Gilley challenges Riley’s task force to arrest him

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Officials at a closed casino challenged Gov. Bob Riley’s illegal gambling task force Tuesday to arrest its developer to finally determine if the casino’s electronic bingo machines violated the law.

“If that’s what it takes to get this before a jury of my peers, by all means arrest me,” Ronnie Gilley said. “Tell them to come put the handcuffs on me.”

Sam Cherry, attorney for the Country Crossing casino, said the Dothan casino has been closed for nine months under threat of a raid by Riley’s task force, leaving about 1,000 workers mostly unemployed. But he said no court has found electronic bingo at Dothan or in other locations around the state to be against the local law and that a case should be taken before a jury.

Gilley, Cherry and other Country Crossing officials and supporters initially discussed the issue at a news conference at Gilley’s office in Enterprise Tuesday morning.

Cherry said Country Crossing officials had experts inspect the electronic bingo machines before the casino opened last year and that officials had invited Riley to inspect the machines at the time.

Task force commander John Tyson said he would not allow Gilley to decide what the task force should do.