Alabama attorney general Luther Strange is at it again! In February law enforcement officials raided his long term nemeses VictoryLand casino in Macon County. The raid put about 600 casino employees out of work. Legislators criticized the latest raid and a poll showed that 78% of those polled disapproved of the raid. On March 15th Victoryland reopened and will offer betting on simulcast horse and dog racing. Lawyers for the casino are seeking the return of over 1,000 electronic bingo machines and $200,000 in cash seized during the raid. K.C. Economic Development, a business associated with VictoryLand filed a claim in Macon County Circuit Court saying that attorney general Strange had no right to seize property and cash. VictoryLand attorney Joe Espy stated “The property at issue in this case was being used in a legal manner consistent with Amendment 744 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901 and the Macon County bingo regulations.”
Strange is seeking forfeiture of the machine and cash and claims that the machines are illegal despite the act they were designed to conform to Alabama laws regarding bingo. The case is now pending in civil court. In a separate filing VictoryLand also opposed efforts to get a local judge to recuse himself from the case. The local judge refused to sign a search warrant requested by Strange and his minions. Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young initially refused to sign a search warrant for the raid on VictoryLand. Young was eventually forced to sign the warrant by the Alabama Supreme Court. Young added a handwritten note on the warrant saying he was signing with “the greatest judicial reluctance.”
Espy also opposed the move against Young. Espy wrote “Indeed, all the grounds for recusal at their core demonstrate that the state is seeking to oust a very conscientious judge who takes very seriously his duties to follow the law.” Strange dug up a hundred year old law to get the Supreme Court to force Young to sign the warrant. Some politicians criticized the move saying that the Alabama Supreme Court is part of the ‘good ole boys’ network and is dominated by right wing Republicans. Strange’s office said Young should recuse himself because he is ‘prejudiced’ against the state’s case.
VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor told reporters “We are happy to reopen and put some of our employees back to work.” McGregor said many of his employees “lost their jobs due to the illegal forced closing on Feb. 19th by the Alabama Attorney General.” Strange contends that VictoryLand was operating in “open defiance” of the law. Strange has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars pursuing his puritanical vendetta against bingo in Alabama.