Local News

Court upholds fraud conviction of ex-Rep. Wright

Posted November 3, 2009 10:26 a.m. EST
Updated November 3, 2009 3:52 p.m. EST

— The North Carolina Court of Appeals Tuesday upheld the fraud conviction of former Rep. Thomas Wright, a Wilmington Democrat.

Wright is serving a 70- to 95-month prison term on charges of obtaining property by false pretense and obstruction of justice.

His lawyers appealed those convictions saying juries that found him guilty of mishandling charity contributions and failing to report $150,000 in campaign contributions were tainted by pre-trial publicity.

The appellate judges said Wright failed to prove any error by the trial judge in his fraud trial. The court will hear his appeal in the obstruction of justice case on Nov. 16.

Prior to his criminal trials, Wright was expelled from the state House for ethics violations. He was the first lawmaker tossed out of the General Assembly since the 1880s.