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$500K Loan Shows Black Sentencing May Not End Ethics Scandal

The sentencing of former House Speaker Jim Black to more than five years in federal prison in a corruption plea left many at the state Capitol with feelings of grief.

But news just before sentencing that an unidentified lobbyist gave a 500-thousand-dollar loan to Black in the year 2000 also sent shock waves through legislators and the lobbyist community.

Black's attorney says there was nothing unlawful about Black receiving the loan from the lobbyist for help on a business deal. Before the money was repaid, the lawyer says Black deposited the money into his campaign account to leave the impression he had a lot of money going into the election season.

Investigators are still looking into the loan. U-S prosecutor John Bruce says it appears that loan-related transactions weren't reported properly on Black's campaign finance records.

The disclosure renews hope among reform advocates that the General Assembly will pass more lobbyist restrictions this year.


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