Local Politics

NC State settles with former first lady

Posted December 1, 2012 12:59 p.m. EST
Updated December 1, 2012 1:04 p.m. EST

— More than three years after her contract with North Carolina State University was terminated, Mary Easley, the former first lady of the state, has reached a deal to secure her state pension payments.

The documents became public this week, but the agreement was signed and payments made at the end of August.

Easley's job at NC State, for which she was paid $170,000 per year to serve as executive-in-residence and senior lecturer, came under scrutiny as  a federal grand jury investigated the dealings her husband, Mike Easley, had with friends and contributors while he was governor. She was dismissed without a buyout in June 2009.

In the course of the scandal, NC State Provost Larry Nielsen and McQueen Campbell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, also resigned.

Mary Easley filed a grievance, alleging wrongful termination, but new Chancellor Randy Woodson dismissed it.

An NC State spokesman on Saturday said the university agreed to the settlement to avoid the potential cost of litigation over what Easley was owed. 

Under the terms of the deal, State paid $75,000 into the North Carolina Teachers and State Employees Retirement System on Easley's behalf and continued her state health benefits through Sept. 1, 2012.

According to NC State, no taxpayer or tuition money was used to cover the costs of the settlement.