Congressional Candidate faces questions about PAC ties to Bingo Investigation

Posted by Samuel King - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL  (WSFA) -   A congressional candidate in North Alabama facing questions after political action committees he once ran received large payments from Country Crossing's Ronnie Gilley.   Gilley is one of 11 people indicted as part of a federal corruption probe involving gambling legislation.

In the indictment, prosecutors allege Gilley sent separate $50,000 checks to four political action committees based in Huntsville in March of this year.

Prosecutors say that was a way to hide campaign contributions targeted for State Senator Harri Ann Smith of Slocomb - in exchange for Smith's support of an electronic bingo bill.

Until February of this year, those Political Action Committees were overseen by 5th District Congressional Candidate Steve Raby, a Democrat.  But the checks from Gilley arrived after Raby turned over control of the committees to his nephew.

"He's taken over that responsibility," Raby said.  "Once we made that decision, he took over because I'm not affiliated with any state PACs as a congressional candidate."

Neither Raby, nor his nephew, were named in the indictments.  Raby defended his stewardship of the PACs, which he ran for 10 years.

"All transactions in our PACs has have been above board," said Raby.  "You can go to the Secretary of State's website and you can see every contribution coming into the PAC and you can see every contribution going out of the PAC."

In other news connected to the case, Milton McGregor's attorneys filed a series of motions in federal court requesting copies of evidence gathered by the prosecution, including wiretap recordings and witness statements.  They also requested the disclosure of any promises of immunity, leniency or other preferential treatment by the government.

The court denied all but one of the motions - for now.  The judge ruled they were premature because the many of the requested documents should be provided at the arraignment scheduled for next week.

One of McGregor's lawyers, Bobby Seagall told WSFA 12 News, McGregor's legal team expected the motions to be denied.  They just wanted the government to know what sort of documents the defense team wanted to see before the trial.  The judge did not rule on one of the motions which asked that certain types of evidence remain undisclosed to the public.

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