Easley gets law license back

Monday, February 04, 2013

Former North Carolina Governor Mike Easley has his license to practice law again.

The two-term Democratic governor hasn't had a license in over two years.

His law license was suspended after he accepted criminal responsibility for an improperly filed campaign finance report. He had been under investigation for flights he took on private planes as a candidate and his real estate dealings. He was not charged with any other crimes.

North Carolina election law requires campaigns to report all cash or so-called in-kind contributions. Failure to report campaign contributions or expenditures is a Class I felony.

Easley agreed to pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs, which keep him out of jail. He was also able to avoid disbarment.

Lawyers convicted of felonies are often disbarred, but a disciplinary panel approved an agreement that concluded a lesser punishment was suitable in part because there was no evidence Easley knew what was in the report.

Easley became eligible to resume practicing law at the end of 2012 under the agreement.

On Jan. 4, Easley filed his petition for reinstatement. According to the document, Easley fulfilled the requirements for reinstatement, which included paying costs and administrative fees and not violating any law during his suspension.

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(Copyright ©2014 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved - The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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