RALEIGH (By Don Carrington, Carolina Journal Online) — Public records show that while former Gov. Mike Easley’s campaign organization has paid only $5,335 toward a $100,000 election law fine issued in October 2009, he has paid off a $494,000 mortgage loan for a Carteret County waterfront lot and borrowed several hundred thousand dollars against his Raleigh home since the fine was levied.
State law did not require Easley to pay the State Board of Elections fine from personal funds, but he publicly has accepted responsibility for filing false campaign reports. He eventually took a felony plea for failure to report aircraft travel donated by his friend, Raleigh businessman McQueen Campbell, and was forced to surrender his law license temporarily.
The State Bar has said it will restore the license at the end of 2012, and will not require Easley to pay any fines associated with his felony plea. It cited Easley’s claim to have accepted responsibility as a reason for letting him resume the practice of law.