From Carolina Journal investigative reporter Don Carrington’s latest story delving into questions surrounding former governor Mike Easley:

Former Gov. Mike Easley failed to list income from the rental of his Raleigh home on at least three consecutive annual economic interest statements — a violation of state ethics laws.

The home on East Lake Drive was rented for $1,500 a month for three years while Easley served as governor. Concealing income or failing to fully disclose it on a Statement of Economic Interest is a misdemeanor. Providing false information is a felony.

Top state officials must complete the statements and submit them to the State Ethics Commission, which was created in 2007. Before that, officials submitted economic interest statements to the N.C. Board of Ethics.

The statements Easley signed in 2007 and 2008 required him to list each source of income of more than $5,000 he or his wife had received in the previous year calendar year. The form he signed in 2006 required him to report each source of income larger than $10,000 for the previous year. In each case, he listed his salary, the salary of his wife Mary, and income from stocks they each held. He did not list any rental income.

Easley signed each statement certifying that he had read it and that to the best of his knowledge and belief that it was “true, correct, and complete.”

When contacted, a representative of the state Ethics Commission responded this way:

Beth Carpenter, an assistant to Ethics Commission Executive Director Perry Newson, told CJ that rental income above the $5,000 threshold needs to be included for each property. She said her office does not distinguish between gross income and net income. When CJ informed her that Easley did not declare any rental income on three consecutive statements she said, “That would have been something that should have been included.”

You can read all of Carrington’s investigative work on the Easley situation here.