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Campaign cash fixed Easley's house

McQueen Campbell testified that Gov. Mike Easley used campaign cash to make repairs to his Raleigh home.

Campbell said that Easley asked him to take care of repairs to his home on
two separate occasions. When Campbell later asked for repayment of
thousands of dollars for doing the work, Easley encouraged him to bill
his campaign for flights.

"I just remember understanding what he
was saying, for me to bill the campaign for unbilled flights to cover
those amounts," Campbell said.

"The Easley campaign and its contributors actually paid for the repairs to Gov. Easley's home," Leake said.

"That's correct."

Campbell then testified that Easley received $5,400 from his insurance company
to cover the costs of those repairs. The insurance money didn't go to
Campbell, and it is unclear who kept the money.

Campbell assumed campaign would report flights

The State Board of Elections called McQueen Campbell to testify.

The board began its questioning of the developer and friend to
former Gov. Mike Easley by asking about the times Campbell used his
private aircraft to fly the governor around.

Campbell testified that Easley never personally asked for flights. He always dealt with someone at the campaign.

Campbell testified that the flights included many campaign stops, but also personal business, such as a Carolina Panther's game.

Hearing begins with closed session

The State Board of Elections opened a hearing into the campaign finance activity of former Gov. Mike Easley.

Board of Elections chairman Larry Leake called the hearing to order right at 11 a.m., recognized the attorneys representing the various parties involved in the case. Leake then moved the board into a closed session to discuss how to proceed with its criminal inquiry.

David Long, a lawyer for Easley's campaign, rose to question whether Leake meant to call the hearing "criminal."

Sunday story: McQueen Campbell faces questions

Some new details were included in the Sunday print edition story in advance of the elections hearing involving Mike Easley. One is how McQueen Campbell and his one-time mentor, Steve Stroud, ended up on opposite sides of a land deal. The story shows that Campbell and Gary Allen, who was part of the Cannonsgate development in which Easley got a lot, were offering "under the table" money to win another deal. The story discloses that real estate commission investigators have been asking about it.

State board issues subpoenas

The state board has issued subpoenas for the Easley hearing. They include a "who's-who" of the state Democratic Party. Read story here.

Gov. Easley played role in wife's hiring at NCSU

New documents released today from N.C. State show that while he was Governor, Mike Easley played a role in the hiring of his wife, Mary Easley, at NCSU.

The documents trace e-mail communications between James Oblinger, the NCSU Chancellor who resigned just this morning, and McQueen Campbell, an Easley family friend and NCSU trustee. The e-mail string also includes comments from Easley advisor Dan Gerlach and others.

Read more here.


Campbell resigns at NCSU

McQueen Campbell, whose close ties to former Gov. Mike Easley were the subject of a News & Observer investigation, has resigned as chair of N.C. State's board of trustees.

In doing so, he insisted he's done nothing improper.


Turmoil at N.C. State

Things are unraveling over at N.C. State.

Provost Larry Nielsen has resigned and UNC system President Erskine Bowles wants the chair of NCSU's board of trustees, McQueen Campbell, to step down as well in the wake of News & Observer reporter Andy Curliss' reporting on the university's links to former Gov. Mike Easley.

Campbell, it should be pointed out, is a lame duck chairman. His term is over in a matter of weeks. 

But Bowles said Thursday he was surprised that Campbell played any sort of role in the controversial hiring at NCSU of then-First Lady Mary Easley, who directs a speaker series and has other duties as well.


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