Local Politics

Black Surrenders to Marshals

Posted July 30, 2007

— Former House Speaker Jim Black surrendered at the U.S. Marshal's Service office in downtown Raleigh Monday afternoon in preparation for a 63-month sentence at a federal prison camp in Pennsylvania.

Black pleaded guilty in February to accepting an illegal gratuity – taking more than $25,000 from chiropractors while backing legislation favorable to the industry.

The 72-year-old Mecklenburg County Democrat had asked to postpone his reporting date for a week so he could attend a sentencing scheduled for Tuesday in Wake County court on state bribery and obstruction of justice charges. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle never acted on the request, however.

Black arrived at the U.S. Marshal's Service office at about 1:50 p.m., about 10 minutes before a court-ordered 2 p.m. deadline.

He was held in the Wake County Jail so he could be sentenced Tuesday. There was no word on when he will be transfered to the minimum-security federal prison camp in Lewisburg, Pa., where the U.S. Bureau of Prisons assigned him.

Lewisburg is about 500 miles from his home in Matthews. He had asked to be assigned to the federal prison in Butner.

The Lewisburg prison camp houses primarily white-collar criminals.

Black has requested admission to an alcohol-abuse treatment program while in prison. Bureau of Prisons guidelines allow for inmates to shave up to a year off their sentences if they complete a substance abuse program while incarcerated.


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  • djofraleigh Jul 30, 2007

    Someone asked about the rep who received the $50K – He is serving 2 yrs.

    Someone asked that Harrison not be easy on Black – The sheriff has him one night in a holding cell, and he appears at a hearing in Wake County Superior Court tomorrow morning.

  • choppa Jul 30, 2007

    Polly, I must disagree that money holds great weight in this country as to what type of justice one will receive. Whether it's being able to post a high bond so that you will be able to actively help in your own defense or hiring a lawyer capable of offering a good defense against the charges.

    Here is a perfect two letter example O.J.

  • Polly Jul 30, 2007

    Choppa, you really don't know what you're talking about. Most defendants convicted of non-violent crimes in Federal Court do not immediately go to prison and are allowed to report and begin their sentence on a designated day in the future. Money does not rule the criminal justice system; although access to adequate funds does help in terms of being able to hire a good attorney.

  • msncdso Jul 30, 2007

    Jim Black's successor was appointed months ago. I don't see any difference between Black's shenanigans and those of current and former congressmen who arm-twisted and bribed their fellow senators and representative into voting for the current Medicare Drug Plan and then be rewarded by pharmacutical companies with million dollar jobs and other bribes to accolades and attaboys by the "current administration". It sure doesn't take long to reach $2,250 with their jacked up prescription drug prices.

  • LK1215 Jul 30, 2007

    Boy, Easley has been quite during this whole thing. Wonder if the "stuff" rolls uphill???????? and where it will stop??????

  • not pc Jul 30, 2007

    any person holding a office that holds any power should get the max penalty for the crime mandatory.then the lawyers would not matter,and maybe that would make them think a lot longer before takeing tax payers money,or anyones money for that matter.jim may you freeze your ba--- off in PA.

  • then who cares Jul 30, 2007

    Has Michael Decker ever been charged with accepting the $50,000 bribe to change parties?

  • choppa Jul 30, 2007

    Justice is not blind in America. She clearly sees a person's money. Jim Black was facing 10 years. He was allowed to stay out of jail while he went to trial and after he was found guilty while awaiting his sentence. His lawyer was able to basically negotiate where would even do his time. The vast majority of people wouldn't have been allowed any of this. Usually a person facing a federal charge with only a maximum of maybe two years doesn't have a reasonable bond which they can make. If by some miraculous chance they were able to post the bond then if they were found guilty they sure as heck would not be able to remain free until their sentencing. Better yet no body but a select few actually have a say about where they will do their time. It's not about race, gender, sexual orientation, political party affiliation, or any other factor. It's about money. Today in America, the money you have determines the justice you will receive from the courts. And no one seems to care.

  • houndie Jul 30, 2007

    Where did all of the bribe $$$ go??? In such cases as these, you never hear where the money goes.........

  • the river rat Jul 30, 2007

    Kind of surprised he showed up. At 72 looking at 63 months, 63 grains would have had to be an option to consider.