Investigator: "Reasonably convinced" of Supreme Court leak

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - An investigation into an alleged information leak within the Alabama Supreme Court dealing with electronic bingo cases before the court has concluded.

Former Justice Gorman Houston led the investigation and reported that after more than 100 hours of independent investigating he couldn't find any evidence to support claims that the Executive Department - Governor Riley's office - imposed its will on the Court in the case of Tyson vs. Jones.

The claim alleged that Tyson v. Jones was reassigned from one Justice to another Justice on the Court and that assurance had been obtained of when an opinion would be released.

Houston said he was "reasonably convinced that confidential information involving Tyson v. Jones was leaked to the public before Tyson v. Jones was formally released by the Supreme Court of Alabama on July 30, 2010. However, after a thorough investigation, I have been unable to determine the source of the disclosure of confidential information."

Mark White, an attorney for Victoryland, told WSFA 12 News that the report needs to be turned over the Attorney General's office so subpoenas can be issued.

Governor Riley's office issued this statement:

"The Governor's office gave its complete cooperation to Justice Houston in his investigation of the false and outrageous allegations that the case was reassigned at the request of the Governor or his staff. Governor Riley appreciates the seriousness with which Justice Houston conducted the investigation.  Justice Houston's conclusion that there is no evidence to support the allegations should put to rest once and for all these baseless claims against the Governor and the Court.

"Justice Houston's conclusion that confidential information was leaked to the public about the case is not a surprise.  After all, one individual not associated in any way with the Governor held a press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court the day before the decision was released and announced that the case had been reassigned from one justice to another. While that information was clearly leaked by someone, it was not leaked to the Governor, his staff, or anyone associated with the Task Force on Illegal Gambling," said Jeff Emerson, the governor's Communications Director.

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