Rocky Mount Telegram: Easley's response to probe an embarrassment to state
Rocky Mount Telegram Editorial
October 30, 2009
Former Gov. Mike Easley’s contradiction of testimony from a friend and political ally about airplane flights and home repairs before the N.C. State Board of Elections will do nothing to polish his tarnished legacy.
The elections board on Friday penalized the former governor’s campaign $100,000 and asked prosecutors to investigate whether any laws have been broken. Federal prosecutors also are investigating the matter.
In his testimony Wednesday before the board, Easley denied that he had ever told McQueen Campbell to use bills for campaign flights to hide thousands of dollars in reimbursements from campaign funds to pay for repairs Campbell oversaw on the governor’s home.
Easley told board members that he was busy with his job in the state’s highest office and had to rely on his campaign staff to deal with finances.
That does nothing to exonerate the former governor — for as he should know only too well, the responsibility for the running of a campaign ultimately falls on the candidate, not on his or her staff.
It appears clear that Easley either abdicated or has pretended to abdicate responsibility for too many decisions about his campaign to other people. As a governor and a former attorney general, he should be well aware of the importance of avoiding any hint of impropriety in the conduct of his office.
Regardless of where local or federal prosecutors ultimately take this case, Easley’s handling of these matters is an embarrassment to the state. …Tweet