Ron Margiotta was right. Jim Black fleeced Wake County schools.
You may recall that more than two years ago, Carolina Journal’s David N. Bass reported on the unusual settlement arrangement allowing convicted felon former House Speaker Jim Black to settle half his $1 million criminal fine by donating undeveloped property he owned in Mecklenburg County. By state law, the fine goes to the school district in the jurisdiction that prosecuted Black: in this instance, Wake County.
At the time, Wake school board member Margiotta criticized the settlement, noting that there was no guarantee Wake County schools would get anywhere near the $600,000 assessed value of the property — and it looked like a sweetheart deal all along, since Black owned millions of dollars in commercial and residential real estate in much more desirable areas and was forced to surrender none of that. Then-board Chairman Kevin Hill (who was recently elevated to the chair once again) said he was satisfied with the arrangement, even though the full board wasn’t notified of the settlement offer before it was accepted.
The land has remained unsold for more than 3o months. Until now, reports the New & Observer‘s Keung Hui. The town of Matthews will apparently purchase the land for slightly less than $300,000, with Wake schools getting about $250k.
And once again, the crook gets away like a bandit.