Judge refuses to recuse self from Victoryland case - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Judge refuses to recuse self from Victoryland case

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Judge Tom Young listens at a hearing on whether he should recuse himself from the Victoryland hearings. He declined to do so. Judge Tom Young listens at a hearing on whether he should recuse himself from the Victoryland hearings. He declined to do so.
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TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) -

Victoryland Casino owner Milton McGregor continues his fight to bring electronic bingo machines back to his Macon County facility, but before his case will move forward, the judge had to rule on a motion that would decide if he would recuse himself from the proceedings.

Macon County Judge Tom Young opted not to recuse himself, saying that Attorney General Luther Strange's office claim of personal and judicial prejudice was unfounded. The judge says he's only been asked to recuse himself from approximately five cases out of the more than thousand he's presided over during his career.

No new evidence was presented in Tuesday's hearing, but the defense accused the Attorney General's office of judge-shopping, or seeking a judge that would rule favorably on their motions. The defense cited three cases in which it says the AG's office went out of its way to find judges who would sign requested search warrants.  

[DOCUMENT: Judge Tom Young's Response to Motion of Recusal (.pdf)

Judge Young did grant an order to combine a hearing concerning the forfeiture of machines and money, and a hearing to stop the first warrant, but no date has been set for the hearing at this point.

Victoryland attorney Joe Espy said he was pleased with the judge's decision not to step aside, and added that it's time for the Attorney General's office "to stop playing games," because of all the jobs that have been or will be affected by actions related to the closure of Victoryland.

Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan said the AG's office is "very anxious to proceed" in the state's forfeiture case regarding the seized Victoryland money and machines, "but before we file motions to expedite the trial, we need to evaluate where to go from here on this recusal matter. 

The State of Alabama will not confirm or deny any plans to appeal Judge Young's decision not to recuse himself.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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