A West Alabama sheriff says action is being taken to address the way that Monday's gambling raids were handled. Greene County Sheriff, Jonathan 'Joe' Benison says his office was not informed about the search warrants. More than one thousand gambling machines and cash were taken from casinos in Greene County as part of the raids by state officials. Listed below is the text from a press release that Sheriff Benison has issued in response to the action.
"Monday, March 31, 2014, was a very very sad day for the citizens of Greene County and the citizens of the state of Alabama. Approximately 1200 citizens in one of the poorest black-belt counties lost their jobs. The affects of what their families will go through in their struggle to live in this economy, is beyond human comprehension.
The Attorney General has executed a misdemeanor search warrant signed by Greene County District Judge Lillie Osborne, to once again overturn Amendment 743. The voters of the State of Alabama passed amendment 743, with the majority vote. In a democratic society we vote on issues.
Greene County must have a voice, and be treated fairly under the rule of law. But there was one big exception by certain people being warned before hand, of the raid that took place.
As Sheriff of Greene County I will not tolerate favoritism, cronyism, and out-right throwing the rule of law out of the window.
I will continue to stand and fight against corruption, at every level of government.
Please pray for Greene County as our legal advisor attempt to rectify this wrongdoing.
A lot of people are asking why my department was not directed to stand in front of the doors to block access…
First of all we had no prior knowledge of any search warrants.
It is truly unbelievable, and shocking to me, Joe Benison, that in an election cycle what people will do to gather votes and campaign moneys from other gambling interest inside and outside the State of Alabama. Amendment 743 still stands.
I, Sheriff Joe Benison, stand for liberty and justice for all, especially here in Greene County. What happened by our state officials, will not undermine my determination to lead this county without violence, to a successful conclusion."