Local Politics

Another Black Associate Headed to Trial

Posted February 2, 2007
Updated February 6, 2007

— Jury selection begins Monday in the perjury trial of another associate of state lawmaker Jim Black, which puts the former House Speaker back in the public spotlight.

Scott Edwards, of Murfreesboro, an optometrist like Black, was indicted in September on four counts of felony perjury. A Wake County grand jury accused Edwards of failing to file accurate campaign finance reports for the political action committee of the N.C. State Optometric Society.

Black has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but several of his allies have found their way to court.

A federal jury convicted former lottery commissioner Kevin Geddings of lying on state ethics forms about his financial ties to a lottery company. Former lawmaker Michael Decker implicated Black when he admitted taking a payoff to switch parties. Black's former political director Meredith Norris plead no contest to lobbying violations.

When the General Assembly convened last month, Black did not try for a fourth term as speaker of the House of Representatives. Rep. Joe Hackney, D-Orange, was elected instead.

In February 2006, Edwards refused to testify at State Board of Elections hearings into whether Black, D-Mecklenburg, violated any campaign finance regulations. Others told the board how Edwards allegedly collected checks on which the payee lines were left blank. The checks came from members of the society's political action committee.

Witnesses told the Board of Elections that many of the checks were passed on to Black. They testified that Black directed where the money should go and filled in the payee on some of the checks.

Black has not said he would finish the two-year term he won in a close election last November, and rumors have flown around the Legislative Building about a resignation, but there has been nothing to them thus far.

Black professes to be unconcerned as yet another criminal proceeding gets under way.

“I don't really fret much over anything. Whatever comes up through all those years, I’ve dealt with it,” the former speaker said Friday.

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  • RedStatesManWatts Feb 5, 2007

    I must agree with chrisdavis. The Dems in this state are true to form as being the most crooked and worthless bunch government officials ever. What is so amazing to me is that people of this state keep electing them! Do you need a building to fall on you to realize? Liberals and/or Democrats are the problem in this nation. It is evident everywhere and has been since after Harry Truman. He was the last good Democrat, since then nothing but worthlessness from that entire party!

  • S-O-L Feb 5, 2007

    All politicians are scum! Black or white

  • S-O-L Feb 5, 2007

    kiss my inner clansmen a$$ mrjbtetum. I do not care if you think I am a Klansmen.

  • mrjbtatum Feb 5, 2007

    You are so ignorant Chrisdavis. The reality is the politicals lie to get every vote no matter what color it is. Even the ones you believe in. And I think your inner clansman is showing.

  • S-O-L Feb 5, 2007

    If sleasly was worth a crap he would have fired nifong at the start. He was worried about the racist black vote. Here is another piece of democratic crap he is still alighned with. wake up NC!!

  • S-O-L Feb 5, 2007

    sleasly and black. All politicians are scum. All of them are crooked pieces of crap. All of them!!

  • FloydRTurbo Feb 5, 2007

    Between the oddly-worded headline and this yahoo's one of the "Three Blind Mice" appearance ... this is a HOOT!

  • Pack Rules Feb 5, 2007

    "Richard"....I could not agree with you more.

  • El Conquistador es numero Uno Feb 5, 2007

    The judge should make him take off those shades in the court room. Looks like he is hiding something to me--just a thought....

  • jmurach Feb 5, 2007

    Hang him with Nifong