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NC State chancellor resigns in Easley hiring flap

Eds: APNewsNow. Recasts lede, adds former governor’s name in 2nd graf, makes writethru sequence conform with state sequence.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A top North Carolina education official has resigned amid questions about his role in the controversial hiring of a former first lady for a university post.

North Carolina State University Chancellor James Oblinger said in a statement released Monday by the university that he is stepping down because the scrutiny of a job given to former first lady Mary Easley is a distraction for the school. Easley was hired when her husband, Mike Easley, was governor.

Oblinger had asked Easley to resign her position, but she hasn’t.

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N.C. State has been under fire because of a severance package Oblinger gave to the official who hired Easley and because of the salary Easley received. The official, former provost Larry Nielsen, resigned last month.

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