Fri, Oct 30, 2009
Says Billings For Flights With A Friend Were Legitimate
The former Governor of North Carolina testified before the State
Board of Elections that invoices filed by a political ally for
flights on private aircraft had nothing to do with getting a break
on repairs for his home in Raleigh.
Mike Easley directly disputed the sworn comments made by McQueen
Campbell earlier this week. Campbell is a long-time Easley friend
whom Easley appointed to the N.C. State University board of
Television Station WRAL reports that the board is investigating
the possibility that Easley's campaign or the state Democratic
party violated campaign finance laws.
In his testimony, Campbell said Easley suggested he bill the
state for airplane flights he gave the then-Governor to pay for
repairs Campbell made on Easley's home. Campbell said two such
invoices were false, which would violate campaign laws. But Easley
denied having made such a suggestion to Campbell.
Easley, who left office in January, said he told Campbell in
2005 to pre-bill for flights he anticipated using, which is not
illegal under North Carolina law.
Easley did say he had asked Campbell to have repairs made on his
home in Raleigh, which he rented out while he occupied the
Governor's mansion. The home suffered water damage, but Easley said
he thought Campbell would bill the real estate company that was
managing the property.
The station reports that Campbell testified he had flown Easley
in his plane many times from 1999 to 2004, and that those flights
were never reported by the campaign committee. Campbell says those
flights were worth almost $88,000. Easley testified that Campbell
had been "paid in full" for those flights.
Easley has been under a cloud since leaving office in January
after 8 years as Governor. He is the first Governor to be called to
testify before the elections board.
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