Former Speaker Jim Black Enters Plea In State Court

.Former House Speaker Jim Black has agreed to be sentenced for offering a bribe and obstructing justice.

Black entered an Alford plea, which allows a defendant to acknowledge that the evidence could result in a conviction but doesn't require them to acknowledge guilt.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens did not immediately accept the plea, allowing prosecutors to first present evidence.

Last Thursday, a day after resigning his House seat, he pleaded guilty to a federal count of accepting things of value in connection with the business of state government.

Prosecutors say Black accepted nearly 30-thousand dollars from three chiropractors as a reward for pushing legislation they supported.

Black faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of 250-thousand dollars. Sentencing for the federal charge is scheduled for May, although he's agreed to cooperate with authorities in hopes of reducing his sentence.


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