Bar seeks discipline for Easley

Posted December 7, 2011

The North Carolina State Bar has filed a formal complaint against former Democratic Gov. Mike Easley, seeking disciplinary action for his conviction for campaign fraud.

Easley entered an Alford plea to one felony count of certifying a false campaign finance report in November 2010. In an Alford plea, a defendant pleads guilty, while maintaining his innocence, and admits it is in his best interest to take the plea deal because there is sufficient evidence to find him guilty.

According to the complaint, Easley's crime demonstrates professional unfitness, and the "conviction of a criminal offense showing professional unfitness is grounds for imposition of professional discipline." 

Easley's license was suspended last December, pending the conclusion of formal disciplinary proceedings. This appears to be the beginning of those proceedings.

Katherine Jean, the attorney representing the State Bar in the proceeding, says it's not unusual for formal disciplinary proceedings to take some time to get underway.

"It requires a thorough investigation," Jean explained. "That would be the case in any case with a criminal component, and the evidence to be reviewed can be voluminous." 

She couldn't say what disciplinary action the State Bar is seeking.

"It could go all the way from dismissal to disbarment," she said. Other actions the board could take include reprimand, censure and suspension.

Jean says the next step is for the chairwoman of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee to appoint a panel to hear the complaint. Once the panel is named, a hearing date will be set. Jean says it's typically about four months from the time a complaint is filed till the first hearing date.


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  • barbstillkickin Dec 9, 2011

    None of those politicians get any discipline. Heck us regular folks would have already been behind bars. Look at Purdue keeping that money for now collecting interest. Why do we not let burglars hold onto the cash until trial is over so they can collect interest or any one else with illegal things. Their world is a different world with different rules then ours.

  • Commen Dec 8, 2011

    Rockman55 is correct!

  • gnewsome1 Dec 8, 2011

    "Go Back to Illnois where the voters are so smart they elect two term Blagovevich" The same voters elected Obama to the Senate. Their ignorance must have rubbed off on a majority of the US electorate as they elected Obama President.

  • YippiYiyoKiYay Dec 8, 2011

    WHAT?...No way! Our legal system consist of elected lawyers setting the rules to sustain the practice of other lawyers who try their cases before judges who are former lawyers. It's like the AMA, they take care of the institution that is what it is. Easley just didn't pay somebody that thought they were owed for saving all the spoils he looted from his eight years as the overlord. Does anyone really think the NC Bar is going to do much of anything to a former powerdog gov? Look at Hunt, Perdue won't get any real justice either. Sit back down, it's just a farce.

  • bubbba Dec 8, 2011

    ignorant voters make it possible for people like Easley to hold public office. Plenty to go around here in NC
    Go home. Back to Illnois where the voters are so smart they elect two term Blagovevich.

  • arfamr1007 Dec 7, 2011

    ignorant voters make it possible for people like Easley to hold public office. Plenty to go around here in NC

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 7, 2011

    For one the state doesn't have deep pockets, the tax payer do. 2nd the take over of the yankee from up north is what has created a lot of the problems here in NC. Just being too free with the tax payers money. Brench marking is great, but ya kind of have to know who your bench marking against and the results. It's time to take our state back from the two party system that has created this mess, vote independant and make your vote count.

  • jrfergerson Dec 7, 2011

    Don't worry the Bar association will cover all their buddies - I do agree lakeyk1- Yes our politicians and government officials are full of greed and does have deep pockets

  • lakeyk1 Dec 7, 2011

    Check back into history and you will find that the majority of Government offices....State, Federal, Congress, Senate and President were held by Democrats. Yes, it is catching up with us. Our government has DEEP POCKETS....for real. lakeyk1

  • Shine -On Dec 7, 2011

    Why can't every TAX paying citizen enter and Alford Plea for ANY infraction? He puts his pants on one leg at the time just like everyone else. The Bar Assoc. has to stand up to the 'BAR' because the gov. couldn't. Too musch Clinton technology.