Greene Co. commissioner says 1,100 face unemployment after bingo - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Greene Co. commissioner says 1,100 face unemployment after bingo raids

Posted: Updated:
Residents attend a county commission work meeting to discuss the impact of the raids. Source: WBRC video Residents attend a county commission work meeting to discuss the impact of the raids. Source: WBRC video
GREENE COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

Greene County commissioners met Tuesday to discuss the community's next step after four bingo parlors were shut down by state authorities.

Dozens of people who support electronic bingo gathered to talk about the widespread effect of the raids.

Commissioner Nick Underwood also said as many as 1,100 people face unemployment as a result of the raids and there could be a $500,000 deficit in the school budget from lost revenue.

Underwood told the audience they shouldn't blame District Judge Lillie Osborne for approving the search warrant of the bingo halls. She wrote in a letter that she has "never been a willing participant in the Greene County raids."

In a letter released to FOX6 News, Osborne writes that she was ordered by the Alabama Supreme Court to sign the warrants or be in contempt of court. She says she originally denied the warrants in January.

However, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange appealed that decision to the state's Court of Criminal Appeals. Osborne says that as she was filing her response in February, she was ordered by the Alabama Supreme Court to immediately sign the search warrants.

She writes that at that point, she had no choice but to sign the warrants.

Greenetrack CEO Luther Winn says the fight over electronic bingo is far from over.

"We need to come together. We need to say that we have voted for this. We need to tell our vendors to bring the games back and we need to be willing to protect them with whatever resources we need to do that," he said at Tuesday's commission work session.

The Alabama Attorney General's Office tells FOX6 News they have no comment on Osborne's letter.

Green Charity Bingo re-opened Tuesday with paper bingo and customers can still bet on dog races at Greenetrack.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow