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Ex-Easley Aide Gets One-Day Prison Reprieve

Ruffin Poole, a former top aide to ex-Gov. Mike Easley, was to report to prison in Pensacola, Fla., on Tuesday, but he got another day of freedom thanks to mechanical problems on a plane, WRAL-TV reports. Poole is sentenced to serve a year in prison for tax evasion. He pleaded guilty last year before was to go on trial on 57 charges related to public corruption. From the WRAL report: The charge stemmed from $30,000 Poole made on a coastal investment and didn't report in 2005. It was uncovered during a two-year federal investigation into Easley's dealings with friends and contributors while in office. Federal authorities alleged that Poole became known among Easley's top contributors as "Little Governor" because he was the person tasked with resolving any problems donors faced with state regulators and with lining up appointments for them to serve on state boards and commissions. In exchange for his work, the donors showered Poole with gifts. He also was allowed to invest in coastal real estate developments at the same time as he was working to secure permits for those projects from state regulators, according to federal indictments.