Local Politics

Easley aide to appear before elections board

Posted December 9, 2009

— An aide to former Gov. Mike Easley is scheduled to appear before the State Board of Elections next week.

Ruffin Poole, who served as Easley's lawyer during the governor's two terms in office, will attend a Dec. 17 hearing, elections board Executive Director Gary Bartlett said Wednesday.

The board subpoenaed Poole in October to testify during its hearing into alleged campaign finance violations by Easley and his campaign, but Poole convinced a Superior Court judge to quash the subpoena. He argued that his testimony could violate the legally protected conversations he had with Easley as his attorney.

The state Court of Appeals overturned the judge's decision, ruling that Poole should comply with the subpoena because he was a government lawyer and not Easley's personal attorney.

The court's ruling came after the elections board turned the findings of its five-day hearing over to Wake County prosecutors, saying evidence from the hearing "suggests" criminal violations by Easley and possibly others.

The board also ordered Easley's campaign to forfeit $60,000 and fined the campaign another $40,000 for violations of campaign finance law related to unreported flights that major donors provided to Easley aboard their private planes.

Elections board Chairman Larry Leake said at the time that the hearing would be held open to allow members to hear from Poole.

5 Comments

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  • beachboater Dec 10, 11:15 a.m.

    I hope this is not just a fishing expedition. If Easley is guilty, and it appears that he might well be, then he needs to be punished.

  • streetfightinman Dec 9, 6:11 p.m.

    He looks like a snake, make him testify, then put all involved
    in jail.

  • dbcooper41 Dec 9, 4:10 p.m.

    "but Poole convinced a Superior Court judge to quash the subpoena. He argued that his testimony could violate the legally protected conversations he had with Easley as his attorney."
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    this directly contradicts the judges initial ruling. he specifically said his was NOT based on attorney/client priveledge. so what's up? check out the document. a link is next to the story. i think this will be the story that finally gets easley his just desserts.

  • Tax Man Dec 9, 4:05 p.m.

    Just move this forward and send Mr Easley off to prison where he should be!

  • macdaddie4 Dec 9, 4:05 p.m.

    They have had enough time to get their stories right now.