State News

Black Could Lose His Optometry License

Posted October 16, 2007

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— The state Board of Optometry has scheduled a December hearing to consider disciplinary action against optometrist and former House Speaker Jim Black.

Black, 72, pleaded guilty in federal court in July to taking more than $25,000 from a group of chiropractors while shepherding legislation favorable to the industry through the General Assembly.

A Superior Court judge also fined Black $1 million after he agreed to accept punishment on charges of bribing former state Rep. Michael Decker in exchange for his support for speaker in 2003. The deal helped Black retain a share of control in the evenly divided House.

Black is now serving more than five years in federal prison. His hearing before the optometry board is set for Dec. 12.

"The fact of your plea and the circumstances surrounding it would be grounds for the board to take disciplinary action against you," the board wrote to Black in a notice dated Oct. 9.

John D. Robinson, the board's executive director, said Black has had the optometry license more than 40 years and has refused to surrender it. Black operated an optometry practice in Charlotte and Matthews while also serving in the state House.


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  • dlb800 Oct 17, 2007

    Leave him alone? NO.

    He was a crook, and not just a simple thief. He stole from
    millions of people.. the WHOLE state. He should be punished
    as much as possible until he's dead. A message HAS to be sent
    to politicians, and that message is that we won't put up with
    crooks. You do the crime, you PAY.

    Too many people are soft-hearted, and that's why crime pays.

  • ltbarkley Oct 17, 2007

    "He has not been charged with any wrongdoing in his eye practice. Leave the poor man alone. He's suffered enough."

    Its a little thing called ETHICS. Ethics does not equal LAW. What he did was WRONG ethically. He SHOULD have his license stripped. He is also getting off lightly. How many politicians are that eager to admit guilt? Remember how quickly he admitted guilt? Do you think that might have been to keep the investigators from digging deeper and finding WORSE things he has done? This man abused his power, took bribes to directly affect legislation, forced a law through that was a direct conflict of interest, and he only got 5 years and some piddly fines. Thats NOT enough for a public official - its time officials get the message that we WONT take it any more. And his sentence does not send that message.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Oct 16, 2007

    "Leave this good Democrat alone..." More proof that Democrats would vote for my Dog if I put him on the ballot.

  • sandlizzard12 Oct 16, 2007

    I see.

  • PeaceOut2017 Oct 16, 2007

    sucks to be him! LOL

  • mrtwinturbo Oct 16, 2007

    Ok I have read most of these posts and I guess most of you forgot all about Black wanting to make it a requirement that all pre-school children get an eye exam. Which is unconstitional as public school is a right and is to be free!! Maybe all of you should do some research again before you say he did nothing wrong. When he made that statement is sounded like he was going to get some kick backs from it

  • lynddsy Oct 16, 2007

    he deserves to lose his license. he's a felon isn't he?

  • coolwill Oct 16, 2007

    This guy was head of state, take his dreams!

  • beth Oct 16, 2007

    One has nothing to do with the other. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing in his eye practice. Leave the poor man alone. He's suffered enough.

  • djofraleigh Oct 16, 2007

    He could practice in jail if he is licensed. Take it. A felon shouldn't be practicing any kind of medicine.