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Easley will appeal firing by NCSU

Posted June 29, 2009

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— The lawyer for former first lady Mary Easley has notified North Carolina State University that she plans to challenge her recent firing.

The university's Board of Trustees terminated Easley's five-year contract June 8, ending her $170,000-a-year job as an executive-in-residence and senior lecturer.

Questions surrounding her hiring in 2005 and an 88 percent pay raise last year have caused a shake-up at the school, leading to several top university administrators, including the chancellor, resigning from their posts.

In a letter dated June 10, the chancellor of the university identified economic downturn and the elimination of the program where she worked as the reason for her termination.

Easley’s attorney, Marvin Schiller, wrote to the university Office of Legal Affairs Friday that “Ms. Easley is appealing her dismissal.”

Schiller wrote that a review of the grievance procedures on the university’s Web site left him with questions, and that he expected further discussion about Easley’s specific situation.

In dismissing Easley, interim Chancellor James Woodward made no mention of the controversy over her hiring and salary, writing only that the programs she was hired to administer would be "eliminated or severely reduced."

In response to Schiller's letter Monday, Woodward added, "As we reviewed our options for meeting the substantial budget reductions for this year, next year and the foreseeable future, it became clear to us that addressing such a severe loss of funding would require some elimination of programs.

"Programs that Mrs. Easley was hired to administer or participate in are among those that are being eliminated or reduced – specifically the Center for Public Safety Leadership and the Millennium Seminar Series.

"With this substantial loss of job responsibilities and on the advice of the N.C. State Board of Trustees, I terminated Mrs. Easley’s contract.

"Mrs. Easley may, of course, pursue whatever grievance process or legal action she now deems appropriate.”

The issue is a legal matter, and some attorneys have said it is easier to terminate a personnel contract on the grounds of budgetary restraints as opposed to cause.

Easley is not eligible for severance package.

Federal investigators have subpoenaed information about her job in connection with an investigation into the finances and influences of former Gov. Mike Easley.

Documents turned over to a federal grand jury include e-mails showing the former governor discussing a job at N.C. State for his wife.

N.C. State Chancellor James Oblinger, Provost Larry Nielsen and McQueen Campbell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, resigned from leadership positions at the university amid questions over their roles in her hiring. All three have denied any wrongdoing.


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  • rushbot Jul 1, 2009

    I am glad she is appealing the termination. More time to investigate, and who knows what might turn up... You have to be carefull what you ask for, sometimes you get it!

  • seaturtlesrule Jul 1, 2009

    I thought this "headline" was a joke!! Wow! This should be made into a movie~~~

  • oldschooltarheel Jul 1, 2009

    Hey - remember folks LOVED these folks enough to vote them in! These slime buckets are true eastern NC & the NC citizens voted the package in... because they were Democrats... well, here's yer sign! Show them the pure slef-interest you are made of Mary! Make ole Tony Rand & all your other cronies rich as all get out on the public dime. Then go cram in another $60 cheeseburger & onion rings (no not that foreign stuff like canteloupe & proscuitto).

  • grayboomerang Jun 30, 2009

    commonsensical....get a life. I'm tired of people policing grammer. Please, please show us how it should be done, since you are an expert.

  • grayboomerang Jun 30, 2009

    Mikie must have bought too many 60.00 Cheeseburgers and she needs to bring home some bacon..OH WAIT, that's right the tax payers paid for his cheeseburgers.

  • CrewMax Jun 30, 2009

    In this new Obama world, contracts don't mean anything.

  • dalejrfan4ever Jun 30, 2009

    Dave TonyNC I LOVE YOU MAN. Hit the nail on the head


  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jun 30, 2009

    It's amazing.

    She got the job through Nepotism because her husband was the governor.

    Three leaders of NCSU stepped down when this scandal was unveiled to the public. Only one that hasn't stepped down yet is Erskine Bowles.

    Now the Feds are investigating her employment.

    Seeing how illegal her employment was, it amazes me that she has the nerve to sue NCSU to keep the job.

    Mary and Mike Easley need to go away.

    The people of NC don't want them and are through with them.

  • Nikka Jun 30, 2009

    Why bother, she is gonna be in jail soon anyways.

  • RainierBeer Jun 30, 2009

    I bleed State red, but this may turn my blood a little blue-er.