The ‘Wilmington financier’ is back

They just won’t go away.

Yesterday’s campaign trail dispatch linked to an announcement of a Wilmington fundraiser Thursday for 7th Congressional District incumbent Mike McIntyre. One of the sponsors of the event for the Democratic congressman? Lanny Wilson, the longtime Democrat donor who was referred to as the “Wilmington finanicier” in the 51-count indictment on corruption charges of former Gov. Mike Easley’s top deputy, Ruffin Poole.

From CJ‘s earlier coverage:

The indictment states that Wilson provided Poole free trips to Costa Rica over several years, including four trips in chartered planes and one commercial flight that Wilson paid for. Wilson also paid for a bachelor party in New Orleans for Poole. And Poole was allowed to invest at Cannonsgate; he received a $30,000 profit on a $100,000 investment in less than four months.

None of these gifts and benefits was disclosed on Poole’s annual Statements of Economic Interest, as required by law, the indictment says.

Poole copped a plea for a single count of income tax evasion and recently completed a 12-month prison sentence (including some time in a halfway house).

Wilson also was a key figure in the State Board of Elections’ criminal investigation of Poole’s former boss Easley. Wilson testified to the board that he gave $10,000 to the state Democratic Party with the understanding it would be diverted to the Easley campaign. That’s illegal, but he never was charged. Wilson also fronted some of the money to finance the Cannonsgate development in Carteret County at which Easley got a sweetheart deal on a waterfront lot. CJ first reported on the deal in 2006.

Easley appointed Wilson to the N.C. Department of Transportation board in 2001 and 2005 and was a key fundraiser for Gov. Bev Perdue in 2008. He resigned from the board the day Poole was indicted.

Easley pleaded guilty to a felony charge of filing a false campaign report but served no jail time.

On a related note, the Wilmington City Council has considered naming an interchange after Wilson.

And Democrats are still taking Wilson’s money.

Rick Henderson / NcIcl-dot-0rg

Rick Henderson became editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal in August 2016 after being managing editor of Carolina Journal since April 2009. Before that, he had worked more than...

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