Local Politics

Black Seeks Delay in Reporting to Prison

Posted July 16, 2007 12:52 p.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2007 7:14 p.m. EDT

— Former House Speaker Jim Black on Monday asked a federal judge for a six-week delay in reporting to prison to serve his sentence for public corruption.

Last week, Black was sentenced to 63 months in prison and three years on probation for accepting more than $25,000 in cash from chiropractors while backing legislation favorable to the industry. He is expected to report to prison by July 30.

But Black's attorneys filed a motion Monday, asking that his reporting date be pushed back to Sept. 10. The motion states that the 72-year-old Mecklenburg County Democrat needs some medical procedures and would prefer to have them done by his private doctors rather than in prison.

The motion also notes that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons likely wouldn't have a prison assigned for Black by the July 30 deadline and that Black is awaiting sentencing on state charges.

Wake County prosecutors said Monday that Black would be sentenced on state bribery and obstruction of justice charges sometime during the week of July 30.

The state charges stem from cash and blank campaign donation checks that Black forwarded to former state Rep. Michael Decker in 2003 in exchange for Decker switching to the Democratic Party and helping Black retain a share of the House speakership. Black later encouraged people to lie to authorities investigating his campaign finance activities.

He could face 18 to 22 months in prison on the state charges.

Federal prosecutors have no objections to Black reporting to prison in September, the motion states.