Local Politics

Special Session on Wright Set

Posted March 11, 2008 1:19 p.m. EDT
Updated March 11, 2008 6:39 p.m. EDT

— Gov. Mike Easley on Tuesday called a special legislative session next week to discipline embattled state Rep. Thomas Wright.

A special legislative committee last week found Wright, D-New Hanover, guilty of six counts of ethical misconduct and recommended that he be removed from office.

Wright is accused of mishandling about $340,000 in campaign contributions, loans and charitable donations. The legislative panel found him guilty of the following violations:

  • not reporting $180,000 in campaign contributions
  • using his position to influence a state official to write a letter to help him obtain a $150,000 loan for a real estate deal in Wilmington
  • diverting almost $19,000 in contributions and loans into his personal accounts when they were supposed to go to a nonprofit organization he directs

Wright, who has denied any wrongdoing, also faces criminal fraud and obstruction charges stemming from the same allegations.

The special session will convene at 10 a.m. March 20.

The General Assembly hasn't expelled a sitting lawmaker since 1880.