Local News

Another delay in Easley investigation

Posted November 9, 2010 3:49 p.m. EST
Updated November 9, 2010 4:11 p.m. EST

— More than a year after the State Board of Elections turned its findings of financial violations by the campaign of former Gov. Mike Easley over to prosecutors to determine whether to pursue criminal charges, it remains unclear when, or if, any charges will be filed.

Rowan County District Attorney Bill Kenerly, who was named to examine the case, said Tuesday that there's a hitch in the investigation, but he declined to elaborate. Kenerly had said earlier that he expected to announce this week whether he would seek charges in the case.

In October 2009, the elections board ordered Easley's campaign to pay $100,000 for dozens of flights the former governor took aboard donors' private planes during the 2000 and 2004 campaigns. Most of the fine will go unpaid because the campaign has run out of money and the elections board has no authority to seek payment from the personal accounts of Easley or campaign officials.

A federal grand jury also has been investigating since early 2009 Easley's dealings with friends and contributors while in office. In addition to the campaign flights, it's believed the grand jury, which operates in secret, has looked at coastal real estate deals and a high-paying job former first lady Mary Easley had at North Carolina State University.