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Wright's trial delayed, but legislative ethics case moves forward

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RALEIGH (AP) -- A state House ethics panel plans to hold an investigative hearing of Rep. Thomas Wright next week after a judge agreed to delay his upcoming criminal trial. The ethics committee met Monday, less than an hour after a Superior Court judge granted a request by Wright's attorney to provide more time to prepare for trial. Wright faces fraud and obstruction of justice charges for his handling of more than $350,000 in campaign donations, loans and charitable money. A new trial date has not been set. The delay means the legislative panel can meet March 3. The trial had been scheduled to begin that day, and panel members said they would not meet if the trial was under way. The panel is considering whether Wright acted inappropriately as a sitting legislator. It could recommend that Wright be censured or removed from office. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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