Local Politics

Two key state leaders under Easley appear at federal courthouse

Posted June 17, 2010

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— Two key members of former Gov. Mike Easley's cabinet appeared at the federal courthouse in Raleigh Thursday.

Jim Fain, who served as North Carolina Secretary of Commerce, and former Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett were seen entering and exiting the building, where a grand jury investigating Easley's dealings with friends and contributors was meeting.

The grand jury, which has been meeting for more than a year, was expected to hear testimony through Friday.

Fain arrived at the courthouse at about 10:40 a.m. and spent about two hours inside. Afterward, he would only say he had business at the courthouse but declined to elaborate.

Tippett was inside for about three hours.

There is no indication that either man has done anything wrong. Prosecutors subpoena witnesses they think might have evidence or knowledge relating to an investigation. Witnesses don't necessarily testify in court in Raleigh; they might turn over evidence or speak to federal investigators outside of court.

State Board of Elections decision in Easley inquiry Easley administration figures visit federal courthouse

Former Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner George Tatum and former DOT board members are among other "relevant parties" who have been subpoenaed to testify in the Easley investigation.

Ruffin Poole, once Easley's legal counsel, pleaded guilty last month to a federal tax evasion charge and agreed to cooperate with investigators. Wilson allowed Poole to invest in the Cannonsgate development in Carteret County in 2005, and Poole shepherded environmental permits for the development and other coastal projects while quickly making a $30,000 profit that he never reported on his income tax returns, prosecutors said.

Easley later purchased a waterfront lot in Cannonsgate at a below-market rate.

The grand jury also has looked into Easley's travel aboard donors' private planes, former first lady Mary Easley's high-paying job at North Carolina State University and other real estate deals.

Last fall, the state Board of Elections determined that Easley broke state campaign finance laws. Rowan County District Attorney Bill Kennerly is reviewing the case and expects to make a decision on whether to file criminal charges against the former governor sometime next month.

34 Comments

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  • the people Jun 18, 2010

    Favors get you elected,incarcerated,disbarred,and re-Elected!!!!!! New blood is needed!!!!!!! In state Goernment!!!!!! N.C will suffer as long as the same group connections get the votes!!!!!!!!!! Stop corruption ,2010; vote!!!!!! for some one new!!!!!

  • the people Jun 18, 2010

    Per day: how much is this costing N.C,tax pay ors???????? Can anybody say???????? Is it more than what justice will benefit from????????? Or is this not correct for us peasants to ask for ?????? Royalty still rules N.C.... Peasants are those not spending thousands to get elected to a low salary jobs!!!!

  • WHEEL Jun 17, 2010

    The Federal Proscutor is never going to finish this mess up because when he does he is out of a job.

  • Deacons Jun 17, 2010

    just put them all in jail and be done with it

  • the people Jun 17, 2010

    4-year term limits...........then take 4-year break-----so on ,so on...........top the crooks.........

  • beachboater Jun 17, 2010

    They need to send Easley and Company to Gitmo and let them await trial there. Shouldn't take more than a couple of years.

  • the people Jun 17, 2010

    All State workers are not CROOKS!!!!!!!!!! Just those with un checked power!!!!!!!! For 30-40 years,that's who take advantage of the system,and it never stop(s) till they leave Offfice!!!!!A camera is needed every Office is needed!!!!!! I could say more!!!!!

  • the people Jun 17, 2010

    Pack your tooth brushes ,boy's,girl's;take a vacation;to Butner!!!!Oklahoma,etc!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • the people Jun 17, 2010

    Some are so connected that they smell crooked if not!!!! I wonder what they have not found yet????!!!!!Eddie Carrol Thomas where's he in this??? Is he getting a subpoena ???? Is Colonel Holden being called ,and why he is not???? If not??? Why not??? Driving This old Thomas guy around,when SHP policy does not allow ride alongs unless you are SHP personell...Seems like a rat in the pudding some where!!!!???????? No party should be allowed to sit in Office so long as N.C,has had..Waste ,Waste is all you get!!! Connected get the raises..Also,the ole guy who got a 200,ooo retire ment ,who is he connected too???? This is the big Question??? Ask this at the Federal Building... No,State Employee will get that unless,you are Connected!!!! Investigations are begining to get real expensive here,no wonder State, County workers can get no raises!!!!!!!!!!!!!When will this corruption be stopped???????

  • Garnerwolf1 Jun 17, 2010

    You understand my argument completely incorrectly.

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