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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Transportation tomorrow will rename a Wilmington bridge in honor of a former Board of Transportation member who quit amidst controversy.

The DOT says a ceremony tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Screen Gems Studios on N. 23rd Street will rename the nearby bridge at Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway after Lanny T. Wilson of Wilmington. Transportation Secretary Gene Conti will give keynote remarks. Wilson is also scheduled to attend, according to a DOT spokeswoman.

Wilson, a developer and longtime Democratic Party fundraiser, resigned his post as Southeastern North Carolina’s representative to the Transportation Board in 2010 as federal prosecutors were set to release a 51-count indictment against Ruffin Poole, a former aide to Gov. Mike Easley. Poole wound up serving prison time for his crimes.

While Wilson was not charged with any crimes, the Poole indictment identified Wilson as a “Wilmington financier” who was a major player in the “pay-to-play” culture of the Easley administration.

In the fall of 2009, Wilson testified before the state Board of Elections about large checks he wrote to the Democratic Party for Easley’s campaign. Wilson also loaned money to a company to finance the sale of a Carteret County development that was part of a federal probe into Easley’s activities.

Wilmington City Council passed a resolution earlier this year to ask for the name change to honor Wilson. A DOT spokeswoman says the NCDOT Board of Transportation approved the change in September.

Comment on this Story

  • Bill Spragg

    Vanity plates for cars AND structures should BOTH be paid for by the vanitees and annually as well. Then, when I’m driving down some route 243 and see the a sign announcing the Harry H. Horn Highway, I’ll know Harry’s paying for it and they
    won’t seem so silly, (the plates and the signs).

  • Topsail Poet

    Lanny’s name on a bridge seems kinda funny, But he ought to get something for all of his money.
    It is near the waste plant and the prison to boot, its amazing what you get when you have all the loot.
    The Wilson’s have done a lot for us so let lets all be happy for them,
    Lanny is not my favorite Wilson, I guess that would have to be Tim!

  • Das Weibstück

    Wow. Has to be someone better here to name this bridge after.

  • Guest2020

    What has this man done to deserve this honor? This is an absolute disgrace.

  • Thank you

    Lanny Wilson spent countless hours working on the DOT for Wilmington’s benefit. We should all be greatful for state funds he help bring back to to our area. Lets hope his work on the new bridge over the Cape Fear will pay off in the future.

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