With just a month before the general election, federal indictments were unsealed Monday charging four Alabama state senators, an employee of the Legislature, and six other individuals in a bribery conspiracy involving electronic gambling legislation.
Other charges included extortion, money laundering, honest-services mail and wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and making false statements.
Prosecutors say the conspiracy involved buying and selling votes in the Legislature to benefit the interests of Milton McGregor and Ronald Gilley. The two men own interests in businesses that offered or sought to offer electronic bingo to the public. The case involves unsuccessful attempts to legalize the bingo games through legislation in recent years.
For months, Gov. Bob Riley has spearheaded a special state law enforcement task force that has shut down bingo games operating illegally. However, the investigation that led to the federal indictments is being run by the Justice Department.
Two of the senators indicted are Democrats, one is Republican and the other is independent. Alabama’s Legislature has historically been controlled by Democrats, although Riley is a Republican who is term limited out of office this year.