Ex-Governor's Aide Indicted On 51 Counts

A former aide to ex-North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley has been indicted on more than 50 counts, including extortion and bribery, on allegations he received personal gain while performing government actions.

A federal grand jury in Raleigh on Thursday issued 51 charges against Ruffin Poole, who was Easley's former special counsel and aide while the two-term governor was in office.

The indictment accuses Poole of profiting financially from a coastal development that had been approved by state regulators. It says a Wilmington financier sent payments from the financing of Cannonsgate to a construction company owned by Poole's family.

Easley is not accused of wrongdoing in the indictment. The maximum punishments add to up hundreds of years in prison.

Poole's attorney didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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