Thursday, November 16, 2017

Don Siegelman prosecution was driven by GOP's desire to control gaming and generate mounds of cash for Bob Riley and his associates, says Tommy Gallion

Tommy Gallion
A desire to take over gaming operations in Alabama and generate funds for Bob Riley and his associates drove a Republican scheme to prosecute former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, according to a statement from a prominent Montgomery attorney.

Tommy Gallion states in an affidavit that he was invited to a meeting where Alabama Republicans were to discuss a political prosecution of Siegelman. Former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove was among those expected to attend the meeting.

Gallion had been involved with the Republican Party since 1972, and the late Winton Blount III invited him to the meeting, where a group of Republicans were to discuss their plan to work with newly appointed U.S. Attorney Leura Canary to indict Siegelman. Blount, a former gubernatorial candidate and chair of the Alabama Republican Party, died in February 2015. (The Gallion affidavit is embedded at the end of this post.)

It did not take Gallion long to decide he wanted no part of such a meeting. But he did learn what was behind the scheme. From the affidavit:

This whole ploy was undertaken to take over gambling in Alabama and to line the pockets of Congressman [Bob] Riley and his political minors if he was elected governor. After Riley was elected governor, he immediately moved to close down the legally operating casinos in order to remove all competition for the benefit of the Choctaw Indian casino operation slightly over the Alabama line in Mississippi and later the Poarch Creek Indian casino in Alabama. 

Gallion's sworn statement is entered as an exhibit in a pending federal lawsuit, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that attorney Joseph Siegelman (Don's son) brought, seeking records about Canary's supposed recusal in the Siegelman prosecution. Records in that lawsuit, before U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala, show the U.S. Department of Justice turned over the requested documents to the court on April 10.

More than seven months later, Haikala still has not made a ruling. According to the court docket, she is to conduct an in camera ("in the chamber") review of the records. Will she make the documents public or keep them under wraps. That remains unknown, but the Gallion affidavit could be a key factor in her decision.

In his affidavit, Gallion describes his deep roots with the Republican Party:

I have been a Republican since 1972 and have been involved with the Republican Party since that time. In 1984, I was a delegate for the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas, for re-election that nominated Ronald Reagan. I was on the Convention Committee for the Republican National Convention in New Orleans that nominated George H.W. Bush for president in 1988. I was also appointed legal counsel for the Republican National Committee from Alabama for roughly five years and was Ballot Security Co-Chairman for the Alabama Republican Party in the State of Alabama for several state and national elections. I remain a Republican to this day. 

The scheme to prosecute Siegelman for political reasons has forced Gallion to distance himself from certain GOP factions:

My father was twice elected attorney general of Alabama, and my father-in-law died while serving many years on the Alabama Supreme Court. I consider the political prosecution of Don Siegelman and others by these newly elected Republicans to be so corrupt that I ceased to support anything to do with these facinorous cretins who were corruptly using political prosecutions solely for money and power.

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