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Wilson resigns turnpike seat

Lanny Wilson, a Wilmington developer and lawyer who resigned last week from the State Board of Transportation, notified the N.C. Turnpike Authority today that he also has given up his seat on that board, report Bruce Siceloff and J. Andrew Curliss. 

Wilson was a key money man for the campaigns of former Gov. Mike Easley and Gov. Bev Perdue, and was a prominent part of the indictment issued last week against Easley aide Ruffin Poole.

The indictment said Wilson helped Poole to invest in developments that Poole was also taking official actions to help.

Wilson had testified in a State Board of Elections hearing that he gave large checks to the Democratic Party that he expected would be in turn given to Easley's campaign. Funneling the money in that way would violate the limits on donations to individual candidates.

"Just a quick email to advise you that I have submitted my resignation to the appropriate people in Senator Basnight's office," Wilson said today in e-mail to David Joyner, the turnpike authority's executive director.

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Schorr Johnson, a spokesman for Sen. Marc Basnight, the Senate leader, said he understood Wilson had notified Basnight's office of his resignation "verbally," and "we are awaiting a letter of resignation."

Wilson served as the turnpike board's vice chairman, and he championed the authority's Cape Fear Skyway project, a proposed $1.3 billion road and bridge in Wilmington. He participated by telephone in the turnpike board's monthly meeting last Wednesday, a day before the Poole indictment was made public.

Perdue now will find a replacement for Wilson on the Board of Transportation, where he represented Division 3, including New Hanover and five other southeastern counties. Basnight will pick his successor on the turnpike board.

The resignation came as state Republican Party chairman Tom Fetzer sought Wilson's removal and as he sought to tie the indictment to Perdue by citing her strong connections to people in it.

"I think the public is reeling right now," Fetzer said, calling on Perdue to take "extraordinary" efforts to reassure the public that government is not corrupted. Fetzer said Perdue should have been out front by seeking Wilson's removal, but has seen no evidence of it.

Perdue is on vacation this week, but a spokeswoman said that Wilson is a Basnight appointee to the authority and Perdue had no standing to remove him.

Fetzer also called on Perdue to seek the removal of Bob Wilson, who sits on a coastal resources board and was mentioned by his position in the indictment.


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"Its not my problem."

"Talk to Basnight." Leadership, Perdue style.

Re: Wilson resigns turnpike seat

Another criminal leaves a sinking ship. Did anyone say rat? I hope they hang this guy if he is guilty. What a loser! Better grab his passport, he may be a flight risk.

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