Just when you think it can’t get any weirder in North Carolina politics, it does. No, I’m not alluding to John Edwards and his lime green wallet-swiping fetish. I’m referring to scandals too numerous to count surrounding former Democratic Governor Mike Easley.
Easley’s former communications director, Sherri Johnson, said in a sworn deposition made public this week that the former governor kept a private, secret e-mail account that he used to conduct state business. Apparently, it was a way for Easley, who is the subject of a federal investigation, to (illegally) avoid having his e-mails examined by media outlets (including my own) that file public records requests.
Easley’s address: Nick Danger spelled backwards.
Meanwhile, Johnson testified that Easley orchestrated the high-tech lynching of a former state government press officer, Debbie Crane, who ratted on Easley. Crane said the former governor and his team ordered public records, including e-mails, to be destroyed. At the time, Easley’s spokesman called Crane a lair. Now, Crane considers that designation an honor — coming from Mike Easley, at least.
Adding insult to injury, Easley’s former attorney and right-hand-man was indicted on 51 corruption counts in January and made his first court appearance last week.
North Carolina isn’t to Chicago territory yet, but we’re getting there.