Beason testimony hits 4th day; calls for resignation grow

The Federal Courthouse in downtown Montgomery 6/16/11
The Federal Courthouse in downtown Montgomery 6/16/11

The first witness in Alabama's gambling corruption trial, Republican state Sen. Scott Beason, has returned to the witness stand for the fourth day of testimony.

Beason was one of three Republican legislators who helped the FBI in its investigation of Statehouse corruption by recording meetings and phone calls. Defense attorneys resumed questioning him Thursday morning about the tape recordings he made.

Beason said he wore a recording device "most every day" during part of the 2010 legislative session when the FBI was conducting its investigation of vote buying on pro-gambling legislation.

Beason said he made some recordings at the direction of the FBI and made others on his own when gambling came up in discussions.


The chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party is calling for Sen. Beason's resignation, but the state Republican Party chairman is defending him.

Democratic Chairman Mark Kennedy says Beason ought to resign over calling black customers at Greenetrack "aborigines." The comment was included in a transcript of FBI recordings presented Wednesday in Alabama's gambling corruption trial. Kennedy says Beason made a national spectacle out of the state.

Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead says Beason is one of the most honorable people he knows and Beason does not have a racist bone in his body. Armistead says people should listen to the evidence presented in the trial and not try to mix politics with it.

Beason was back on the witness stand Thursday for the fourth day.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)