Submitted by WWAY on Thu, 01/10/2008 - 10:22am.

RALEIGH (AP) -- A bipartisan committee of state lawmakers has decided there is probable cause to believe Representative Thomas Wright participated in conduct unbecoming a lawmaker. The six-member House ethics panel unanimously agreed Wednesday to formally accuse the Wilmington Democrat of eight counts of misconduct. Neither Wright nor his attorney were at Wednesday's meeting, but the committee will next hold a hearing at which Wright will be allowed to defend himself. The ethics panel could ultimately recommend Wright be censured or removed from office. Wright was indicted last month in state court on six felonies, accused of illegally obtaining or misusing more than $350,000 in campaign donations, loans and charitable money. Wright has pleaded not guilty. A lawmaker hasn't been expelled from the General Assembly in 128 years. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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