Ex-Easley Aide Pleads Guilty

An ex-aide to former Gov. Mike Easley has pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion exactly two weeks before his federal trial on 57 corruption-related counts was set to begin.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle accepted the plea agreement Monday between Democrat Ruffin Poole and government prosecutors during a hastily scheduled hearing. Poole is a Kinston native.

A date for sentencing has not been set. Poole has agreed to cooperate with the government as part of the deal.

Poole was once Easley's personal assistant and special counsel. He was indicted in January on charges such as tax evasion, bribery and money laundering, accused of helping move along state permits for coastal housing projects while receiving gifts and making a sizable investment return on two of those subdivisions.

Poole had pleaded not guilty earlier this month.

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


Previous Story

There's been a hastily scheduled court hearing set that may resolve the corruption case of a former aide to ex-North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley accused of dozens of felonies.

A federal judge scheduled for Monday afternoon what's called a "change of plea" hearing for Ruffin Poole.

Poole, who is a native of Kinston, pleaded not guilty earlier this month to 57 federal charges, including tax evasion, bribery and money laundering. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle had set the trial date for May 3.

There were no additional details about the court hearing. Poole's attorney didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Poole is accused of helping move along state permits for coastal housing projects while receiving gifts and making a sizable investment return on two of those subdivisions.

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


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Johnnyrotton Location: NC Citizen on Apr 20, 2010 at 06:48 PM
    The real sad part is this is the deal for the lesser of two evils. I hope he sells Easley down the River. What a bunch of scum. I know the situation we are in here in northeaster NC is because of a dark dirty "drug deal" Easley made for us. That is the OLF mess. Ten years of hell for northeastern NC. Good ridden and may Easley never see the light of day.
  • by OOPS! Location: Kinston on Apr 20, 2010 at 05:35 AM
    Lets see if all that Poole money can get him out of this mess! The higher ups are gonna be very upset about all this negative publicity.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 at 08:56 PM
    please do
  • by Dave Jordan Location: WITN on Apr 19, 2010 at 07:19 PM
    WITN did not purposely leave out that Poole is a Democrat. The ex governor is a Democrat, so it would figure that Poole is also a Democrat. I will be glad to go back and include that in the story so there is no confusion.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 at 07:11 PM
    i wonder why WITN purposly left out his party affiliation?
  • by Stan Location: G'ville on Apr 19, 2010 at 06:46 PM
    His picture says it all, "got caught, guilty."
  • by B Location: nc on Apr 19, 2010 at 04:10 PM
    Sounds just like a democrat,GUILTY!! I heard on the news that 97% of all felons would vote democrat, starting to sound like 97% of democrats are felons.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 at 04:04 PM
    hmm i didnt read his party affiliation in the well written article. im sure there was no political bias by WITN nor any other news outlet for this glaring omission. and im sure santa is real as well!
  • by Jimbo Location: NC on Apr 19, 2010 at 09:28 AM
    No doubt this guy is a dirt bag but his boss should be on trial instead of or with him.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 19, 2010 at 08:04 AM
    Is Easley untouchable by the law?
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