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Friday, January 15, 2010

DA wants Riley's task force out of Houston County

The district attorney in Houston County asked Gov. Bob Riley to suspend the activities of his Task Force on Illegal Gambling in Houston County after the commander resigned following winning $2,300 while gambling in Mississippi.
District Attorney Douglas Valeska of Houston County, where the Country Crossing development is located, responded quickly to David Barber's resignation with a letter to Riley.
Valeska wrote that Barber recently won the money at a Mississippi Choctaw Indian casino. While Barber's actions in Mississippi were legal, the prosecutor wrote that "they cast a pall over our work here in Houston County."
Valeska wrote that Riley has said the task force's involvement there was based on his invitation and request for assistance.
"In light of these developments, I am asking that you deem my invitation suspended until such time as we can consider the impact of these admissions on our work," he wrote, adding that he looked forward to discussing the issue with Riley soon. " ... In the meantime, I trust you will suspend any further involvement in Houston County."
In his statement responding to an Alabama Supreme Court ruling allowing the task force to move forward with a raid on Country Crossing's bingo pavilion, Riley was confident about moving forward with future law enforcement operations.
"The operators of all illegal casinos in this state should not sleep well tonight, tomorrow night, or any night in the future," he said. "The anti-gambling laws of Alabama are going to be enforced."

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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