BOARD CHAIR: Mary Easley Is An "Ongoing Distraction" To NC State

The newly named chairman of N.C. State's board of trustees says Mary Easley is an "ongoing distraction" for NC State. Bob Jordan called on the former first lady to reconsider her decision and leave the university.

Less than two hours earlier the former first lady stood by her attorney as he told reporters that Easley got her job promotion at NC State on her own accord and would not resign.

Raleigh attorney Marvin Schiller said in a news conference that Easley's contract was thoroughly reviewed by both the NC State Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors.

The university provost and chairman of the board of trustees resigned after questions arose about her appointment to a job that pays $170,000 a year for five years. She runs a speakers series and a public safety center.

Federal prosecutors have requested details of Easley's employment history. Meanwhile, a federal probe is ongoing into possible perks received by former Gov. Mike Easley before and during his consecutive four-year terms.

Schiller told reporters that Mary Easley has not been subpoenaed and as far as he knows is not a target of any investigation.

Republicans quickly called on Governor Beverly Perdue to step in the controversy. Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger renewed his call for Easley to resign.

"It is time for Gov. Perdue to stop ‘watching’ and act to bring this regrettable incident of political favoritism to a close. If Gov. Perdue cannot prevail upon her fellow Democrats to do the honorable thing, it will become necessary to eliminate state taxpayer funding for Mary Easley’s position,” the Rockingham Republican said in a news release.

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