A federal grand jury in Raleigh, N.C., has charged C. Ruffin Poole, a former partner at McGuireWoods and one-time chief legal aide to former North Carolina Gov. Michael Easley, with 51 counts of corruption. As prosecutors were closing in, Poole left McGuireWoods last month.

Prosecutors claim that the 37-year-old Poole extorted money from key Easley supporters through his role as the governor’s legal counsel and took action on environmental permits to push forward development projects in which he was a silent investor.

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