Contrary to what you might think, Mike Decker took no great pride or particular joy in seeing disgraced former Speaker of the House Jim Black fall so spectacularly - even though Decker's statements to state and federal investigators set the stage for that plummet.
Rather than appearing Tuesday in Wake Superior Court to testify, Decker, a former state representative, sat quietly in his Walkertown home as prosecutors used his words to drive a final nail in Black's coffin of shame.
The details, as we all know now, spell out a sordid account of how a politician - possibly the most powerful in the state at one time - paid a bribe to maintain his chokehold on the N.C. House of Representatives.
Thousands in cash and campaign checks changed hands to help seal a deal conceived in a restroom at an IHOP off Interstate 85 in December 2002. Decker asked Black for $50,000; in exchange he would change his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and cast the vote in 2003 that kept Black planted in the speaker's chair.