Monday, June 08, 2009

Bowles: N.C. State e-mails 'made me sick'

UNC President Erskine Bowles was not around when former First Lady Mary Easley was first hired to run a speakers program at N.C. State University. And when she was given new duties and a dandy compensation package of $170,000 a year, he didn't like the way it was handled and ordered a review of the deal before the UNC Board of Governors, and he, blessed it last year. But when former N.C. State Board of Trustees Chairman McQueen Campbell, who had flown the governor on unreported trips and helped the Easleys get a good deal on coastal property, mentioned in a conversation a few weeks ago that he had suggested Mary Easley’s hiring to N.C. State Chancellor James Oblinger, Bowles determined that Campbell had to go. Campbell resigned. Oblinger said he was embarrassed that he could not remember having that conversation with Campbell. He said he might have passed the idea of hiring the wife of the governor along to a colleague, but he simply couldn't remember.

But Oblinger's protestations didn't hold a lot of water among those who read a collection of Campbell's e-mails, including some from Oblinger, Monday when N.C. State released them. They show that Oblinger was aware that the governor was pushing his wife for a job at N.C. State, and that Campbell was pushing Easley's wife for a job at N.C. State, and Oblinger was aware that other campus officials knew about the deal. At one point, he wrote, “We're ready to move on this; next step is in the Mansion,” presumably a reference to the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh.

In other words, Oblinger's words didn't look or sound credible.

Bowles got the emails on Friday, and when he read the account, he said, "The e-mails made me feel sick." He had believed Oblinger when the chancellor had said he couldn't recall any discussions about a job for Easley. And Bowles said there were probably a lot of conversations he had had that he could not remember -- but after reading copies of the emails, it was much more difficult to believe.

Amen. And it's sad. I always thought Jim Oblinger was a really good chancellor, a good fit at N.C. State. But it's tough to believe he'd forget helping out the governor and the governor's wife. The wife of a dean, maybe, and surely the wife of an associate professor. But the governor? Come on. If it's true that he no longer remembered his own involvement, and the governor's, in helping the governor's wife get a job, his memory surely did him a disservice.

24 comments:

J said...

It's nice to see that the eastern NC crooks are finally being held accountable for their selfish and severely unethical dealings. What a refreshing change from incidents of previous administrations, such as when Jim Hunt managed to move transportation dollars away from cities that needed it to build a bridge in his home county that carries about a dozen cars a day.

Now, if only the NC voters will quit mindlessly voting for incumbents and vote the rest of the eastern NC crooks out of office.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone get to the top of any organization without being a liar?

It sure doesn't look that way...

Anonymous said...

This is truly a case of "mass selective amnesia."

Anonymous said...

folks, its politics. is anyone surprised? it starts at the local level and makes the climb.

John said...

When is Betz going to look into the corruption of Basnight--and his (and UNC's) former sugardaddy Walter Davis. The stink is overwhelming...

Anonymous said...

BETTS ISN'T GOING TO LOOK INTO ANYTHING.....CHARACTER ASSASINATION IS THE NEW MCCLATCHY REPORTING, AND BETTS IS 100% ONBOARD.

Chuck Kern said...

E. Bowles is acting self-righteous. He praised Mary Easley's skills in writing and now wants to distance himself. As a crony of Clinton he too knows how to lie. He should also resign.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I've been dropped into an alternative universe where decency, fairness and honesty actually prevail over sleaze and cronyism. Please don't wake me up!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the newspapers are the reason this stuff is seeing the light of day. And the public's right to records such as the emails. This battle must be constantly fought. What is pathetic is that Easley and his wife are both attorneys. Presumably they could make a decent living after leaving office without having to rely on government cronyism. Embarrassing to the legal profession as well as to education.

Anonymous said...

Everybody wants a Guv'ment job, even the Easley's felt that was the easiest money to take from the good folks of NC and NC State. I hope this email paper trail becomes published and exposes the Easley crowd and the liberal Academians for who they are...

Anonymous said...

And to think that for the eight years prior to his becoming gov, Easley was the top law enforcement officer in the state.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

East of Eden, Cain could not prosper... In North Carolina We call that area Raliegh.

Tom Williams
Concord NC

Anonymous said...

the www.CarolinaJournal.com reporter, Don Carrington, broke all this Sleazely stuff 2+ years ago, but it took the mainscream papers that long to catch on...
one gets news from Carolina Journal even now, that you wont see on these pages! STRIVE to be SMARTER than the EVIL controlling 'party' of SLAVERY wants you to BE!

Anonymous said...

After decades of watching the UNC Trustee Boards being packed with sports boosters and watching decades of the results, the Easley mess does not surprise me at all.

Anonymous said...

It's good to see the chickens come home to roost on these corrupt people. It should be said that ALL the UNC system schools should be examined for similar behavior and deals.

The Provost at UNCW "stepped down" after less than a year but continues to make more than 200K for "teaching". Something stinks there....

Anonymous said...
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