RALEIGH — Former First Lady Mary Easley has begun a formal grievance process regarding termination of her contract by Chancellor Jim Woodward at N.C. State University.
Easley's contract was terminated in June after The News & Observer wrote a series of articles about how she was hired and an 80 percent raise she received.
Woodward says Easley's contract was terminated because substantial portions of her job were eliminated as a result of budget cuts required of the university by the shortfall in the state’s budget, according to a news release from N.C. State University.
A federal grand jury is investigating issues connected to Gov. Mike Easley, including Mary Easley's hiring at NCSU. Federal authorities have subpoenaed N.C. State University seeking documents about Mary Easley's jobs at N.C. State University. Former NCSU Chancellor James Oblinger and former NCSU Provost Larry Nielsen testified before the grand jury this month.
Easley had worked at NCSU full time since 2005, first leading a speakers series, and then in an expanded role since 2008 that paid her $170,000 per year. She was fired amid controversy last month.
Both Oblinger and Nielsen resigned from their posts amid the controversy over Easley's hiring. Former NCSU Board of Trustees Chairman McQueen Campbell also resigned.
In the news release, Woodward said the grievance hearing will be closed but that the university would share the outcome, the release said.
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