RALEIGH -- A house ethics committee says Representative Thomas Wright has committed wrongdoing and will now continue a process that could lead to the lawmaker's removal from office.
The six-member house ethics panel met in Raleigh and agreed to formally accuse the Wilmington Democrat of eight counts of misconduct.
Wright was invited to the hearing but was absent.
The committee will now give Wright a hearing where he can defend himself.
State attorneys presented the evidence and the panel felt what they heard was enough to move forward.
Wright was indicted last month and could face a criminal trial sometime this summer for misusing and illegally obtaining more than $350,000
If the house votes to expel Wright, he would be the first representative forced from the assembly in more than a century.
Reported by Joe Keiley