A political ally of former North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley has testified he provided dozens of unreported campaign-related flights to Easley valued at nearly $88,000.
McQueen Campbell was the first witness before the State Board of Elections on Monday as it began examining Easley's campaign committee and the Democratic Party.
Campbell also testified Easley asked him to pay for about $11,000 in repairs at the governor's home in Raleigh that he rented to someone else while living in the Executive Mansion. Campbell testified Easley suggested Campbell would be reimbursed with campaign funds and to use some unreported flights to pay them.
The unreported flights and repair payments appear to be campaign finance law violations.
Easley's attorney suggested Easley had little role in his campaign finances.
A hearing to investigate the campaign of former Gov. Mike Easley and the state Democratic Party is under way.
The State Board of Elections immediately went into closed session Monday to discuss how it will investigate whether Easley's campaign committee or the state Democratic Party broke campaign finance laws.
Board Chairman Larry Leake told a lawyer for Easley's committee that while the board is holding a criminal investigation, that doesn't mean anyone has committed a crime.
Attorney Thomas Hicks of Wilmington is representing Easley, who didn't attend the hearing.
At the hearing is McQueen Campbell, a former North Carolina State University trustee who has acknowledged providing flights to Easley.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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