NC Lawmakers Must Deal With Wright Before Tackling '08 Session

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Before state lawmakers return to Raleigh in 2008 to tinker with the state budget, they are first set to consider the alleged wrongdoing of one of their own.

Representative Thomas Wright was indicted in December on fraud and obstruction of justice charges. House Speaker Joe Hackney says he will push swiftly to resolve the New Hanover County Democrat's
future in the House before the chamber begins its short session in May.

No state lawmaker has been expelled since 1880, but lawmakers
meeting early in 2008 could recommend that Wright be removed from
office for misconduct or unethical activity.

Wright has declined to comment on the charges and refused calls to resign. He is the fifth current or former state legislator to face criminal charges since 2004.