Ala lawmakers testify on bingo vote-buying claims

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama House member who voted for a bill to legalize electronic bingo says he doesn't know why he was
subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury.

Democratic State Rep. Craig Ford of Gadsden was the first of
several legislators expected to testify Thursday before a grand
jury in Montgomery investigating allegations of vote buying in the
legislature over the bingo bill.

Ford said he may have been called because he is a member of the
rules committee that decides what bills come up for debate.

He said he has never had a lobbyist offer him something of value in
exchange for a vote.

Republican state Sen. Steve French of Birmingham also met with
the grand jury.

He has said inappropriate offers were made to him concerning the bingo bill, but he declined to elaborate Thursday.


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