National

Former N.C. Gov Easley kept flights secret

While he was governor, Mike Easley turned a small group of influential N.C. business executives into his own private air service, an arrangement Easley kept secret.

Starting in 2003, Easley took at least 25 flights on private jets, some in apparent violation of campaign laws and ethics rules, documents and interviews show. Some flights were free. The value of others exceeded campaign contribution limits.

Records show the executives who flew Easley took him around the state and to such places as Atlanta, Richmond, Va., Washington and Florida. Easley, a Democrat who left office in January, appointed some of the benefactors to boards that oversee state transportation networks, the state's largest universities and other functions.

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