John Tyson's full written response to Attorney General

By: PRESS RELEASE: Governor's Press Office
By: PRESS RELEASE: Governor's Press Office

MONTGOMERY – John Tyson, Jr., Commander of the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling, said Attorney General Troy King’s announcement today he will attempt to take control of the task force is a “last-ditch” effort by the casino bosses in Alabama to stop law enforcement and shows King is “determined to do whatever it takes to protect the gambling bosses.”

“If the attorney general gets his way, then the only thing that will be assured is that the illegal slot machine casinos will get to stay open for months and months as the gambling bosses drag out the litigation that the attorney general says he is going to bring,” Tyson said during a news conference on Monday.

“The Supreme Court has issued one clear opinion after another on these illegal gambling issues, but the attorney general refuses to acknowledge those decisions. For example, even though the Supreme Court has made crystal clear that the trial court cannot issue declaratory judgments about the legality of electronic bingo, the attorney general now says that he is going to direct district attorneys to file declaratory judgment actions. His own attorneys indicated to the Governor last week that declaratory judgment actions won’t work. He knows the Supreme Court has said so, and he knows every time they lose one the casinos will just change a bell or whistle on the machines and start the whole mess over. With actions like these, the attorney general corrupts our judicial system and his office by continuing to claim that the law is not clear,” Tyson said.

“The attorney general’s announcement today amounts to a declaration of war on the rule of law. He is determined to undermine the fundamental principle that no one is above the law. He is determined to do whatever it takes to protect the gambling bosses,” said Tyson.

Below is Tyson’s statement at the news conference:

Mr. King’s press conference today is yet another delaying tactic so gambling interests can keep raking in money which they use to try to frustrate law enforcement.

1. The Task Force was created by the Governor of Alabama, and the Attorney General has absolutely no ability to dictate how it will be operated.

2. I was appointed as Commander of the Task Force by the Governor. I serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Attorney General has no more right to replace me than do the casino bosses.

3. The Department of Public Safety and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board are cabinet-level agencies that are under the authority of the Governor. The Attorney General’s suggestion that he has the ability to dictate how they conduct criminal investigations is absolutely wrong. The law gives him no authority to tell those agencies what to do, and he knows it. He has no authority whatsoever to impose a moratorium on the enforcement of the law.

4. The Attorney General has cited no rule of law that entitles him to obtain the evidence held by these law enforcement officials, and I know of none.

5. The Governor has argued in a case already pending in the Supreme Court that the Attorney General should have no authority to override the Governor in pending litigation, and we fully intend to press that point with the Supreme Court.

Now the Attorney General comes saying he is—without authority—going to take over the Governor’s job of enforcing our laws and protecting the criminal process that allows law enforcement to protect all of us – at a time when all Alabamians are experiencing equal and fair law enforcement and we are building a reputation for it that benefits us all.

Mr. King wants to reverse all of that progress and give the casino operators more time to take more money from Alabamians through illegal slot machines and use that money to further corrupt our law enforcement process.

The Governor won’t let that happen, he’s fought corruption and its affects on citizens for more than 7 years.

I have spoken with the Governor and he has told me I am the Task Force Commander and to proceed.

The Attorney General’s suggestion that there has been no progress in 14 months is laughable. The Task Force has won every single issue that has been presented to the Alabama Supreme Court, and the gambling bosses know that the end is near for their ability to continue illegal slot-machine gambling. Their last-ditch option is to try to derail the enforcement of the law by having the Attorney General swoop in and illegally claim to have authority over the Task Force. If the Attorney General gets his way, then the only thing that will be assured is that the illegal slot machine casinos will get to stay open for months and months as the gambling bosses drag out the litigation that the Attorney General says he is going to bring.

Make no mistake. What the Attorney General is doing today is a cynical effort to protect a few of his gambling buddies from equal enforcement of the law. It is part of a long pattern of acts and omissions by the Attorney General to perpetuate this unlawful activity. The Supreme Court has issued one clear opinion after another on these illegal gambling issues, but the Attorney General refuses to acknowledge those decisions. For example, even though the Supreme Court has made crystal clear that the trial court cannot issue declaratory judgments about the legality of electronic bingo, the Attorney General now says that he is going to direct district attorneys to file declaratory judgment actions. The attorney general told the Governor last week that his own lawyers indicated that declaratory judgment actions won’t work. He knows the Supreme Court has said so, and he knows every time they lose one the casinos will just change a bell or whistle on the machines and start the whole mess over. With actions like these, the Attorney General corrupts our judicial system and his office by continuing to claim that the law is not clear.

The Governor has worked in good faith to reach an agreement with the Attorney General on how the law should be enforced. In fact, the Governor just this weekend extended an offer to the Attorney General to see the Task Force’s undercover investigative materials. Even though the Attorney General has complained repeatedly in the past about not seeing those materials, he ignored the Governor’s offer and instead decided to hold a press conference to announce that he wanted to hijack the law enforcement activities of the Task Force.

The Attorney General’s announcement today amounts to a declaration of war on the rule of law. He is determined to undermine the fundamental principle that no one is above the law. He is determined to do whatever it takes to protect the gambling bosses.

The Task Force and Governor Riley are equally determined to fight for what is right, and we will fight to stop the Attorney General’s illegal and destructive activity.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jay Bea Location: Dothan on Mar 25, 2010 at 11:40 AM
    WOW.... Is this guy a piece of work or what? .... He is going to wind up getting someone killed with this Cowboy approach ..
  • by Jimmy Location: Dothan on Mar 24, 2010 at 06:09 AM
    Speaking of corruption, Mr. Tyson, when are you going to give the owner of Victoryland the $100,000.00 back that you received from him in your 2006 bid for the office of attorney general?
  • by Anonymous Location: DALEVILLE on Mar 23, 2010 at 12:50 PM
    I THINK THE GOV. AND TYSON SAYING THINGS ARE ILLEGAL IS LIKE THE PAN CALLING THE POT BLACK. DOTHAN IS COMBINING SCHOOLS TO SAVE MONEY AND ALL THE S.T. AT CC & VL COULD HAVE PAID EVERY TEACHER IN AL. FOR 10YRS. IF A PERSON IS GOING TO PLAY ELC. BINGO HE IS GOING TO PLAY IF HE/SHE HAS TO DRIVE 100 MILES. SO LET THEM DO IT HERE AND BENEFIT THE SCHOOLS AND WORK FOR PEOPLE ON WELFARE. I THINK THEY NEED TO SEND REILLY AND OBAMA TO A FAR AWAY ISLAND AND FIGHT AMONG THEMSELVES.
  • by LAGirl Location: Alabama on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:54 AM
    Ken, CC closed down to prevent their machines from being illegally removed. Their hands were tied and if they had remained open, Tyson would have illegally taken the machines out. During the removal they could cause a lot of damage to the machines. It was also to protect the patrons of the pavilion. If you will recall, they were invading with guns drawn and pointed.
  • by jeff Location: dothan on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:47 AM
    It seems like Neither our "governor" nor his hand picked lackey, understand the seperation of powers. The governor does not have the authority to change laws just to suit him. Alabama seems to have a major problem in understanding the rule of law. Jurisdictions are being crossed by those without the legal right or authority. The courts have not ever ruled on the actual issue of the machines legality. They continue to let the gestapo led by tyson and riley violate the rights of citizens and the laws of Alabama and the United States. Every time a case is brought on ruling on electronic bingo, the so called task force gets it stopped. If a case is even slightly towards the favor of the task force, tyson and riley applaud it. Yet if anything goes against them, "then oh no the court is biased and bordering on illegalities, Come on Alabama get into the present and quit living in the 1600's
  • by ken Location: dothan on Mar 23, 2010 at 09:43 AM
    If Country Crossing machine are legal, why did they close down?
  • by Diana Location: Dothan on Mar 23, 2010 at 05:51 AM
    Someone should send Mr Tyson a road map showing him how to get back to Mobile from Montgomery.
  • by James Location: Dothan on Mar 23, 2010 at 04:05 AM
    John Tyson should be worried about his political future. He should also join a fitness club to get rid of his excess pot belly.
  • by john Location: dothan on Mar 22, 2010 at 10:03 PM
    i would definitely like to know if john tyson produces any kind of overwhelming evidence to our honorable AG.If theres anyway possible wtvy need to stay on top of this in the next 48 hours and let us know whether our lamb duck governor will pursue to keep our honorable AG from firing czar john tyson.
  • by Anonymous II Location: visitin Dothan on Mar 22, 2010 at 07:39 PM
    Wow, is it electronic bingo, paper bingo or slot machines that are illegal? Seriously, What's the diff? C'mon Bama, this is 2010 not 1940, quit wasting taxpayer's hard earned money in a harsh economy...levy the casino's profits to fund your closing schools, keep jobs, keep kids off the streets and fund your awful roads!! The city should mandate the road fund bcuz of the tourism the casino is attracting, duh...OMG and get the troopers away from protecting a building and go protect the citizens of Bama-why should citizens be asked to report on any criminal information for leads for our cops, isn't that their job? Where is common sense these days? JOBS 4 PEOPLE, PEOPLE FOR JOBS IN ALABAMA
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