Gambling "anti-gambling task force" member - Alabama Governer speaks

Governor confirms that departed top enforcement official gambled in neighbouring Mississippi's Choctaw Indian casino

The embarrassing resignation of the head of the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling in Alabama (see previous InfoPowa report) continued to attract headlines today as Governor Bob Riley spoke to media regarding the gambling activities of David Barber, head of the unit.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that Governor Riley confirmed that Barber had gambled at the Choctaw Indian casino in neighbouring Mississippi, winning $2 300. The governor did not disclose how the information on Barber's gambling had come to light, a topic that is generating media speculation.

Riley said Barber offered his resignation because he felt his $2 300 in winnings would be a distraction. Riley said it was an appropriate action and accepted the resignation.

The governor said he did not know when Barber won the money, but the former Jefferson County district attorney and his wife had gone to the Mississippi casino to celebrate a special occasion, such as an anniversary or birthday.

Riley said Barber's departure won't stop the task force from investigating gambling operations in Alabama.

Earlier this week the blog Legal Schnauzer, one of the first to publicise the Alabama story, drew attention to the fact that Mississippi gaming interests reportedly supported Governor Riley's 2002 gubernatorial candidacy to the tune of $13 million.

"It has been widely reported that Riley is taking extraordinary steps to stop gambling in Alabama because he is beholden to his Mississippi Choctaw boosters," the blog noted.

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