Gov. Mike Easley says it wasn't his idea to slip out of the Capitol last week to dodge reporters' questions about his administration's oversight of the state's troubled mental health system.
"Security says we're going out this door and I go out that door," said Easley, responding to a question Sunday at a meeting of the state's editorial writers, reports Michael Biesecker.
When two N&O reporters and a videographer staked out the governor's waiting SUV after a media conference Tuesday, a member of the governor's security team went out and opened the doors of the vehicle, its engine running, as if Easley was about to get in.
Meanwhile, the governor exited by a door on the other side of the building and got in a different vehicle.
On Sunday, Easley compared the situation with the reporters to when the Capitol is jammed with inquisitive schoolchildren on tours.
"Sometimes if there's a lot of classes in there I have a hard time walking past the fourth grade classes and we're in a hurry to get somewhere," Easley said.
"Sometimes if there's reporters hanging around they don't want to deal with, that, you know, you just finished a press conference, you figure, well, we dealt with those issues. Sometimes, there's people they have concerns about, they change the way you go out."