McGregor on stand for 5 hours - details the creation of VictoryLand | News
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA)- Testimony for the third day of the civil case between 17
Macon County charities and Lucky Palace, LLC., against Macon County Sheriff
David Warren, Macon County Greyhound Park (known as VictoryLand) and Milton
McGregor started off with the continuance of testimony from Fred Gray Jr., the attorney Sheriff Warren
asked to assist in writing regulations and eventual amendments for the issuance
of licenses to operate electronic bingo in Macon County.
The plaintiffs allege conspiracy, violations of the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as 'RICO' as
well as violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
of the U.S. Constitution on behalf of the defendants. They're suing for profits
lost due to the fact that Lucky Palace was never able to obtain a license to
operate because of amendments to the original rule.
Fred Gray Jr. continued the testimony he started for the
court on Wednesday. Gray was the attorney Sheriff Warren tasked with drafting
the rules and regulations to govern electronic bingo in Macon County following
the passage of the referendum allowing charity e-bingo in the county.
Part of the contention with Gray Jr.'s involvement was not
his experience, it was his family. Fred Gray Jr.'s father, Fred Gray Sr., is,
and has been an attorney on retainer for VictoryLand for a long time. Gray Sr.
testified as to his involvement on Tuesday and explained he did not morally
agree with gambling. Gray Sr. told the court he knew of his son's involvement
with Sheriff Warren in writing the rules, but he had no input and received
nothing of value from McGregor or VictoryLand as a result of his son's
Stephen Heninger, attorney for Lucky Palace LLC., produced a
memo and series of communications between Gray Jr. and Gray Sr. involving Gary
Huckaby, another attorney for Lucky Palace. Huckaby notified Gray Sr. that he
was seeking to collect all documents containing information on Lucky Palace
from the Sheriff. The memo from Gray Sr. to Gray Jr. said "let's go over
it and see what we're compelled to send."
Gray Jr. explained that his father's involvement was not as
a representative of VictoryLand but as a friend of Huckaby. Gray Sr. and
Huckaby are both past presidents of the Alabama Bar Association - Gray Jr. says
his father "simply responded" at his behest.
Gray Jr. was also questioned about his relationship with
John Bolton, another VictoryLand attorney. Bolton allegedly wrote the rules and
regulations Gray handed over to Sheriff Warren to sign. Gray told the court
that Bolton did write some of the regulations and said he did correspond with
Bolton, however he couldn't remember to what extent Bolton was responsible for
the rules that were ultimately adopted.
"I can't really go back in my mind and re-create that
now," explained Gray. The events described in this case took place back in
2003 and 2004. Since then, the Gray Law Firm where some of these documents were
stored caught fire and those documents were lost. Servers at a different law
firm crashed in 2005 meaning another large chunk of documents were forever
lost. Most of this case must come from the memory of the witnesses - and these
events took place almost 10 years ago.
Gray told the court shortly before finishing testimony,
"It was never my intent, nor was it the Sheriff's intent to draft rules
that would favor VictoryLand."
Milton McGregor also testified as a witness for the case on
Thursday. Despite past legal proceedings, this was McGregor's first time
testifying in court in front of a jury.
McGregor explained that he had no hand in the creation of
the Local Constitutional Amendment that allowed for the operation of charity
electronic bingo in Macon County.
"The effort to pass the bingo referendum wasn't made at
my request. I didn't oppose it. I definitely had an interest in it after it
passed because I was definitely interested in being an operator for charities.
McGregor said that after the referendum passed, he began to
get calls from charities wanting him to offer electronic bingo at VictoryLand.
McGregor met with Sheriff Warren and Fred Gray Jr. to express his interest in
operating an e-bingo facility.
"I thought, after visiting the Native American
facilities, that if I built something nice, I thought people would come and be
entertained…I was excited to get started for these charities," said
At that meeting McGregor told Sheriff Warren and Gray Jr.
that he wanted to get started "soon." He also offered the assistance
of two VictoryLand attorneys - John Bolton and David Johnston. Bolton and
Johnston both had experience with gaming regulations and McGregor thought they
could serve as a "resource of information" in writing the regulations
Warren needed, should they decide to use them.
McGregor told the court that he meant Bolton and Johnston's
involvement to merely be a resource and says they weren't acting in the
interests of VictoryLand, he thought they were acting on the best interests of
"I was trying to be helpful," explained McGregor.
Ultimately, McGregor said, he just wanted rules that were
"fair and equally applied." He said he would have accepted any rules
and that he did not personally give input as to what he thought those rules
should look like. McGregor testified that he didn't even read the rules until
after they were finalized, signed by Sheriff Warren and published in the local
"Bolton would never propose anything from the point of
view of VictoryLand," said McGregor. "I gave him no instructions
other than to be helpful if his help would be needed."
McGregor did admit that he wanted ruled that were best for
Macon County and also for VictoryLand. And that since Bolton was a Victoryland
attorney, McGregor probably did pay for the work he put in when assisting Gray
Jr. in drafting the rules.
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