Pouncy talks about how she became catalyst for guilty pleas

Jennifer Pouncy on the witness stand (Sketch by: Bob Adams)
Jennifer Pouncy on the witness stand (Sketch by: Bob Adams)

A lobbyist who pleaded guilty in Alabama's gambling corruption trial has described how she became the catalyst for other guilty pleas.

Country Crossing lobbyist Jennifer Pouncy testified Thursday that she initially denied any wrongdoing when the FBI contacted her the day after the state Senate passed a pro-gambling bill on March 30, 2010.

But she said she soon began providing information. She said she kept that from her boss, lobbyist Jarrod Massey, who offered to pay her legal fees if she kept quiet.

She said Country Crossing developer Ronnie Gilley offered to give her an equity interest in the Dothan casino for her silence.

She kept talking to the FBI and pleaded guilty in September 2010. Massey entered his guilty plea in December and Gilley did the same in April.

An FBI agent has testified that former Sen. Jim Preuitt told him that no one offered him a bribe to vote for pro-gambling legislation and that he was not aware of any bribery efforts.

Agent George Glaser testified Thursday about an interview with Preuitt six months before he was indicted. The agent first testified Tuesday but his testimony was stopped when defense lawyers objected. He returned to the witness stand Thursday after U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled the jury couldn't consider the agent's testimony in regards to the other eight defendants in the trial.

Preuitt's lawyer, Ron Wise, said the agent's testimony went beyond the agent's notes from the interview. Wise said those notes said only that Preuitt denied taking a bribe.

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