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Former McGuireWoods Partner Charged With 51 Counts of Corruption
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C. Ruffin Poole has been charged by a federal grand jury in Raleigh, North Carolina with 51 counts of corruption. Poole is a former partner at McGuireWoods (he left the firm last month) and former chief legal aide to North Carolina Governor Michael Easley. In a 64 page indictment Poole is charged with bribery, racketeering, money laundering, and deprivation of honest services.

Federal prosecutors have spent years investigating Easley and aides including Poole. Easley served as North Carolina’s governor from 2001 to 2008. He joined McGuireWoods last April along with Poole and another adviser named Franklin Freeman Jr. All three men became partners. Easley is a corporate partner in Raleigh and specializes in economic development, life sciences and energy. He is also a senior adviser for McGuireWoods Consulting, a public affairs branch of the firm.

Easley is represented by Joseph Cheshire of Raleigh, North Carolina firm Cheshire Parker Schneider Bryan & Vitale. Easley released the following statement:

  
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“We have reviewed the indictment of Ruffin Poole. While Governor Easley has no knowledge of the conduct that makes up the criminal allegations therein, he has faith in Ruffin Poole and finds it hard to believe that he would ever intentionally violate the law. Ruffin Poole, like anyone else charged with a crime, deserves the presumption of innocence, not a rush to judgment.”

Poole is represented by Joseph Zeszotarski Jr., a partner at North Carolina firm Poyner Spruill in Raleigh. Last month Poole invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself when he testified before the State Board of Elections.

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