Gov. Riley's Office Reacts to Bingo Ruling

Jefferson County Judge Eugene Verin says he's inclined to let bingo halls in Bessemer Cutoff stay open

By Toraine Norris -- The Birmingham News
April 12, 2010, 10:29AM

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Eugene Verin said this morning he is inclined to grant the city of Fairfield's request for a restraining order to keep the governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling from raiding bingo halls in the Bessemer division of the county.

Verin said his inclination is to grant the restraining order and let the bingo halls in the Bessemer Cutoff stay open until the Supreme Court can rule whether the task force is controlled by Attorney General Troy King or Gov. Bob Riley. However, Verin said he first will listen to arguments from involved parties this morning at an 11 a.m. hearing.

The hearing originally was set for 10 a.m., but some of the involved parties, including Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Arthur Green and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, indicated they had not been served with notice of the hearing.

John Tyson Jr., the Mobile County district attorney appointed by Gov. Bob Riley as commander of the governor's task force, was present for the 10 a.m. hearing and filed a motion to dismiss Fairfield's request.


Jefferson County Circuit Judge Eugene Verin this afternoon agreed to block Alabama Gov. Bob Riley's Task Force on Illegal Gambling from raiding bingo halls in the Bessemer division of the county.

Verin said the bingo halls, which closed Friday to avoid raids threatened by task force commander John Tyson Jr., can reopen until the Alabama Supreme Court rules about who is in charge of the task force -- Tyson, who was appointed by the governor, or Attorney General Troy King.

In a hearing that lasted about 40 minutes today, Verin heard arguments from Tyson, Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Arthur Green and Fairfield City Attorney Michael Trucks.

Tyson said he would appeal Verin's decision to the Alabama Supreme Court.


Response from Gov. Riley's Ofiice

Governor’s Office Reacts to Judge’s Ruling Regarding Casinos in Bessemer Division of Jefferson County

MONTGOMERY – Jeff Emerson, Communications Director for Governor Bob Riley, issued the following statement about the ruling issued today by Judge Eugene Verin:

“The Alabama Supreme Court has already ruled that no judge can do what Judge Verin did today. Judge Verin’s ruling today is in absolute defiance of two previous rulings from the Supreme Court. The state’s highest court has ruled that judges have no jurisdiction to issue temporary restraining orders against the enforcement of criminal laws. If they did, every criminal in Alabama would have a right to ask for a restraining order and bring a civil lawsuit prior to being charged. As the Supreme Court has said, the proper place for these issues to be decided is at the trial after illegal gambling machines have been seized,” said Emerson.

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  • by Bud Location: Dothan on Apr 19, 2010 at 07:41 PM
    When I hear that a Judge can not issue a ruling for a restraining order against the task force -Can I assume that the task force is top dog in Alabama and no one can touch them ? What if the task force is doing criminal activities . Who do they account to , if anyone ? Will they be proscuted for their crimes . Where is their evidence of illegal activity ? Why hasn't anyone been arrested ? Big cover-up , I think . Is Troy King going to ever speak up for we the people ?
  • by Joey Location: dothan on Apr 14, 2010 at 07:01 PM
    Jay Bea I read the constitution online probably just like you did. There is an amendment somewhere between five and seven hundred I dont remember the number of it that addresses bingo for houston county specifially. If it were already legal Ronnie Gilley woudnt have been trying to make it legal before he ever opened country crossing. There are also statutes on gambling for the state. I could be wrong. I've been wrong before but if I am wrong then they sure have some people who are smarter than me keeping the thing closed when they are doing nothing illegal. I think the country crossing lawyers probably agree with me that it's illegal. They just have to give as good show for the media to make the public mad and get them on their side. If the CC lawyers believe the bingo is legal they should tell Gilley to open on up and if the state ruins their equipment they will sue for damages. But I doubt they feel that way.
  • by Jay Bea Location: Dothan on Apr 14, 2010 at 01:34 PM
    Joey... I appreciate your Opinion of what is, or what's not legal in Alabama ... But you are wrong on E-Bingo in Houston County ... Even According to Troy King "as long as the machines comply with the 6 point ruling of the Supreme Court, that they would be deemed legal" .. Now I don't know where your law degree came from ... if you have one? but i think you should read the Constitution again and then read the Cornerstone ruling from the Supreme Court ... And then maybe you would re-think your statement here...
  • by Joey Location: Dothan on Apr 14, 2010 at 08:02 AM
    Jay Bea the state constitution in the amendment that addresses Bingo in Houston county says that it is not legal. If you are referring to local laws passed to make it legal they cannot overide the state constitution. Also, if you want to vote on a gambling bill make it a good one. Dont just vote on any old bill that comes up. Remember that our laws help people have some morals about them. The more laws that are passed making things that are commonly thought of as immoral legal, the closer to anarchy we become. If you want to vote on a bad bill I hope you get a chance to do so. We certainly have done it before and will do it again. No one has been or will be deprived of their right to vote on the bingo issue. They just have to go throgh to channels of voting in people who will draw up the bill for them to vote on if the current bill doesnt pass. Of course if it is already legal then there is no need to pass another bill regardless of who doesnt believe it is legal.
  • by BROWNSUAGR Location: BIG GTOWN on Apr 13, 2010 at 09:50 PM
  • by dee on Apr 13, 2010 at 07:01 PM
    why is it we can get rid of so many cancers and yet we cant get rid of riley. he is eating away at us and our rights one piece at a time. soon we will be no better off then the useless countries we fight against. one person in charge and everyone else scared to stand up to him. the state troopers already have buckled, cant think of one houston county judge with balls enough to stand up. Troy king and Harri anne have the balls to stand up and yet they get blasted for it. its time to take back our state and be proud again. its been seven years since weve had any pride in our state. dont know what you will do with john tyson, mobile dont want him back. if you will take a close look at whos running alabama, i really dont think you will be too proud.
  • by Butch Location: Dothan on Apr 13, 2010 at 05:21 PM
    What do we have to do to get this idiot impeached and him and his thugs arrested. I am sick and tired of listening to his ranting and raving about something that is not illegal to the rest of the state. riley(not capitalized, he deserves no respect) and that goon tyson(same reason) should be held accountable for each and every salary lost in their illegal campaign against bingo. Send them,after they have paid every lost salary to the reservation where they obviously have many ties. Put me on their jury. Tar and feather is too good for them.
  • by Jay Bea Location: Dothan on Apr 13, 2010 at 04:09 PM
    Joey .. I am not one of those people that want to vote on Bingo to make it legal ... It is already legal in Houston County ... I want to vote on the Bingo bill to let the Governor Know that it is Legal, and to stop this Nonsense with raids and let the people go back to their Legal Jobs.... Why would You Riley Bots want to keep us from voting on this bill ...Are you afraid that it will pass ???? I know Riley and the Choctaws are....
  • by Larry Location: Ozark on Apr 13, 2010 at 06:58 AM
    More ranting and raving from the Alabama Governor Riley (Idiot). It is time for this man to move on! IMPEACH HIM and stop this embarrassment to the state of alabama!
  • by Lowandslow Location: Dothan on Apr 13, 2010 at 06:15 AM
    I just wondered what our Alabama Supreme Court is doing? sitting on their butts and playing solitaire all day? and hoping this issue is going away?
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