Gov. Mike Easley's former sister in law is getting a pay raise and more job security.
Judy Easley, who was married to the governor's brother, went to work for the state Department of Cultural Resources a month after Easley was sworn in for his first term.
She worked as a top assistant to the head of the agency, keeping tabs on about 100 boards and commissions with a particular emphasis on working with the governor's office.
In March, her job classification was changed, making it more difficult to fire her. The change came with new duties and a 10 percent raise. She now makes $70,500.
The change was made without Governor Easley's knowledge, said Staci Meyer, acting secretary of the cultural resources department.
"I made a business decision," Meyer said in an interview. "She is such a valuable piece of what we do. Don't hold it against her because her name is 'Easley.' "
Judy Easley declined to comment. The governor questioned why the changes would produce criticism. (N&O)