Gov. office makes good on promise to raid Greenetrack

GREENE COUNTY, AL (WBRC) – Governor Riley's task force on illegal gambling has begun a raid upon Greenetrack in Greene County.

The raid began on Tuesday morning with a number of representatives from the Department of Public Safety and the Alcohol Beverage Control Board.

According to the governor's office, the task force took control of all the machines in the facility to inspect and inventory them. The machines are expected to be moved to a different facility eventually.

On Monday, the Alabama Supreme Court vacated the orders of Circuit Court Judge Eddie Hardaway, Jr. Hardaway had entered an order on June 18th to prevent task force representatives from carry out inspections on the Greenetrack machines.

"Today's actions are being undertaken by the Task Force in pursuit of the forfeiture proceedings begun by the Greene County District Attorney and the orders of the Governor," said Task Force Commander John Tyson, Jr.  "Whenever a forfeiture action is initiated, the State has to have control over the machines at issue.  All we did today was to complete what the local District Attorney and former Sheriff started in early June."

Tyson was not on scene during the Tuesday morning raid. The raid was led by the Director of Public Safety, Col. Christopher J. Murphy.

"The Task Force actions taken this morning involved 10 uniformed state troopers," said Col. Murphy. "All of our actions are consistent with Judge Hardaway's order and those of the Alabama Supreme Court."


Democrat nominee for governor Ron Sparks, who is running on a campaign to legalize electronic bingo in Alabama, issued a statement a short time after the raid condemning the move.

"Bob Riley is determined to kill every gaming job before he leaves office, and I am just as determined to let the people vote on this issue. This issue is so important to the economy of Alabama that the people should decide its future, not one man. It is time to tax this industry and use the money to educate our kids and protect our seniors. It is time to regulate gaming, and it is time to let the people decide this question once and for all. I repeat my pledge: my first act as governor will be to call a special session and give the people the right to vote. My second act will be to fire John Tyson and disband the gaming task force."

Copyright 2010 WBRC. All rights reserved. WSFA 12 News contributed to this report.