Politics & Government

N. Carolina SBI investigating ex-Gov. Easley

RALEIGH — The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating former Gov. Mike Easley.

Attorney General Roy Cooper's office confirmed in a letter Monday to Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger that the SBI is working alongside the FBI in examining Easley's activities.

In addition, federal officials have sought testimony or evidence related to a Carteret County land development where Easley bought a lot, car dealers who provided free vehicles to Easley and the N.C. State University officials who hired Easley's wife and gave her an $88,000 raise.

"Attorney General Cooper earlier this year directed the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate matters related to the former Governor and other issues," wrote Kristi Hyman, Cooper's chief of staff. "Our agents have been working with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

Cooper oversees the SBI, which also worked with federal agents on the prosecution of former House Speaker Jim Black in 2007.

Cooper and Easley are both Democrats. Berger argued that Cooper should appoint a special prosecutor, saying that the federal statute on public corruption is five years and some of the questions raised about Easley's conduct involve events that took place more than five years ago. A state court may be the only place to pursue the investigation, he said.

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

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