A member of the state Board of Elections says that former Gov. Mike Easley should pay an outstanding $94,665 fine as a condition of getting his law license back.
Chuck Winfree, a member of the elections board since 2001, said the reasoning behind a deal struck by the N.C. State Bar to settle an investigation of Easley and grant him a two-year law license suspension is inadequate as long as the fine is unpaid. Easley, a Democrat, is the former two-term governor who was the subject of state and federal investigations that resulted in a plea deal in 2010 and a felony conviction.
The bar last week consented in an agreement with Easley to a punishment that is less than disbarment and it said was warranted for six reasons, one of them being that "Easley accepts personal responsibility for his own actions and for the actions of his campaign committee."
Winfree said it is "lip service" to conclude Easley took responsibility for the campaign as long as the fine is unpaid. "The State Bar needs to make payment a condition," Winfree said in an interview. "Otherwise, it's all window dressing." Read more from reporter Andy Curliss here.