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Report: Board member steered money near properties

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A state Board of Transportation member who raised funds for Gov. Mike Easley reportedly steered roughly $375,000 in public money to road improvements near properties that he or a son co-owned at the time. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Sunday that in 2004 and 2005, board member Louis W. Sewell Jr. recommended or voted to spend $200,000 in state money to improve a busy commercial intersection where he or his son, along with business partners, were selling two properties at more than $1 million each. Sewell insists that all the road projects he has recommended or voted to approve have been in the public interest. State Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett said Friday that he would forward information about the transactions to the State Ethics Commission for an investigation. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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