Monday, June 8, 2009

Cover-Up Coming Unraveled

Senate Republican Leader Press Release
June 8, 2009

New documents released by N.C. State University officials as part of a federal investigation show that former Governor Mike Easley and members of his administration were directly involved in the creation of a position for his wife and her subsequent hiring by the university. In addition, N.C. State Chancellor James Oblinger resigned today on the heels of weekend reports in The News & Observer that he misled the public regarding the size and length of the severance package given to former N.C. State Provost Larry Nielsen.

Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger issued the following statement:

“There clearly has been a concerted effort to cover up the circumstances surrounding Mary Easley’s hiring and employment at N.C. State. The new revelations that Mike Easley was directly involved in the hiring of his wife only confirm many of our worst suspicions. Powerful Democrats in state government have ceased pursuing public service and begun trading exclusively in privilege and power. Meanwhile, Democratic legislative leaders have become co-conspirators in this corruption by turning a blind eye to wrongdoing and adamantly refusing to ask the questions that might uncover the truth.”

“The revelations in The News & Observer this weekend that Chancellor James Oblinger illegally changed the terms of former N.C. State Provost Larry Nielsen’s severance package and misled the public regarding the terms of that package are another black mark on NC State resulting from the Easley Scandal. This weekend’s reports left Chancellor Oblinger no choice other than to resign.”

“The News & Observer has done the public a great service by doggedly seeking to uncover the truth in the face of this cover up. The N.C. State Board of Trustees, interim Board Chairman Bob Jordan, and University System President Erskine Bowles also deserve credit for constructively working to end this embarrassment.”

“Unfortunately, Governor Bev Perdue and Legislative Democrats continue working to cover up the Easley Scandal. Legislative Democrats must begin an exhaustive investigation into this scandal or get out of the way so Republicans can.”

“Accountability begins at the top levels of leadership. Governor Perdue should provide the leadership North Carolinians want from her and immediately demand the resignation of Mary Easley. Governor Perdue was not elected to watch as a scandal rages on and the fallout deepens. She was elected to provide accountability and now is the time for her to prove she is willing to do so.”

“It is time for Governor Perdue and Legislative Democrats to do three things: 1. Join University President Bowles, legislative Republicans, and newspaper editorial boards across the state in demanding Mary Easley’s resignation. 2. Move immediately to defund Mary Easley’s faculty position. 3. Join with Republicans to hold legislative oversight hearings seeking to end corruption in State Government by determining how Mary Easley’s contract was agreed to and how the State Highway Patrol ‘lost’ more than a year of Mike Easley’s travel records.”