Under the Dome

Veterans affairs official Pantano leaving for new job

Ilario Pantano, a key part of the McCrory administration’s emphasis on veterans, is leaving to take a position with a university.

He will be replaced as assistant secretary for veterans affairs by James Prosser, a retired Air Force officer.

Pantano will become senior director of community services, programs and services with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. He will remain in North Carolina.

State veterans Secretary Cornell Wilson said in a statement that Pantano had accomplished a lot since his appointment in 2013.

“I congratulate Ilario for a job well done and wish him well in his new assignment," Wilson said. "His work was instrumental in improving support for North Carolina’s veterans’ community.”

Pantano unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2010 as a Tea Party candidate challenging incumbent Rep. Mike McIntyre.

A former combat Marine, he was once charged with premeditated murder after killing two unarmed Iraqi prisoners. A military panel dropped all charges after finding insufficient evidence to proceed.