Under the Dome

Easley: 'It never, ever happened'

Gov. Mike Easley said he never asked McQueen Campbell to use campaign money to pay for repairs to his house.

Easley's testimony contradicts the account given by Campbell, an Easley supporter and family friend, who said Easley told Campbell to make up a bill for flights on Campbell's private plane. Campbell coordinated repairs to Easley's Raleigh home.

"Why would McQueen Campbell want to contend that those invoices were for work on your house?" State Board of Elections Chairman Larry Leake asked.

"I don't know. But I didn't tell him to send them. I didn't indicate to send them," Easley said. "It never, ever happened."

Easley said that he told Campbell to bill his campaign for future flights. But the invoice Campbell sent was for previous flights already taken. That invoice, which included no supporting documents, got the attention of Rebecca McGhee, a campaign volunteer who handled payments for the campaign.

McGhee wanted supporting documents. Easley called her in August 2005 and told her to pay the invoice.


Easley said he believed the invoice was for future flights and that he was busy corralling votes to pass a state lottery.

"I'm trying to get a lottery passed which passed the end of August...And I'm working on that last vote. If I don't get that passed, I don't have pre-K, I don't have class size reduction and I don't have any of those things we need," Easley said. "I get a call from Mr. Campbell that says 'they don't want to pay.'

"I call Rebecca. I said, 'I know what this is. Pay it. Just pay it.' My state of mind is, 'Can't yall work this out,'" he said.



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