Local Politics

Easleys taking bath on coastal property

Posted January 19, 2011 12:41 p.m. EST

— Former Gov. Mike Easley and his wife are now underwater in a coastal real estate deal that was part of a federal investigation into Easley's friends and contributors while in office.

In 2005, the Easleys purchased a lot in the Cannonsgate development in Carteret County at a below-market price. A federal grand jury looked into whether that deal came in exchange for expedited state environmental permits for the project.

The depressed market for properties in Cannonsgate recently led the Carteret County tax office to value the Easley property at $225,412, less than half the price the couple said they paid for it. Even with a discount the Easleys reportedly received at closing, the lot is valued at almost $200,000 less than their investment in it.

Easley pleaded guilty in November to one state charge of certifying a false campaign finance report as part of a deal to end state and federal probes into his campaign finances. He was fined $1,000 but avoided a prison sentence.