Amended Order For Easley Doesn't Change Punishment

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina State Bar has made slight changes to last week's disciplinary order for former Gov. Mike Easley that still leaves him without his law license until early December.

The amended order filed Thursday takes care of what a Bar lawyer called inadvertent errors involving the case of the two-term Democratic governor and why a panel agreed Easley should avoid disbarment for a campaign finance-related felony conviction.

The punishment remains the same. Easley still can't practice law for another 11 months, meaning his total suspension will be two years. In November 2010, Easley accepted criminal responsibility for an improperly filed campaign finance report.

The amended order makes clear he was governor when the original campaign report was filed and didn't have actual knowledge that report was false or incomplete.

Former North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley will be able to resume practicing law at end of this year under an agreement reached with the State Bar on his punishment related to a campaign finance-related felony in 2010.

A disciplinary panel on Friday approved the agreement between the Bar and Easley in which his law license will be suspended for another 11 months. His license was suspended more than a year ago while the Bar investigated his case.

The Democrat was convicted in November 2010 for an improperly filed campaign finance report.

Lawyers convicted of felonies often are disbarred, but the signed agreement says the panel concluded a lesser punishment was suitable in part because there's no evidence Easley knew what was in the report.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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