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Wilmington developer, attorney tied to indicted Easley aide

READ MORE: Wilmington developer, attorney tied to indicted Easley aide

More details tonight on the indictment of a former aide to Gov. Mike Easley, and his connections to our area. The indictment names a Wilmington financier, which clearly points to developer Lanny Wilson.

We wanted to give Wilson a chance to explain the reasons behind his resignation from the State Board of Transportation Thursday just hours before the public release of the grand jury's indictment of Ruffin Poole, so we went to his home in Landfall. There were two cars in the driveway with license tags for the Department of Transportation. No one came to the door, but we did notice a light on inside the house that someone apparently turned out while we were knocking.

The federal grand jury's 64-page indictment names a Wilmington developer and financier several times claiming he gave extravagant gifts to Poole, who was one of former Gov. Easley's top aides. Those details point to Wilson. But he's not the only Wilmington connection. The indictment also mentions payoffs from a Wilmington attorney Easley appointed chair of the state ABC Board. That's Doug Fox.

Among the gifts the indictment notes Poole received: Numerous trips to Costa Rica, a bachelor trip in New Orleans, free tickets to concerts, liquor for Poole's wedding, a $5,000 engagement party and use of what some believe to be Wilson's home on exclusive Figure Eight Island.

Wilson stepped down after nine years on the Board of Transportation saying he wanted to avoid "any further unnecessary distractions."
While Wilson gave up his seat on the Board of Transportation yesterday, he is still the vice chair of the NC Turnpike Authority.

Wilson and Fox have not been charged with any crimes connected to the investigation into Easley and his administration. We called both Wilson and Fox a number of times, but neither called us back.

Download the 64-page indictment here

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Easley's Cronies

Anyone associated with Easley was involved with crooked politics. Easley traded state favors for his own monetary interest. His governorship was rocked with dirty, rotten crooked politicians. Wilson assisted with schemes for Easley for powerful positions on different state boards. Easley's wife was just as crooked. She gets a job at 180,000 a year at NC State just to occupy a office. I am so tired of politicians and there self interest. Is there any politician who wants to actually serve their constituents.

It proves

It proves that money does not equal class.

The Iceberg is Melting

I said it years ago, Mike Easley and his pals had their heads in the cookie jar. They need to join Jim Black, Thomas Wright, William Jefferson.....

Now Lanny !

Lanny has been a bad boy. He should have stayed in the grocery business.He rode the coat tails of his family to amass his small little fortune.Your money , influence and arrogance have run you into a hell of a fix.It will be interesting to see how you try to finagle your way out of this one.If the law is carried out fairly ,I would envision an indictment for yourself.Time to start throwing some folks under the bus and do some singing to get a plea agreement. Hopefully you are not suffer from selective amnesia like the Honorable Mike Easley.Your little fraternity will hopeful be reunited with Jim Black and Thomas Wright.Time to traded in those designer clothes for a prison jumper.The Easley Gang will have darker days in the future.Wish you nothing but the worst!Landfall's finest!


Really, how soon one forgets how much public service Lanny Wilson has actually provided to our community over the past nine years. DOT is not a job with a paycheck and from what I hear Mr. Wilson gave over and above of his time to devote to our area road issues. His money allowed him to do just that. Jealous people have a tendency to love to smear wealthy people and find fault at their every turn irregardless of all the good they actually do. Sorry you are so Jealous of wealthy people and of where they live. How interesting it would be if Lanny actually committed a real crime, then you would have something very sinister to talk about.
Read the indictment, idiot, Lanny did disclose everything to the Feds...he doesn't have amnesia. If the Feds wanted him by God they could have him too, but they didn't did they???

It isn't about the jealousy of wealth..... IS about amassing wealth by being a lying, cheating crook without morals at the taxpayers expense.
Nobody will criticize a person that has honestly made a fortune off of their own hard work and smart thinking, but that is rarely the case these days. The majority of "wealth" as you call it, is gained these days by behind the door, good ol' boy, "you fatten my pockets and I'll fatten yours..." deals that lend little credence to honesty and integrity. That is what this investigation is about. I for one, hope they can uncover every greedy, crooked piece of money and tactic used to get it by EVERYONE involved. It's time to teach the white collar thieves a lesson and give them some free time in the "Greyrock Inn".

At Taxpayers expense?

I read the indictment as well...since when does building a successful grocery store chain with his family, selling it for a profit, taking those proceeds and investing in a "private" land development as the financial backer with the developers constitute "at the taxpayers expense"? I think you have your characters in the plot the script and see if you can figure out the truth this time! Oh, and by the way, DOT board members are appointed, not elected, they are volunteers with absolutely no pay. Show me where Lanny benefited from his DOT work...not anywhere in the indictment or outside of the indictment. He only had to abstain from developing in his local area, not other counties, which he did. He has been honest and forthright on all accounts...know your story before you open your mouth and judge so harshly!


They don't need to be paid with all the graft going around.

Lanny didn't "build"...

a successful grocery store chain...his parents and uncles did. Lanny and his siblings profited greatly when the founders sold the business to Hannaford.

Somehow, I don't think Lanny or his siblings would know the difference between an apricot and an artichoke. But they do know the difference between a Lexus and a Mercedes.

Excuse me...did you ever work at Wilson's?

Well I did for 18 years and let me tell you one thing. The Wilson kids worked in the grocery stores right along with their parents and the rest of the family. As a little boy he stocked groceries instead of playing at the beach like other kids. In college Lanny came home on breaks to work in the stores. Upon completion of college he returned to help manage the stores and run various departments just like his siblings. They all had a major part in growing the chain store to it's height of success prior to the sale to Hannaford's. They deserve everything that their family earned...the "American Dream". Speak of things that you actually know of and then someone may believe you when you open your mouth. He has a fine family who have given enormously to causes and great works in our community, especially Lanny!

Didn't BUILD the grocery store chain...WHAT?

Well, I can tell you first hand, that just isn't so. I worked for Wilson's Home of the Country Boys back in the 80's, and believe me, that ENTIRE family was hands on. Sorry, but they did build their fortune from scratch, and they ALL worked hard for what they have been blessed with.

I also have a good friend who's boys played basketball with Lanny's children years after the sell out to Hannaford, and you know what, he still remembered my girlfriend who was a cashier for him back in high school! Sorry, I'm not part of Mr. Wilson's fraternity, just calling it like I see it! Just hope he learns that when you lay down with dogs, you ALWAYS get fleas!

I'm not judging, but he'll soon meet one that will!!!

Had he been so "forthright" as you term it, he wouldn't have had to dump out of his current positions. They are all over this clan like a pack of dogs on a steak salt and pepper needed.

Good Points

as you noted, and as he admitted during his testimony in Raleigh, he financed land development -- just like a bank. He was not a developer to anyone's knowledge.