Country Crossing spokesman accuses Gov. Riley of bribery

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The latest volley of words in the state's ongoing bingo battle are aimed directly at Governor Bob Riley, accusing him of extortion and bribery.

Jay Walker, spokesman for Country Crossing in Dothan issued the statement Thursday, the day after the Alabama Legislature delayed a vote on a pending bill that would allow the people to vote on a constitutional amendment to allow electronic bingo.

Walker said Country Crossing, which voluntarily closed in January to prevent the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling from raiding the facility, is happy to have additional time to explain its position on the bill and it's happy lawmakers will have the weekend to gather more support for the measure before a vote next week.

"However, Governor Riley would have you believe it is so "casino bosses" can do more "arm twisting" of the Representatives,"  Walker added.

The Country Crossing spokesman was blunt in his assessment of the situation:

"What the delay has really done is give [SIC] Governor Riley more time to extort and bribe "no" votes from Representatives. I wonder how many roads, bridges or other pork money, that Alabama doesn't have, will be offered or threatened in order to get a "no" vote from a Representative on allowing the people to vote."

Walker said he wanted an investigation of Governor Riley and any legislator who was offered a tax-payer funded bribe in exchange for a vote of "no" on the bill.

Governor Bob Riley's communications director, Jeff Emerson, called the accusations "ridiculous" and welcomed the media to ask any legislator if they've been offered a bribe for a no-vote.

Emerson says the governor has never operated in that manner and believes Walker is trying to divert attention away from the fact that the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice are looking at possible corruption charges involving the bill.

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