War of Words: King, Tyson discuss authority

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - With the eyes of the state watching, Attorney General Troy King took control of the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling.

"I have candidly told [Governor Riley and John Tyson] that we have tried it their way for 14 months.  It is now time to try it a different way," King said.

King then relieved commander John Tyson of his duties and ordered seized evidence turned over to his office.

He also asked the state's ABC board and Department of Public Safety for its cooperation and appointed an attorney as the point man on illegal gambling.

"As soon as a definitive ruling is obtained, I will lead the aggressive enforcement of the law," King said.

Hours later, Tyson fired back--saying he's not stepping down.  He claims King overstepped his authority.

"The Attorney General corrupts our judicial system and his office by continuing to claim that the law is not clear," he explained.

Tyson says the Attorney General doesn't control him, the task force, or the ABC board.

He says King hasn't cited any law that allows him to obtain evidence.

Tyson also claims says the Governor has argued King should have no authority during pending cases.

"He knows that he has no authority whatsoever to impose a moratorium on the enforcement of the law," Tyson said.

As the legal stalemate intensifies, both sides agree the courts should be involved.

King wants a judgement on bingo.  Riley and his task force say it's already official.

"If we ever get to the point that everyone in Alabama understands once the Supreme Court speaks, that should be final, we'll put an end to all of this," Riley said.

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