In May I laid out for Spectator readers how former North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley, thanks to his powerful position, received: a break on a land deal; free air travel; free use of SUVs for himself and his family; and a high-paying job for his wife at NC State where she did next-to-nothing. Today the first indictment from a grand jury was handed down in the federal investigation -- a massive 51-count, 64-pager accusing his right-hand legal counsel, Ruffin Poole:
The 64-page indictment alleges that Poole, 37, of Raleigh, extorted money from key Easley supporters and took corresponding action on environmental permits. It charges him with bribery, use of the mail in aid of racketeering, and says his actions deprived North Carolina citizens of his "honest services."
The indictment says that Poole was a silent investor in development projects pushed by developers in Wilmington and Charlotte, making tens of thousands of dollars in profits on projects that he influenced in his government work. In his capacity as Easley's legal counsel, he pressed government officials for action on environmental permits on the projects he invested in, the charges say.
Easley, a Democrat, received a $137,000 discount on a coastal lot in North Carolina, undoubtedly thanks to one of these deals. Next!
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