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Charlotte Area News

Easley Gets $1,000 Fine In Plea Deal

Ex-Gov. Mike Easley agreed to a plea-bargain today and became a convicted felon for filing a false campaign finance report surrounding a $1,600 helicopter flight he never reported. In May 2009, we spoke with the reporter of the series that led to the criminal investigation of Easley. Listen to that story. The 2006 flight was provided by McQueen Campbell, a political ally whom Easley appointed to the North Carolina State Board of Trustees. Easley's punishment: A $1,000 fine. By entering an Alford Plea, Easley did not admit guilt but agrees there's enough evidence to convict him. The deal also gets the feds off his case. Federal prosecutors agreed to drop its investigation of Easley. News of a federal investigation surfaced after the Raleigh News and Observer reported in May 2009 that Easley didn't report extensive flight benefits he received from supporters. The state Board of Elections last year fined Easley's campaign $100,000 because failed to report numerous flights.