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New developments emerge in Wright saga

There are several new developments in the Thomas Wright saga. The Wake County district attorney says the investigation into the state representative's campaign finances could go on for two more weeks. DA Colon Willoughby originally said the investigation would be finished by october first. But he says he's now asked the SBI to look into several additional matters before filing its final report. The DA launched a criminal investigation in May, when a hearing in Raleigh uncovered several disturbing allegations against Wright. Among them: hiding politically sensitive campaign contributions, co-mingling campaign and personal finances and a fraudulent real estate deal. At the same time, the house ethic committee began an investigation of its own. But House Speaker Joe Hackney says he is suspending that investigation until the SBI is finished. And that's not sitting well with some. Former political consultant Joe Sinsheimer, who filed the original complaint against Wright, released this statement: "Representative Wright should have been expelled from the House months ago, but the speaker and his democratic colleagues apparently lack both the political will and the moral courage to do the right thing." Meanwhile, a third investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services wrapped up Monday. The probe looked into a letter a department official wrote to Wright promising a state grant for a community health foundation in Wilmington. But investigators say the promise was bogus because the grant money didn't exist. They also uncovered inaccurate and excessive reimbursements DHHS made to Wright for mileage and travel expenses, totaling more than $1,400. Health and human services now want the s-b-i and state attorney general to investigate.

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