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Ex-NC senator admits illegal donations to Perdue, Easley, others

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By EMERY P. DALEIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A former North Carolina legislator is admitting he funneled money from his company to prominent Democrats for more than a decade.

The State Board of Elections on Thursday collected a $150,000 fine from former state Sen. Fred Hobbs and closed its case against him and the engineering firm Hobbs, Upchurch and Associates.

A board investigator found $148,000 in company funds were used to make donations to the campaigns of Govs. Bev Perdue and Mike Easley, state Senate leader Marc Basnight and former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker. Corporate contributions are illegal in North Carolina.

Hobbs's attorney Michael Weisel says his client still faces potential misdemeanor charges on donations to Perdue and Basnight. A district attorney in Moore County is investigating.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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