State News

Board of Elections steps up Easley investigation

Posted May 14, 2009

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— The State Board of Elections, however, is stepping up its investigation into former North Carolina Mike Easley’s campaign finances.

The state Highway Patrol turned over on ThursdayEasley’s travel records from when he was governor, Capt. Everett Clendenin said.

The board is looking to see if reported free flights that Mike Easley took surpassed contribution limits.

Easley took at least 25 flights on private jets during his final six years in office. He didn't pay for some of the flights, and the value of other trips exceed state campaign contribution limits, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported in a story published Saturday.

Easley might have taken even more flights on private planes. Records from the Highway Patrol, which travel with and provide security for the governor, are missing for all of 2005 and other significant stretches, the paper reported.

The flights could break ethics and campaign finance rules. North Carolina law requires the disclosure of gifts over $200, and Easley didn't report some of the free flights. The law also prevents corporations from donating to campaigns and limits individuals to giving $4,000 to a candidate in an election cycle.

The market value of many of the flights appears to be over $4,000 or enough to top the legal limit when combined with other contributions.

It can cost up to $1,300 an hour to charter the kind of private plane the governor needs to travel.

Anyone found to have violated campaign fiance laws faces civil or misdemeanor criminal penalties.

10 Comments

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  • superman67112005 May 15, 2009

    Just look at the pic attached to this article, it says:
    "I am not a crook".......uh huh huh uh uh huh!

  • ORMA May 15, 2009

    All of the paperwork from 2005 is missing. Why am I not surprised? Don't politicians always shred incriminating information?

  • DML May 15, 2009

    A politician is a crook? You've got to be kidding me... and a Democrat at that... I thought they were for the little guy. I wonder what kind of dirt will come up about Bev when her run is said and done. Probably nothing since she's doing all of her unethical antics out in the open.

  • bikinibare May 15, 2009

    His wife is making enough money to bail him out of this one.;-)

  • are you kidding me May 15, 2009

    Call Raleigh Central, new occupant on the way!

  • Tax Man May 15, 2009

    They should add up all the amounts and then the theft would be a felony and our ex governor should do some time in Central Prison!

  • UNCfuturealumi May 15, 2009

    GETTING SWEETER ALL THE TIME.

  • WHEEL May 15, 2009

    What I want to know is who was the Patrol protecting Easley from. I would bet that without all the fanfare, half the citizens of N.C. wouldn't recognize him on the street and the other half wouldn't give a rats rear.

  • odell May 15, 2009

    Paper shredders come in real handy when you're a politician.

  • justiceforall May 15, 2009

    Plane, what plane? I was eating a cheeseburger.