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Governor Bob Riley showed the ugly side of politics on Monday. after learning that one of his Gambling Task Force raids was done incorrectly, he turned to the state Supreme Court to try and have a judge’s Saturday ruling overturned.
Former Supreme Court Justice Mark Kennedy ruled on Saturday that the White Hall gambling center can re-open their doors for business after the governor’s task force shut them down in a raid on illegal gambling. The judge ruled that the state must return the over 100 electronic bingo machines that were taken in the raid.
Governor Riley has become passionate in his war on gambling in the state, and that has led to a political move on Monday. The governor has asked the state Supreme Court to block Kennedy’s ruling because he has previously worked for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
“Fearing the law regarding the machines would not have been on his side had the case gone before the Supreme Court, he chose to take another route to victory,” said observer Mitchell Jeroskly.
The actual work that Kennedy has done for the Indian tribe had to do with economic development, according to Cornerstone Community Outreach’s attorney, Bobby Segall. He claims that the governor is simply trying to delay the case from being completed.
The ruling on Saturday comes on the heels of an all out attack by the governor’s task force on establishments where gambling machines are operated. The governor has decided to interpret the law to mean that all gambling machines are illegal in Alabama, but Kennedy gave Riley a reality check on Saturday.
Whether or not Riley wins on the technicality in the Supreme Court, it is clear that at least one respected judge in the state believes that circumstances will dictate whether or not a gaming facility is operating legally.