Ex-Marine Republican charged in killings now head of NC Vet Affairs

From ABC News:

A former U.S. Marine lieutenant who faced murder charges for shooting a pair of unarmed Iraqis has been named as the new director of the N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs.

Ilario Pantano will start his new state job Sept. 5 and be paid an annual salary of $90,000.

In 2004, Pantano was charged by military prosecutors with two counts of murder over the killings in Iraq. A Marine general later ordered the charges dropped. Pantano said he viewed the unarmed men as a threat.

Pantano, who lives in Wilmington, campaigned unsuccessfully as a Republican for North Carolina's 7th Congressional District seat in 2010 and 2012. He was also vice chairman of Veterans for McCrory, a group affiliated with the 2012 campaign of now Gov. Pat McCrory.

Pantano was hired by Administration Secretary Bill Daughtridge, a McCrory appointee whose department oversees veterans affairs.

Spokesman Chris Mears said Daughtridge is aware of the controversy surrounding Pantano's military background. Pantano was one of four candidates that Daughtridge interviewed for the job, which was publically advertised to potential applicants, Mears said.

In a letter sent to veterans affairs staff announcing the hiring, Daughtridge praised Pantano's experience managing "multi-disciplinary teams."

I suppose the McCrory campaign work had _nothing_ to do with the appointment.

Hmm...this little bit from his bio at Wikipedia is interesting.

Following his return to civilian life, Pantano earned an economics degree from New York University. He worked as an energy trader for Goldman Sachs. From 1995 to 1998, he was a member of the start-up team that integrated top-tier investment bank culture (GS) with utility business (BG&E) in Constellation Power, an electricity trading joint venture that was acquired for $11 billion by FPL.

Constellation was an electric wholesaler. It had stock issues and was bought out by a unit of Berkshire Hathaway in 2008.

Anyone know if McCrory knew this guy when our Gov was working for Duke Energy?


Pantano's political resume

Pantano also ran again Mike McIntyre for Congress in 2010; he ran in the Congressional GOP Primary in 2012 and lost. He is not unknown in Republican circles. He is a very scary dude, however.

Martha Brock