The Alabama Supreme Court has ordered a Macon County judge to step aside from a case involving the state attorney general's seizure of electronic gambling machines from VictoryLand casino in Shorter.
The court ruled Friday on a request by Attorney General Luther Strange to have Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young step aside. Young has initially refused to give the attorney general a search warrant for the raid in February, but did so reluctantly after being ordered by the Supreme Court.
A special grand jury has been convened in Lee County, but prosecutors aren't saying what it is about.
Court records show Circuit Judge Jacob Walker III signed an order July 29 empaneling the grand jury at the request of the state government. Members of the grand jury were selected from potential jurors who reported for jury duty Monday, according to the records.
A spokeswoman for state Attorney General Luther Strange declined comment. Lee County District Attorney Robert Treese did the same.
A section of the downtown Montgomery office building that houses the Alabama Attorney General's office was evacuated and the adjacent street closed after an employee opening an envelope found a suspicious white powder.
Capt. Mark Williams of the Montgomery Fire and Rescue Department said there were no injuries reported Wednesday morning. Williams said U.S. Postal Service inspectors conducted a preliminary inspection of the powder and determined it was non-toxic.
A Macon County judge has refused to step aside from deciding what to do about gambling machines and cash seized from VictoryLand casino in Shorter.
State Attorney General Luther Strange had asked Circuit Judge Tom Young Jr. to recuse himself on grounds that he is prejudiced against the state's evidence. Young ruled at a hearing Tuesday that he is not prejudiced and will remain on the case rather than sending it to another judge. A spokesman for the attorney general says he is evaluating the next move.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has promised to challenge in court two gun control bills that were approved by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee if they become law.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve a ban on semi-automatic weapons and ammunition magazines that carry more than ten rounds. The bill names more than 150 weapons that would be banned.
An Alabama casino has won its bid for an expanded liquor license.
The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board says it could not conclude that specific gaming and machines at VictoryLand are illegal. The panel says that question would be up to the courts to decide.
Attorney General Luther Strange believes the ABC decision is moot following a state Supreme Court ruling that the machines don't resemble the game of bingo. Strange said the opinion should end debate about whether electronic bingo is legal.
A BP lawyer says other companies that worked on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling project made crucial mistakes that led to the deaths of 11 workers and the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill.
BP attorney Mike Brock acknowledged during his opening statements Monday for a high-stakes trial that the London-based company also made mistakes and "errors in judgment" before its Macondo well blew out.
The state attorney general's office used a century-old gambling case to get a rare, but not unprecedented, search warrant to raid VictoryLand casino in Shorter.
Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young initially refused to give the attorney general a search warrant. Attorney General Luther Strange appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. He cited an 1899 case where a justice of the peace denied an arrest warrant based on an incorrect interpretation of the law, and the Supreme Court ordered it issued.
Gambling operators say the state is overstepping its bounds by trying to shut down four casinos in Alabama.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians says the state lacks the power to shut down its three electronic bingo operations in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka.
The state filed suit Tuesday claiming the gambling centers are illegal.
And an attorney for VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor says the state's raid on the east Alabama casino is improper. McGregor lawyer Joe Espy says no court has ever ruled that VictoryLand's machines are illegal.