Courts & Crime

FBI seeks information on developers with tied to ex-N.C. Gov. Easley

Federal investigators are seeking information about possible payoffs to state officials, as well as four major coastal developments assembled by businessmen with ties to former Gov. Mike Easley.

In a round of subpoenas issued this week, the FBI contacted six officials from the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources and asked for specific information about whether they have been paid by a long list of people associated with developers Gary and Randy Allen.

A lawyer for Gary Allen said Thursday that the brothers qualified for their permits and other approvals by producing well-designed neighborhoods that merited approvals.

"There were no payments or gifts or favors given by the Allen brothers," said Raleigh lawyer Stephen Smith.

The subpoenas are part of a secret federal grand jury investigation. Little about the probe is public; charges may never be brought. The six subpoenas issued to the state environmental agency were made available Thursday because they were received by a state agency. Subpoenas seeking the same information are often issued to private individuals.

The grand jury meets next week. While the scope and nature of its inquiry are not known, investigators have sought information and summoned witnesses about a wide range of issues connected to Easley, a Democrat who left office in January. A lawyer for Easley said he could not comment. A spokesman could not immediately be reached.

The subpoenas were issued Tuesday and Thursday to a high-level environmental official who oversees most of the agency's regulatory matters; the now-retired director of the Division of Water Quality; a midlevel chief at the water quality section; and three lower-level officials who handle permits.

They specifically mention four waterfront developments spearheaded by the Allens: Cannonsgate in Carteret County, Summerhouse in Onslow County, Cutter Bay in Pamlico County and Oyster Harbour in Brunswick County.

To read the complete article, visit www.newsobserver.com.

Related stories from McClatchy DC

  Comments