State News

Developer linked to Easley leaves toll road board

Posted January 25, 2010 1:52 p.m. EST
Updated January 25, 2010 6:35 p.m. EST

— A Wilmington developer politically connected to former Gov. Mike Easley has resigned from the North Carolina toll road authority a few days after leaving the Board of Transportation.

Lanny Wilson sent his resignation letter Monday to Senate leader Marc Basnight, who had picked him to join the North Carolina Turnpike Authority board of directors. Wilson was vice chairman.

Wilson's departure from the Board of Transportation came hours before a former Easley aide was indicted on 51 federal corruption charges. Government prosecutors allege Ruffin Poole accepted gifts from a "Wilmington financier" unidentified in the indictment.

The indictment said Easley appointed the financier to the transportation board in 2001, just as Wilson was. He was the only board member from Wilmington.

Wilson also raised campaign money for Gov. Beverly Perdue.

"This resignation is long overdue and should have been demanded by Gov. Perdue long ago,” state Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer said in a statement.

Fetzer also pushed for the resignation of Bob Wilson, a Perdue donor who sits on the commission that oversees implementation of the Coastal Area Management Act. Although Wilson wasn't named in the Poole indictment, details about his appointment to the CAMA board are included.

"The fact that much of this scandal revolves around the projects Bob Wilson is involved with, including those requiring CAMA permits, makes his appointment to the CAMA board and his continued holding of the post one of the most egregious aspects of this entire episode," Fetzer said.