Speaker Jim Black said that he is seeking a fifth term as speaker and is innocent of all charges. In fact he claims there is no investigation. According to the Daily Reflector:
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.
It's tough speaking out against a fellow Dem, but...
I'm glad you wrote this. Rep. Black may not have broken any laws, but he's admitted to using poor judgment. Personally, I think that's a massive understatement. I hold elected officials to a higher standard. I will excuse simple lapses in judgment because they are only human, but this goes beyond anything that is acceptable. Most of his problems center around his dealings with Norris. If he doesn't have any better judgment than he's shown with her, then he certainly isn't intelligent enough to handle the complex issues presented in the NC House. As much as it pains me to say it, Jim Black is due for retirement.
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.
Thanks; It Will Be Tougher If We Do Not Speak
Like when we miss the opportunity to pick up Congressional seats in '06 or if we lose control of the NC House and Senate.