AL governor defends gambling task force


MONTGOMERY – Using his authority as the state's chief executive, Governor Bob Riley has directed Attorney General Troy King to stop "any effort to direct or interfere" with investigations and prosecutions being undertaken by the Task Force on Illegal Gambling.

In a letter to King dated April 7, Governor Riley also directs the attorney general to withdraw his court filings in the White Hall casino case and to provide "support and cooperation" to the Task Force if requested.

"Alabama's constitution says the Governor is in charge of the executive branch and says the Governor has both the power and the duty to make sure the laws are enforced.  That's why Governor Riley has informed the attorney general he is to cease all his efforts to interfere with the work of the Task Force," said Jeff Emerson, Communications Director for Governor Riley.

Governor Riley has directed the members of the Task Force to continue to fulfill the important duties that they have been assigned to enforce Alabama's laws against illegal gambling.  Consistent with that direction, the Governor has sent letters to attorneys serving as special prosecutors for the Task Force instructing them to ignore a letter they received from King.  In that letter, King told the special prosecutors he was "releasing" them from working on the Task Force.

"The attorney general has no authority to direct the Governor's Task Force to take any action or refrain from taking any action related to the Task Force," said Emerson.