Alabama Supreme Court Justice Glenn Murdock's bingo ties bring up questions

By: Press-Register
By: Press-Register

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Glenn Murdock, who has written at least two key opinions concerning the state’s gambling controversy, did legal work for a co-owner of the Greenetrack dog track and casino prior to his election to the court, according to billing records obtained by the Press-Register.

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Statement from Victoryland on the Release

The story in today’s Mobile Press-Register about Justice Glenn Murdock should sicken every Alabamian who believes our courts should be transparent, fair, and equitable. The idea that a Justice with conflicts and motives for revenge can write decisions or even participate in deliberations without disclosing the facts to parties in the case is completely contrary to what anyone with business before the Court should expect.

Others will decide if laws were broken or if the canons of judicial ethics were violated. It is astonishing that no one involved in these cases was informed by Justice Murdock that he negotiated with an electronic gaming machine company on behalf of Greene County (a bingo facility owner); that he prepared legislation for Greene County that would establish the legality of electronic gaming in the county; and that he was fired by Greene County as their attorney.

It is also essential to know if Murdock informed the other Justices of these matters and, if so, why he was allowed to participate in the bingo cases without disclosing his background to us. Murdock’s participation without prior disclosure in any bingo case, including those not directly involving Greene County case, raises serious questions of fairness. It is not unreasonable to believe the decisions rendered by the Court with Murdock’s participation need to be set aside and heard by Justices who have not been influenced by him. Unfortunately for other members of the Court, once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it is impossible to get it back in.

Citizens of Greene County, Macon County, Lowndes County, Houston County, and other areas are justified to wonder why their economic well-being was jeopardized by decisions decided with Justice Murdock’s participation without full prior disclosure. All Alabamians should wonder why any member of our highest court can be allowed to follow such seemingly low standards.

Attorneys for VictoryLand will meet with other parties who have been injured by the bingo decisions handed down by Justice Murdock and other members of the Court. Together we will determine how to insure our rights are protected and Justice Murdock is held to account.

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