Governor, D.A. trade letters over Victoryland machines

Macon County District Attorney E. Paul Jones during a recent interview in which he said Victoryland's machines are legal.
Macon County District Attorney E. Paul Jones during a recent interview in which he said Victoryland's machines are legal.

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Governor Bob Riley's office and the office of Macon County District Attorney E. Paul Jones are now trading words concerning the legality of Victoryland's gaming machines.

Jones declared Monday that he'd inspected Victoryland's machines and concluded that they follow Alabama law. The announcement, not surprisingly, was rejected by Governor Riley's office which continues to maintain the machines are illegal.

Thursday, Gov. Riley's office released to the media a letter it dispatched to Jones' office advising that its Task Force on Illegal Gambling was trying to take the D.A. up on an offer to inspect the machines for itself, but had not received an answer to the invitation.

Jones replied to the letter in an email to media outlets saying information he'd shared with Riley was between the two of them and was not intended for media consumption. "Since the governor chose to send the the media prior to sending it to me," Jones wrote, "here is my letter I sent the governor by e-mail about 10 am today (Thursday)."

CLICK HERE to view Governor Riley's letter to D.A. Jones.

CLICK HERE to view D.A. Jones' letter to Governor Riley.

Governor Riley's letter also seeks to confirm with Jones, "whether or not this evidence (the machines) has been altered or tampered with, and, if so, exactly how it has been altered and what you intend to do about it."

Riley also warns the district attorney against filing a declaratory judgement in the matter because Jones has no authority to do so and that it "could be viewed as interfering with the ongoing work of the Task Force as it battles illegal gambling..."

The letter concluded by saying that because of Jones' relationship with Victoryland, any lawsuit filed on their behalf would be illegitimate.

In his response, E. Paul Jones wrote, " I don't own or control Victoryland, so I speak only for myself. There is no allegation of a connection between me and ANY gambling entity, either from contributions, requests for contributions, employment or any other connection.  I won't profit or lose, and have no personal interest in either totally outlawing all gambling, or making it all legal.  I have to be true to my God, and I have a sworn oath to follow the law.  I respect that you disagree with me on what the law is at the moment in Alabama."

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.