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Jim Hunt is retiring from Womble Carlyle

Former Gov. Jim Hunt is retiring from Womble Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, the state's largest law firm, at the end of the year.

Hunt, who is 75, intends to remain active and will continue to chair the two institute that he heads, the Institute for Emerging Issues at N.C. State University, and the James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Hunt is in the process of moving from Womble's Raleigh office in Wells Fargo building in downtown Raleigh out to an office at the Hunt Library at NCSU. Hunt has been with the firm for 12 years, where he largely served as a rain maker.

The four-term governor said he also plans to spend more time with his family on their Wilson County farm.

Sands, star lobbyist and star witness, moves to new firm

Alexander "Sandy" Sands is moving to a new law firm, taking with him his annual ranking as one of the state's most effective lobbyists and his legacy of raising some of the money that then-House Speaker Jim Black used to bribe another legislator.

Sands, recently ranked as the 4th most effective lobbyist in the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research survey, is joining the government relations practice at Williams Mullen as a partner. He routinely ranks in the top ten in the center's survey.

Sands, a former legislator, previously worked for Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, represented the video poker industry and in 2003 raised $2,500 at the request of then-House Speaker Jim Black, a longtime defender of video poker. Black used the money as part of a bribe to get Rep. Michael Decker, of Forsyth County, to switch from the Republican to Democratic Party and support Black for speaker. In the narrowly divided House, Decker's vote enabled Black to stay in power. Decker and Black are both serving prison sentences.

Sands ended up testifying before a grand jury and appeared before the State Board of Elections about his role in the fundraising.

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