Gov. Mike Easley directed his campaign to pay for $11,000 in roof and bathroom repairs and other fix-ups at his personal residence in Raleigh, and he kept it secret from the public, according to testimony and records at a state elections board hearing Monday.
Easley's campaign also did not pay for scores of political flights he took from 1999 through 2004, according to a star witness who flew him around: longtime friend and supporter, McQueen Campbell.
Campbell, a pilot, said under oath that he provided free campaign flights for Easley that were valued at $87,895. Campbell said he also provided personal flights on his planes, such as a fishing vacation to Florida in 2005, that were valued at more than $14,000.
The testimony offered a new and startling round of disclosures about Easley, a Democrat who left office in January. The information fit a pattern that has emerged since last year: A former attorney general and two-term governor who accepted perks in possible violation of laws and ethics rules.
"It's about the stinkiest stuff I've heard," said Jane Pinsky, who leads a broad coalition of groups that has sought ethics and lobbying reforms in Raleigh. "It's all so distasteful."
The revelations have included the free flights, free dues at an exclusive golf club, a $137,000 discount on a coastal lot purchase and the disclosure that Easley was involved four years ago in creating a job for his wife at N.C. State University.
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