Ret. justice to lead investigation into Ala. S.C. bingo case information

The following is a press release from the Alabama Supreme Court.

Montgomery, AL – Alabama Supreme Court Names Retired Justice Gorman Houston to Lead Investigation; Seeks Public and Bar's Assistance.

The Supreme Court of Alabama today announced that retired Supreme Court Justice J. Gorman Houston, Jr., will lead the Court's investigation relating to the dissemination of confidential information concerning the Tyson v. Jones et al. case. Information concerning this case was purportedly known by individuals outside the Court prior to the opinion's release on July 30, 2010.

Justice Houston, a Eufaula native, was appointed as an associate justice by the late Governor George C. Wallace in 1985, and he was reelected to the court for three terms prior to his retirement in 2005.  He also served as acting chief justice of the Court from August 22, 2003, to June 22, 2004.  Since his retirement, Justice Houston has been a partner in the law firm of Lightfoot, Franklin, & White, LLC, a firm not involved in the litigation arising from the activities of the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling.  He has been actively involved in work to improve the judiciary in Alabama since his retirement from the Supreme Court.

"The justices of this Court were unanimous in their decision to ask Justice Houston to lead this investigation," said Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb.  "Justice Houston's integrity and experience with our Court makes him well suited for the task."

Information concerning the assignment of cases to members of the Court as well as the anticipated release date for cases is highly confidential.  The unauthorized disclosure of such information is detrimental to the integrity of the judicial system.  The Court's investigation is ongoing, and members of the Alabama State Bar as well as the general public having information relevant to the investigation are urged to contact Justice Gorman Houston at (334) 834-4414 or (334) 467-2948. Justice Houston may also be reached via fax at (334) 262-5383.