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Boyle will sentence ex-Speaker Jim Black on federal charges

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RALEIGH (AP) -- US District Judge Terrence Boyle will preside at the sentencing of former state House Speaker Jim Black.

He's replacing a judge who removed himself from the case.

Black pleaded guilty in February to accepting thousands of dollars in cash from chiropractors while promoting their industry's agenda. He's facing up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

US District Judge James Dever the Third said this week he would step aside after Black's attorney asked that he be removed. The attorney cited Dever's involvement as a private attorney representing a group of Republicans who sued Black and others over legislative redistricting. He argued that a reasonable person would question Dever's ability to act without bias given his involvement in that case.

Dever rejected the argument, but said Black's case was unique and that assigning the case to another judge was in the public's best interest.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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