Monday, June 08, 2009

Hanging with the Easleys

The costs of cozying up to former Gov. Mike Easley and his wife Mary just keep going up. Even the costs of resigning because you were so cozy with them.

Take former North Carolina State University Provost Larry Nielsen for example, he who hired Mary Easley for a high-profile, cobbled-together position at NC State and then upped her salary by 88 percent last summer. He recently resigned when the whole deal began to get the attention of the federal prosecutor and a grand jury.

The N&O has now unearthed a deal that the NC State Chancellor made with Nielsen hours before his resignation to pay Nielsen $310,255 in extra pay above his faculty salary. And then the Chancellor set about covering that up.

Gosh, is anyone else thinking hush money?

The N&O is also digging into what exactly Mary Easley was doing for that 88 percent raise. So far ... doesn't look like much. But when you're hired because you're married to someone powerful, sometimes your main job is carting around that big name.

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