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It’s something state lawmakers haven’t had to deal with in more than 100 years. Legislators in Raleigh are now grappling with how to expel Rep. Wright from the general assembly.

The last time members of the North Carolina General Assembly moved toward expelling a fellow lawmaker it was 1880. That means current lawmakers are in unfamiliar territory.

It only took four days for a House ethics panel to decide to move toward expelling eight-term legislator Thomas Wright.

House Speaker Joe Hackney is now leading a group of lawmakers and legislative lawyers to develop a strategy for what to do next. Most likely the speaker will ask the governor to call legislators back to session, which Gov. Easley has already said he would do, if asked.

But hackney has not yet made that request. He’s looking at the schedules of House members and considering Wright’s upcoming criminal trial. Wright is accused of misusing more than $350,000 dollars of campaign and loan money.

Lawmakers and members of Wright’s own party continue to denounce the actions of the Wilmington Democrat.

Rep. Carolyn Justice said, “If the state Board of Elections says that they have found by looking at his personal checking account and his election account that a couple hundred thousand dollars was donated to his campaign and it did not end up in his campaign account and it did end up in his personal account, those are things that are factual. These are not speculation these are facts.”

Dale Smith with the New Hanover County Democratic Party said, “We have an individual here who obviously is pursuing their own interests at a cost to the taxpayers.”

The last person to be kicked out of North Carolina’s General Assembly was Josiah Turner Jr. back in 1880. His behavior became erratic after losing a congressional race, but like Wright, refused to step aside. Several lawmakers since, including disgraced former House Speaker Jim Black, have chosen to resign voluntarily amid corruption allegations. Wright says it’s his constituents who should decide whether he should remain in office, and has filed to run for re-election in November.

If Hackney calls a special session, it would cost about $50,000 a day of taxpayer money.

Wright’s criminal trial is scheduled to being March 31.

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5 Comments on "What’s next for Wright?"

my thoughts
2015 years 9 months ago


2015 years 9 months ago


“It’s something state lawmakers haven’t had to deal with in more than 100 years. Legislators in Raleigh are now grappling with how to expel Rep. Wright from the general assembly.”

Grab him by the back of the neck, hold him out in front and then kick him square in the pants as hard as possible! That’s how!

Don’t let him cost us $50K a day or one penny more! Revoke the pension of those removed from office or convicted of a felony.

If a member of our armed forces gets a dishonorable discharge they get nothing from the government (and us taxpayers) in lieu of retirement/pension. So why should this criminal? The people need to stand up and get heard about this. Every lawmaker in Raleigh that DOESN’T work towards this revocation of pensions for booted office holders and criminals needs to be voted out of office. That might be the winning platform for the next governor of NC.

2015 years 9 months ago

Now what? The next step is a criminal trial, which may cost the taxpayers a bundle. He is demanding money for his travel expenses to a hearing that was necessary because he broke the law, stole money, and whatever else he has done. And he wants us to pay for him to travel? This man is a joke to the taxpayers of this state and needs to be stopped. There needs to be a cut and dried procedure for getting rid of people like him that violate not only the law, but the trust of the people. Too many loopholes and not enough justice.

2015 years 9 months ago

IMO, Jail and forfeiture of his property to repay the money would be appropriate.

Thomas Wright with his smug, it’s about race, bring it on attitude is the very epitome of a bad politician. Too bad we’ve allowed these politicians to have a “Golden Parachute” that lets them get paid when they have basically robbed the people and not done the job they were elected to do.

2015 years 9 months ago

Jail seems like a good choice.


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