Wake schools to get less than 50 cents on the dollar for Jim Black property

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.

Written by

Rick Henderson

Rick Henderson became managing editor of Carolina Journal in April 2009. Before that, he had worked more than a decade for newspapers in Denver, Colo., Las Vegas, Nev., and Southern California as an editorial writer and editor, columnist, and business reporter. Prior to that, he was at Reason magazine for nine years, splitting time between Southern California as a reporter and managing editor and Washington, D.C., where from 1992-96 he was Reason's first full-time Washington editor. He graduated in 1979 from UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in political science. Rick lives in Raleigh with his wife and their menagerie of pets.

One comment

  1. Time for an apology from Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens, who called Margiotta’s criticism of the deal “idiotic.”

    Comment by Terry Stoops on January 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm

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