Easley seeks to regain law license

Posted January 8, 2013 2:16 p.m. EST
Updated January 8, 2013 2:30 p.m. EST

— Former Gov. Mike Easley is trying to win back his law license, following his November 2010 conviction for campaign finance fraud.

Easley's law license was suspended shortly after the guilty plea, pending the conclusion of formal disciplinary proceedings.

Last January, the North Carolina State Bar ordered that the suspension remain in place for another year. A disciplinary panel voted against disbarring Easley, determining that there was no evidence that Easley knew the details of his campaign finance reports, he took responsibility for the shortcomings of his campaign and he expressed remorse.

With the suspension period over, Easley filed a petition last Friday with the State Bar to have his license reinstated, officials said. There was no word on when any action would be taken on the request.

Easley entered an Alford plea to one felony count of certifying a false campaign finance report. 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.

The charge stemmed from omitting an October 2006 campaign flight, which was provided by a long-time supporter, from quarterly reports.

The State Board of Elections ordered Easley's campaign in 2009 to pay $100,000 for dozens of flights the former governor took aboard donors' private planes during the 2000 and 2004 campaigns.