RALEIGH (AP) -- A federal judge is considering a long prison sentence for disgraced former House speaker Jim Black.
US District Judge James Dever The Third says he's considering an "upward departure" from whatever range of sentences is recommended by prosecutors. Black, a Democrat, is scheduled to be sentenced May 18.
Dever handed out a four-year prison sentence last week to one of Black's associates. Former state representative Michael Decker had admitted that he solicited and took a bribe from Black.
Black admitted in February that he took money from three chiropractors to support their agenda in the Legislature.
Dever says in a court order filed yesterday that he wants to give Black "a sentence that reflects the seriousness of the offense."
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