a0696 BC-US-EasleyInvestigati 2ndLd-Writethru 06-08 0225
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.
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.