Local News

Mary Easley files grievance over N.C. State firing

Posted July 23, 2009 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated July 23, 2009 5:28 p.m. EDT

— The wife of former Gov. Mike Easley on Thursday filed a grievance with North Carolina State University over her firing last month.

Mary Easley worked as an executive-in-residence at senior lecturer at the university from 2005 until Chancellor James Woodward terminated her contract last month. Woodward cited state budget cuts to programs she oversaw as the reason for the termination.

Questions about her hiring and an 88 percent raise she received last year have led to the resignations of former Chancellor James Oblinger, former Provost Larry Nielsen and McQueen Campbell, who was chairman of N.C. State's Board of Trustees.

All three have denied any wrongdoing, but a series of e-mails the university turned over to the grand jury show Campbell communicated with the governor about a potential job at N.C. State for Mary Easley and then worked with Oblinger and Nielsen to fashion a job for her.

Her hiring and promotion are among the issues being investigated by a federal grand jury looking into the former governor's dealings with friends and contributors.

The grand jury also has looked into vehicles provided by car dealers to the Easley family, the former governor's travel on private planes, his purchase of a waterfront lot in Carteret County at a below-market price and the sale of a marina in Southport to a group that included some Easley friends and contributors.