Expelled New Hanover County State Lawmaker Released From Prison

A former North Carolina lawmaker has been released from prison after more than six years following fraud and obstruction of justice convictions.

State Department of Public Safety spokesman Keith Acree says Thomas Wright was released from a minimum-security prison around 6:30 a.m. Monday. Acree says a probation officer picked him up and drove him home. Acree says Wright will serve nine months of post-release supervision.

The State Board of Elections received a complaint against the New Hanover County Democrat in 2006. The probe ultimately led the House to kick the eight-term represenative out of office in 2008 - the first such expulsion in more than a century.

A few weeks later, he was convicted of mishandling charity contributions and fraudulently obtaining a loan. Another jury later found he broke the law by failing to report $150,000 in political contributions.

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