All 11 in Alabama gambling case plead not guilty
By Sebastian Kitchen
* Montgomery Advertiser *
October 15, 2010

The 11 defendants in an alleged scheme to buy votes in support of electronic gaming in the state pleaded not guilty in federal court on Friday. The judge set a trial date for April 4.

Casino owners Milton McGregor and Ronnie Gilley; state Sens. Quinton Ross, Harri Anne Smith, Larry Means and Jim Preuitt; lobbyists Bob Geddie, Jarrod Massey, and Tom Coker; legislative analyst Ray Crosby; and former Gilley spokesman Jay Walker all entered not guilty pleas.

The federal government is charging them with alleged widespread corruption to buy and sell votes for legislation that would have legalized and taxed electronic gaming in the state. Their effort to pass the legislation appeared to intensify as a task force assembled by Gov. Bob Riley began to crack down on facilities including McGregor’s VictoryLand in Shorter and Gilley’s Country Crossing near Dothan.

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2 Comments to “Alabamans charged by DoJ all plead not guilty”

  • Your Headline is incorrect and misleading. The party affiliations of the legislators indicted includes 2 democrats, 1 republican, and 1 independant.

  • Yes, one of the legislators is a Republican, and one’s an Independent; and there I stand corrected. But that does not change the fact that Leura Canary’s indictment of all eleven Alabamans is a highly partisan maneuver, just like her indictments of Don Siegelman, and all her other services to Bush & Co.

    From Legal Schnauzer’s blog:

    “Means and Ross are Democrats, Pruett is a Republican, and Smith is an Independent. That appears to be a relatively bipartisan target list. But there is little doubt that Canary and her prosecutors went after Democrats and others who oppose Gov. Riley and his efforts to shut down gaming in Alabama. As we reported on September 8:

    “‘Our source, who has close ties to the Alabama legal community, says the plan is set to take flight around October 1 and might include an indictment of Ron Sparks, the Democratic candidate for governor. In other words, plans for a political prosecution that is designed to affect the outcome of an election might be taking place right under the Obama administration’s nose.’

    “So far, there is no word of an indictment on Sparks. But what does all of this say about the Obama administration? It already had a dreadful record on justice issues. And yet it backs a process where neither Gov. Riley nor any of his conservative backers who opposed gambling were apparently even investigated. We’ve seen no sign of a probe into the $13 million in Mississippi gaming money that reportedly was spent to help get Riley elected in 2002. Canary seems to have focused only on pro-gambling individuals, who tend to be Democrats or Riley critics.

    “And here is the huge question: Why is Leura Canary still in office in the first place?

    “What is this ‘investigation’ all about? It looks like a thinly veiled effort to pay back Riley’s Mississippi gaming supporters–who reportedly laundered money through Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon, and Ralph Reed–by shutting down competition in Alabama.

    “The George W. Bush Department of Justice (DOJ) was a nightmare. But this happened today on Barack Obama’s watch. That can only be described as shameful.”

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