Ex-Speaker Black Wants Delay In Next Week's Sentencing

Former House Speaker Jim Black has asked a federal judge to delay his sentencing until next month to give his attorney more time to respond to a recommendation that Black be sentenced under tougher guidelines.

The Mecklenburg County Democrat pleaded guilty in February to one federal charge for taking thousands of dollars in cash from chiropractors while promoting their industry's agenda. His sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Black lawyer Ken Bell says the U-S Probation Office told him this week that the pre-sentencing report it gave to U-S District Judge Terrence Boyle suggested Black be sentenced under guidelines for someone convicted of offering or receiving a bribe.

Bell says he was told last month the recommendation would be for the lesser crime of offering or receiving a gratuity. The difference could result in several months of extra prison time.

Black faces up to ten years in prison and a 250-thousand-dollar fine.