Ala. AG calls Tuskegee mayor's voting rights violations claims - Montgomery Alabama news.

Ala. AG calls Tuskegee mayor's voting rights violations claims "frivolous", "harassing"


Attorney General Luther Strange, in a recent court filing, called Mayor Johnny Ford of Tuskegee's claims about voting rights violations, "frivolous" and "harassing in nature."

Mayor Ford alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act after Attorney General Luther Strange approved and exercised a raid of the Victoryland gambling facility in Shorter.

In an interview Friday, Mayor Ford said the people of Macon County had their rights violated because they voted on a constitutional amendment that allows them to play certain kinds of bingo in Macon County and that the Attorney General isn't allowing them to exercise that right.

"2,000 people have lost their jobs" said Mayor Ford. "The Attorney General needs to think about that."

Alabama State Troopers raided Victoryland in February, confiscating hundreds of alleged illegal gambling machines.

In court filings, Attorney General Strange alleged that Ford knows he doesn't have legal standing and that his legal arguments and assertions make no sense.

"Plaintiff Ford, an elected official, has mounted a public-relations campaign in which he has all but admitted that he is pursuing this lawsuit to harass Defendant Strange" the Attorney General wrote in a motion filed with the Middle District of Alabama.

[DOCUMENT: Motion for Sanctions (.pdf)]

He also called the lawsuit "frivolous" saying the fact that he is enforcing Alabama's gambling laws has nothing to do with the voting rights act. Attorney General Strange said his office, and no one else for that matter, has impeded on the rights of citizens in Macon County to vote.

Ford disagrees with that assertion.

By not allowing Victoryland to operate, "he has, in essence, nullified our voting rights" Ford said.

The Attorney General called for the Middle District to sanction Mayor Ford and his attorney for the way they have handled themselves during the judicial process.

Mayor Ford said if he is unsuccessful at the district level, then he will take his fight to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and then to the United States Supreme Court.

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