Former House Speaker's Sentencing Delayed

The federal judge overseeing former House Speaker Jim Black's sentencing has delayed the hearing after Black's attorney said the judge should recuse himself.

In an order filed in U-S District Court in Raleigh, Judge James C. Dever the Third cited the motion by Black's lawyer and the court's busy calendar in canceling the May 18th sentencing date. The sentencing has not been rescheduled.

Attorney Ken Bell said in a motion filed Thursday that Dever, while still an attorney in private practice, sued Black and other state officials on behalf of state Republican leaders and a G-O-P voter earlier this decade.

The lawsuit challenged the maps approved by the General Assembly for its own House and Senate districts. Dever's clients won the redistricting case at the state Supreme Court, forcing Black and other lawmakers to redraw the districts. Prosecutors have until May eleventh to respond to the recusal motion.