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Alabama Vote Selling Gambling Trial Ends With Not Guilty Verdicts

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Aug/11/2011
Alabama Vote Selling Gambling Trial Ends With Not Guilty Verdicts

Jurors acquitted or failed to reach a verdict on all charges involving a much publicized Alabama gambling political corruption case. 

The defendants included Victoryland Casino owner Milton McGregor and two sitting senators along with lobbyists.

McGregor was acquitted of one count of bribery and two counts of honest services fraud. The jury failed to reach a verdict on his 14 other charges and U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson declared a mistrial on all the undecided charges. He said he would announce a date for a retrial within a month.

"It's a great day. We walk out of the courtroom and go home," McGregor attorney Joe Espy said.

"This jury didn't give the government a thing, not a single thing," said Susan James, attorney for Country Crossing casino spokesman Jay Walker.

The Justice Department issued a terse statement following the verdicts:  "We appreciate the jury's service in this important public corruption trial. Our prosecutors will discuss next steps as we move forward in this matter.”

The federal investigation grew out of three Republican legislators telling the FBI that they were offered campaign contributions if they would support legislation designed to keep electronic bingo games operating in Alabama. The three used recording devices to tape phone calls and meetings, and the FBI wiretapped phones in a yearlong probe that coincided with former Gov. Bob Riley creating a gambling task force to shut down privately operated casinos.

- Gilbert Horowitz reporting for Gambling911.com.  The Associated Press was used for this report.

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