Tuesday, 31 July 2007 20:00
Former state House Speaker Jim Black was sentenced
today for a political corruption charge.
Black was ordered to pay a $1 million
fine and to serve 10 months in prison, the term to run concurrently with a
federal five-year sentence Black began serving Monday. Prosecutors allege Black
gave former Representative Michael Decker as much as $58,000 in cash and campaign
contributions to switch political parties in 2003. The move helped Black remain
co-speaker. While he has consistently denied bribing Decker, Black admitted
yesterday to giving $10,000 to Decker. He said it was a gift to an impoverished
man living in a van.