do the job that they are being paid to do in a timely manner.

    IMHO, it’s a legalized form of extortion ....

    STS

  • WHEEL Sep 16, 2009

    No current State employee is going to roll over on either of the Easleys. With that bunch of crooks in power in Raleigh it would be shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Chipperoo Sep 16, 2009

    Maybe the State should be using surveillance on the ones in these high positions like the governor and catching their illegal acts and waste of taxpayers money before they leave office. All these perks should have be scrutinized a long time ago. Guess the new Governor had a good teacher since she is already wasting taxpayers money on multiple offices, doctors, etc. Such a disappointment in our local government!!

  • dewnit4fun Sep 16, 2009

    DID HE USE OUR TAX MONEY FROM THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND ON THAT PURCHASE ?

  • Tax Man Sep 16, 2009

    Keep the pressure on! Need to see some criminal results here for both Mr & Mrs Easley. Our state deserves better and they need to do some prison time to make it right!