Former Speaker Pleads Guilty

Former House Speaker Jim Black has pleaded
guilty to corruptly accepting about $29,000 from three
unidentified chiropractors.
Black's plea came in a federal courtroom in Raleigh, one day
after the longtime lawmaker resigned his seat. It also marks the
end of his once powerful political career.
Prosecutors told the court that Black accepted about $25,000 in cash on four occasions between February 2002 and
December 2005. Court documents say Black told one of the
chiropractors at the last meeting, quote, "This is just between me
and you -- don't you ever tell anybody about this."
Prosecutors also said Black accepted a $4,000
check that he deposited into his personal account.
Black pleaded guilty to a single count of accepting illegal
gratuities. It's a felony charge similar to bribery but less
serious. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in
prison and a 250-thousand dollar fine.