Local News

Ex-Rep. Wright appeals second conviction

Posted November 16, 2009 7:08 p.m. EST

— Two weeks after the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a fraud conviction against former Rep. Thomas Wright, his attorneys were back before the court Monday appealing a second conviction.

The Wilmington Democrat is serving a 70- to 95-month prison term on charges of obtaining property by false pretense for mishandling charity contributions and obstruction of justice for failing to report $150,000 in campaign contributions.

Wright's attorney argued Monday that filing false campaign reports didn't amount to obstruction because there was no criminal investigation of him at the time. An attorney for the state disagreed, saying the ex-lawmaker knowingly tried to deceive the public.

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.