New Director Of Veteran Affairs Named

A former U.S. Marine Lieutenant who twice ran as a Republican for Congress will serve as the new Director of the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs.

Ilario Pantano of Wilmington will start his new job Sept. 5. Pantano was charged with two counts of premeditated murder in 2004 after he shot two unarmed Iraqis and then hung a taunting sign near their bullet-riddled bodies.

A Marine General later dropped the charges, ruling there was insufficient evidence to proceed to court martial. Pantano resigned in 2005.

He was Vice Chairman of Veterans for McCrory, a group affiliated with the campaign of now Gov. Pat CcCrory.