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Black fined $1 million, 10 months in prison on corruption charges

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RALEIGH (AP) -- Former state House Speaker Jim Black has five months to pay a $1 million fine on state political corruption charges.

That was the decision of a judge this afternoon at a sentencing hearing for the Mecklenburg County Democrat.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens also sentenced Black to serve up to ten months in prison. That term is to run concurrently with a federal five-year sentence Black received earlier this year after pleading guilty to a federal corruption charge.

Black began serving that sentence Monday.

Stephens said the federal government took care of taking away the power and influence. He said it was the purpose of his sentence to take away the money.

State prosecutors accused Black of giving former GOP 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.

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

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