Crime

BLACK COMMENTS

Excerpts of comments made by House Speaker Jim Black on Thursday:

On his strong support of the video poker industry as a way to keep jobs:

"These employees, many of them without a college degree, service the machines or work in mom-and-pop convenience stores or restaurants and truck stops. ...

"Banning video poker could have equated into another Pillowtex-type layoff that our state simply cannot afford."

On an e-mail message about a possible meeting in July with Kevin Geddings of Charlotte, later appointed to the lottery commission:

"I have not met with Kevin Geddings ever."

On whether Meredith Norris suggested Geddings for the lottery commission:

"No. My idea about Kevin Geddings had to do with the fact that he had been chief of staff for the governor of South Carolina and had something to do with the lottery in South Carolina and helped set it up."

On having Norris as his political director while she was working as a lobbyist:

"If I could do some things differently, I would.

"The public perception of that, many being very suspicious of mind anyway, would look at that and say, "Oh, something's bad going on there." Well, in my mind, it wasn't."

On whether he thinks Norris lobbied on specific issues:

"No."

On Norris working to secure appointments to the state pest control board on behalf of Black's son, Jon:

"My son is a young, good-looking guy, and Meredith Norris was trying to help him."

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