Former Governor Rob Riley, Rob's father, has called electronic-bingo machines a "cancer," ignoring his own son's connections to gambling.
The state's largest newspapers have tended to overlook the Rileys' gross hypocrisy on the subject. But that finally has changed with a major investigative article by reporter Josh Moon in the Montgomery Advertiser.
Moon shows that both Rileys have unmistakable ties to gambling, and when questioned on the subject, tend to provide answers that don't quite add up.
We have unmasked the Rileys for years here at Legal Schnauzer, as have other nontraditional news sites, and their gambling ties first came to our attention because of a story involving a Birmingham businessman named William Cobb "Chip" Hazelrig.
In 2002, Hazelrig gave $10,000 to Bob Riley's campaign for governor. Riley returned the donation when news broke that Hazelrig was a stockholder in Paragon Gaming, which we described as "a Las Vegas-based outfit that was formed in 2000 to help Indian tribes develop casino gambling on their reservations."
The Riley family probably hoped the story would end there, but it did not. Paragon Gaming's parent company, it turned out, was called Crimsonica and was based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The head of Crimsonica was a University of Alabama grad named Robert Sigler, and one of his close college chums was Rob Riley.
Crimsonica . . . (is) run by a UA grad named Robert Sigler. Evidently Sigler's devotion to UA is so great that he named his company after the university's mascot, the Crimson Tide.
We noted earlier that Chip Hazelrig was one of the four founders of Paragon Gaming. But the principal founder was Robert Sigler. And who was a Crimsonica attorney and board member? Why, none other than Rob Riley.
The Decatur Daily unearthed that little nugget from checking the Crimsonica Web site. Interestingly, the Web site has since become password protected, and Rob Riley's name has been removed from Crimsonica documents filed with the Alabama Secretary of State's Office.
He was a registered agent of Crimsonica until May 5, 2005.
Rob Riley told the Decatur Daily that he was not involved with "people in the gambling industry." But public records tell a different story.
We went on to describe Robert Sigler's international plans for his company:
And Robert Sigler has big ambitions when it comes to gambling. An article dated February 19, 2005, says Sigler was head of Global Trust Partners, an outfit that was trying to initiate a national lottery in Russia.
That activity was going on while Rob Riley was affiliated with Sigler's company--and while Bob Riley was residing in the governor's mansion.
So the Rileys fight a lottery in Alabama, the one Don Siegelman supported, but they have connections to a lottery in Russia? Hmmm.
As you can see, the mainstream press was not totally asleep on the Rob Riley/gambling story. The Decatur Daily picked up on his duplicity, but we can find no record of the state's major daily's addressing it.
That changed when Josh Moon decided to look into the matter for the Montgomery Advertiser. And Moon unmasks Rob Riley in a major way.