Bingo battle goes before federal grand jury

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - Alabama's electronic bingo battle is back and this time it is before a federal grand jury.

Grand jurors will meet at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday in Montgomery.

FOX6 News reporter Alan Collins says several people tied to gambling have arrived at the courthouse including media specialist Rick Heartsill with Victoryland and Milton McGregor lobbyist Tom Coker.

Several individuals have been seen leaving the courthouse after dropping off documentation. Lobbyist John Teague says he turned over information on political action committees. Heartsill says he also provided information to the grand jury.

When asked about their knowledge of any illegal activity, Teague says he is unaware of any illegal contributions; Tom Coker had no comment on his knowledge of illegal activity or on the proceedings.

FOX6 news has also learned that gubernatorial candidate Bill Johnson is at the courthouse and is hoping to talk with grand jurors.
Johnson says he wants jurors to look into allegations that Governor Bob Riley took gambling money from Indian casinos and also raised money for Republican candidates, then turned around and used the money on fighting efforts to legalize electronic bingo.
Governor Riley's office denies the allegations.

A number of state lawmakers are also expected to testify, some as early as this afternoon.

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