Bridges are sometimes named for important people. Some in North Carolina have names of police officers that lost their lives in the line of duty; others get not so honorable names.
Recently, a bridge in Wilmington was named for Lanny T. Wilson. Wilson was a lawyer and land developer, not occupations that attract corrupt people. However, when private business people collude with government sleazy things often happen.
Wilson worked as a political operative to former discredited Democrat Gov. Mike Easley and more recently for Beverly Perdue. Likely, to reward his financial support he was appointed to the state Board of Transportation.
Wilson financed a real estate development in Carteret County where Easley received a $137,000 “discount” on a lot. What’s wrong with that? Holding high office should have its privileges. Feds also prosecuted an Easley aide because Wilson gave him money and other gifts in a “pay for play” scheme. Again, who cares; that’s the way it is in politics.
Anyway; the “rest of the story”: Easley was fined a small amount of money, took a plea deal and had his law license suspended (he’s now wanting it restored). Someone from the State Board of Elections said that Easley’s campaign people “accepted illegal contributions from Wilson.” But who knew? Easley’s aide went to prison.
This story was reported by Jim Tynen, editor of the Civitas Capitol Connection (www.nccivitas.org/ccc).
Wilson was not charged with a crime nor fined. However, all this is very curious, but not surprising that he would have something local named after him. Mr. Wilson had a lot of supporters here. As Jim Tynen puts it, “he shoveled state funds to the Cape Fear area.”