Attorney General Luther Strange Speaks Out About VictoryLand Raid

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By Jessica Gertler

Alabama News Network finds Attorney General Luther Strange to ask him about his raid on VictoryLand. He's avoided news cameras for weeks, but tonight, we get him to speak out about his fight against electronic bingo.

Strange has been in-and-out of the office dealing with the B.P. law suit in New Orleans, but we tracked him down to get answers about the raid on VictoryLand.

Before Strange spoke about school safety issues in Montgomery, Alabama News Network found him back stage, and asked him why he served a search warrant at VictoryLand last month.

"We enforce the law consistently across the state," Strange says. "It is very important to us. VictoryLand, as the Supreme Court has said, is operating illegal machines, but we had no choice to take the action we did, and treat them the same way we do everyone else like Houston County situation, in Greene County and of course, in Jefferson County. All over the state where we had this issue."

But why weren't other casinos like Greenetrack raided?

"We have already shut down Greenetrack," Strange says. "They continue to reopen, but that case is in court. We are handling this to allow everyone to have their day in court. We just have to make sure we enforce the law consistently."

VictoryLand reopened in December bringing on some-400 employees. But when the casino was shut down, all but six were let go.

We asked Strange what his reaction to those people getting laid off, and he says, "Well before they opened, we gave them the opportunity to go into court and show that it was legal. I am sorry they didn't take that opportunity."

Scott Leonard was one of the VictoryLand employees that lost their job.

"Mr. Strange, I am 41-years-old. How am I supposed to know this was going to happen? I think you knew that this was going to happen," Leonard says. "That's what I want him to address, and address to me. How am I supposed to support myself after waiting all this time to go back to work?"

But strange says the blame lies on VictoryLand.

"I'm sorry for the people that lost their jobs. I am sorry they didn't take us up on our offer," says Strange.

Strange filed a motion to recuse Circuit Judge Tom Young. He says Young has "pre-decided issues, and another judge would be more fair."

Young is still looking over the recusal, and is giving time for VictoryLand to respond. He hopes to make a decision soon. Alabama News Network will keep you updated.



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