Easley's Former Aide Sentenced

May 18, 2011

A top aide to former Governor Mike Easley has been sentenced to a year in prison for failing to report a thirty thousand dollar profit on his taxes.

 U.S. District Court Judge Terence Boyle sentenced 39-year-old Ruffin Poole to 12 months in prison. He must also pay a thirty thousand dollar fine. Investigators found that Poole used his position as the former governor's aide to speed up the environmental permitting process at a new development in Carteret County.

Governor Easley bought one of those lots at a deep discount, and Poole profited financially from the deal as well. Easley pleaded guilty this fall of filing a false campaign report that was related to an unreported helicopter trip. He paid a thousand dollar fine but served no prison time. Poole had already pleaded guilty last year to one count of income tax evasion. He begins serving his sentence on July fifteenth.