The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tyson's appointment is illegal, it seems

I'm wondering how much longer Mobile District Attorney John Tyson will be allowed to continue to break the law. Or did Governor Riley break the law in appointing him as commander of the Anti-Gambling Task Force?

Code of Alabama, Section 12-17-184 (11) All district attorneys and all full-time assistant district attorneys shall devote their entire time to the discharge of the duties of their respective offices, and each and every one of the officers are prohibited from practicing law, directly or indirectly, in any court of this state or of the United States, or in any other manner or form whatsoever, except in the discharge of the official duties of their offices.

Bob Martin (The Alabama Scene) says "the words 'their entire time' is not ambiguous."

He also points out that the Alabama Constitution states, "No person may hold two offices of profit at one and the same time except justices of the peace, constables, notaries public, and commissioner of deeds."

In the meantime, Greentrack owners have surrendered their liquor license
because the brief filed in Macon County by the Task force referred to a law that allows warrantless searches for anyone that holds an Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board license.

Over 2000 people have been put out of work because of Riley's raids, and this is adding to the cost to Alabama taxpayers. There is also a personal cost to the individuals involved, some of whom are the sole breadwinners for their families.

Then there is the foolishness factor. But in Alabama we should be used to that.


Madison said...

If it helps, Tyson is not running for re-election as D.A. But he should step down.

What Riley is doing is right, though. Gambling is illegal in this state. I've played the machines at Greenetrack before, and they certainly aren't "electronic bingo." Voters in Alabama have never approved of outright gambling. We have charity bingo in Alabama and that's it. What's happening at Victoryland, White Hall, Greenetrack and at other places is not bingo, which the Alabama Supreme Court has clearly defined.

I think Riley is right to take on this issue, especially since the state Attorney General refuses to enforce the law. I know Riley's got mud on his hands too, but it's not like gambling is a civil right--this isn't civil disobedience on Milton McGregor's part. It's just illegal profits.

I'm not opposed to gambling in general. But if we have it, it needs to be heavily regulated and winnings heavily taxed. Regulation of operations needs to be turned over to the state, not to the local municipality (Greenetrack is regulated by the sheriff in a county in which Greenetrack revenues contribute a large part to the county budget--clear conflict of interest).

Until that happens, I hope Riley does all he can to stop illegal gambling.

Joe said...


You might want to comment on today's blog as well. I just posted it.