Governor responds to lawsuit

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - Gov. Bob Riley said his anti-gambling task force is not violating the law.

Jeff Emerson, a spokesman for Gov. Riley, responded Thursday afternoon to a class action lawsuit filed against him on behalf of people in Greene and Macon counties. The lawsuit claims the governor has violated the Voting Rights Act by nullifying the votes of the electorates in Greene and Macon Counties who approved constitutional amendments in 2003 authorizing electronic bingo operations in their counties. The complaint also alleges the raids carried out by the Governor and his Task Force were racially motivated and in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

"We haven't seen the lawsuit yet so I can't comment on what it says specifically, but we have seen the statement the casino lawyers have released and it's just plain silly," Emerson said on behalf of Gov. Riley in the response.  "The Task Force on Illegal Gambling has done nothing but enforce the law fairly, impartially and everywhere it is being broken.  Since the Task Force was established, illegal gambling operations have either shut down or been prevented from opening in Walker, Houston, Madison, Etowah, St. Clair, Lowndes, Jefferson, Greene and Mobile counties.  Any claim the Task Force's work is targeted to just one area or against one particular group is absolutely false and does not square with the facts."

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