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General News    H3'ed 7/14/11

Why Did the FBI Launch a Raid on Mississippi Choctaw Gaming Facilities?

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Message Roger Shuler

Jackson Clarion-Ledger article also addressed possible election issues. Curiously, the article quotes Birmingham lawyer G. Douglas Jones, a former U.S. attorney who has strong ties to Rob Riley, Governor Riley's son:

Phyliss J. Anderson would have taken office Tuesday, but the Tribal Council voted Friday to throw out that election and hold a new one Sept. 6. Salary for the job is $466,000 a year.

Current chief, Beasley Denson, who lost to Anderson, last week cast the deciding vote in favor of a new election. . . .

During the hotly contested election, Anderson publicly called for an audit on the casinos and transparency in the tribe's spending. Choctaw tribe members each receive $500 every six months.

Various news reports have indicated that some 40 FBI agents participated in the raid, and they focused on computer hard drives, financial records, and phone records. I'm hardly an expert on Choctaw ways, but that doesn't sound like an investigation of election issues; it sounds like money is the focus. An Internet search indicates the Choctaw tribal headquarters are at 101 Industrial Road in Choctaw, MS. Wouldn't that have been the site of an election-related investigation?

A more likely focus, to our ears, is provided by a report last night from television station WLBT in Jackson. From the report by Cheryl Lasseter:

WLBT has learned the raid was likely related to a relationship between Miko Beasley Denson and Mercury Gaming in Atlanta.

Doug Pattison is CEO of Mercury Gaming, a gaming consultant group.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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