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NCSU head: Former governor’s wife should resign

RALEIGH (AP) ó The chancellor of North Carolina State University said Monday it would be best for the university if former first lady Mary Easley resigns her position at the state-supported college.
Chancellor James Oblinger was asked during a groundbreaking ceremony on the Raleigh campus whether the wife of former Gov. Mike Easley should step down, said university spokesman Keith Nichols.
Oblinger replied that quitting the $170,000-a-year job was “in the best interest of the university,” Nichols said.
The chancellor wouldn’t say whether he had asked her to resign and said he couldn’t discuss other details because it was a personnel issue.
A call to Mary Easley’s office wasn’t immediately returned.
Mary Easley has a five-year contract that will pay her $850,000 to run a campus speaker series and public safety center and to serve as a senior lecturer. She previously taught law at North Carolina Central University in Durham.
She is the wife of former Gov. Mike Easley, whose use of private aircraft before and during his two terms as governor is a subject of a federal grand jury investigation. The former governor has said he’s confident the investigation won’t show any wrongdoing by him.
Two university officials resigned last week following accusations they acted inappropriately in the hiring of Mary Easley. Both have denied any wrongdoing.
The chairman of the N.C. State trustees, whom Easley appointed to the board, and the university’s provost resigned last week over a flap involving how Mary Easley was hired by the school. Both university leaders said they did nothing inappropriate.
Former board chairman McQueen Campbell resigned Friday following accusations that he acted inappropriately in the hiring. Campbell said he did nothing wrong when he mentioned to other officials that she was available for a job.
N.C. State Provost Larry Nielsen resigned a day earlier, citing scrutiny of his role in hiring Mary Easley. Neilsen has been criticized for creating a new faculty position that he used to hire her.

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