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Poole Pleads Not Guilty

A former aide to ex-North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley has pleaded not guilty to dozens of federal corruption charges.

Ruffin Poole appeared in U.S. District Court in Raleigh on Monday to be arraigned on 57 felony counts. Poole is accused of helping move along state permits for coastal housing projects while receiving gifts and making money by investing in two of those subdivisions.

Poole once served as special counsel and personal assistant to Easley, a Democrat who left office in January 2009.

Easley has not been charged with any crimes.

Poole was originally indicted in January after federal grand jurors met for most of 2009 on activities surrounding Easley and his associates.



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A federal judge must soon decide whether to keep the trial of a former aide to ex-North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley on track to begin later this month.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle is slated to hold an arraignment for Ruffin Poole on Monday in Raleigh. A judge usually asks whether a defendant pleads guilty or not guilty to the charges at such a hearing.

Poole faces 57 felony counts in which he's accused of helping move along state permits for coastal housing projects while receiving gifts and making money by investing in two of those subdivisions.

Boyle has set a tentative trial date for April 26. Poole wants the trial delayed until August. The government wants the trial held this spring.


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