Alabama court picks retired justice for bingo probe

Published 10:43 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MONTGOMERY (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court has chosen retired Supreme Court Justice Gorman Houston to investigate claims that confidential information was improperly released concerning the VictoryLand electronic bingo case.

Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb said Tuesday that Houston was the unanimous choice.

The court’s review stems from claims by Tuscaloosa businessman Stan Pate that word was leaked to Gov. Bob Riley’s administration about which justice would handle the VictoryLand case, how it would be decided and when it would be released. Those matters are supposed to be confidential.

The court has said no justice or the clerk of the court released any information improperly. Riley has called Pate’s statements “contemptible lies.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the VictoryLand case went in favor of the governor’s gambling task force, which wants to confiscate the casino’s machines.

VictoryLand attorney Mark White said the selection of Houston “sends a clear signal the court intends to evaluate this unfortunate transgression thoroughly and fairly.”