Greene Co. judge says she was forced sign warrants for raids - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Greene Co. judge says she was forced sign warrants for bingo raids

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EUTAW - AL -

Greene County District Judge, Lillie Jones-Osborne tells ABC 33/40 she was forced to sign the warrants that lead to the raid and closure of four bingo halls Monday.

Judge Osborne talked in more detail about the matter in a letter to her constituents  in which she says "I have never been a willing participant in the Green County Raids."

Osborne says she first denied Attorney General, Luther Strange's request for a search warrant January 16, 2014.  Strange appeal the decision to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.  While that was in process -- Judge Osborne says the Alabama Supreme Court sent her an order to sign the warrants immediately or face contempt of court.

Greenetrack was the only one of the four raided facilities to get wind of a looming raid.  It shut down the very next day [Friday] and removed all of its machines over weekend before Alabama State Troopers arrived early Monday morning.  However, Green Charity Bingo up the road and Frontier and River's Edge bingo establishments were not tipped off.

More than a thousand gaming devices between the three were seized.

Supporters of e-bingo met with County Commissioners during a work session Tuesday afternoon to discuss how the loss will affect the county.  County Commissioner Nick Underwood said, "e-911 will take a hit, road projects will be put on hold because money from the charities [bingo parlors] was being used as matching funds, also summer youth and senior programs are now in jeopardy," explained Underwood.

Dr. Emma Louie , superintendent of Greene County Schools says the system will lose a half-million dollars a year which it greatly depends on from Greenetrack.

Some supporters, primarily Luther Winn, CEO of Greenetrack calls for a fierce fight against Montgomery to defend what he calls and injustice.

County commisoner say they will use the discussion to come up with a strategy to restore E-bingo in Greene County.

None of the bingo operators discussed a possibly reopening except for Green Charity which said it would reopen Tuesday evening with paper bingo.