Local Politics

Easley hearing readies for Day 2

Posted October 27, 2009 7:35 a.m. EDT

— The State Board of Elections is scheduled to resume a hearing into the campaign finances of former Gov. Mike Easley Tuesday. The board is trying to determine if Easley or the state Democratic party broke campaign finance laws.

Monday's testimony, from Easley supporters and campaign staff, seemed to suggest the campaign benefited from donations to the state party and even that Easley paid for home repairs with campaign donations.

McQueen Campbell, a long-time Easley friend, told the board that he took the former governor on trips in his private plane, but was never reimbursed.

Campbell also testified that he arranged for more than $10,000 in repairs to Easley's Raleigh home. When he asked the governor for money, Campbell testified, Easley implied he should instead bill for the flights. Easley campaign secretary Rebecca McGhee backed up that claim, testifying that Easley told her to cut the check even though she questioned the invoices.

Attorney Tom Hicks vigorously denied Campbell's charge. "The governor did not authorize or advise him in any way whatsoever ... to file any kind of false or fraudulent invoices to the campaign. he did not do that. that did not happen," he said.

Almost 30 people have been subpoenaed to appear during the hearing, which the board estimated will take about a week.

WRAL News will provide live coverage daily beginning at 9:30 a.m., along with expert analysis, on WRAL.com, WRAL Mobile, over-the-air channel 50.3 and Time Warner Cable channel 252.