N.C. House Speaker Jim Black on Monday called news reports about a federal investigation involving his office inaccurate and reiterated his intention to remain in his leadership position.
In an interview on the Talk 1070 (WNCT-AM) program "Talk of the Town," Black maintained he is not being investigated and is not guilty of any crime.
"I have not done anything illegal, absolutely not," Black said. "I want to point out, up front, that I am not under investigation."
Black said that news articles about a grand jury investigation into the creation of a state lottery used inaccurate information about him. Black's former political director, Meredith Norris, worked as a lobbyist for a lottery company and a Black appointee to the state lottery commission, Kevin Geddings, was a lobbyist for the same company.
On the program, Black said that Norris has done nothing wrong and that Geddings had signed a conflict of interest statement that said he had no association with a lottery company.
"That's about as good as I can do," Black said. "I can't be responsible for someone that doesn't tell me the truth."
When asked by station manager and program host Henry Hinton if he would heed calls for his resignation, Black said, ”I am in my fourth term, and I will be running for a fifth term (as speaker).”
I guess the investigations will continue for now. I wish politics had a rule like the NCAA where an entity can be punished for lack of institutional control even if there is not enough evidence to prove that the people at the top were directly involved in anything. Then we could easily get rid of both the scandal ridden Bush and Black.