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House OKs bill to take pensions from corrupt officials

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RALEIGH (AP) -- The House today approved a bill inspired by the scandal surrounding the chamber's former leader. The bill would require corrupt officials to forfeit their pensions.

The bill wouldn't affect former House Speaker Jim Black because it would be unconstitutional to apply the restriction retroactively.

Black is awaiting sentencing in federal courts after acknowledging he took money from chiropractors to advance their interests in the Statehouse. He's also chosen not to fight state charges that he gave a bribe to another lawmaker.

The bill would take away any pension an elected official earns if he or she is convicted of misconduct while in that office. The bill would have no impact on a state pension earned for other jobs, such as working for a government agency or as a teacher.

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

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