Feds: Gilley tried to bribe Massey

Published 7:47 pm Friday, January 7, 2011

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Federal prosecutors say Country Crossing developer Ronnie Gilley tried to bribe his former lobbyist, Jarrod Massey, a co-defendant in a corruption case who recently reached a plea deal with the government.

In a filing Thursday, prosecutors said Gilley violated the terms of his pretrial release and that his bond of $500,000 should be revoked. Gilley, who has been trying to operate a bingo casino at the development near Dothan, has been allowed to remain free on the bond and other conditions.

A hearing on the government motion was set for Wednesday in Montgomery.

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Gilley attorney Doug Jones disputed the prosecutor’s claim and told The Dothan Eagle that Massey has “absolutely no credibility.”

“Ronnie Gilley has never, ever tried to bribe anyone, much less Jarrod Massey,” Jones said. “That didn’t happen. We will be able to show it didn’t happen.”

Gilley appeared to respond to the claims in a posting on the social networking site Facebook.

“What’s going on here IS NOT right and it’s as unjust as it gets. But I do continue to have faith that God is working behind the scenes on our behalf so that goodness shall prevail!” Gilley wrote.

The filing by Justice Department attorneys said Gilley offered “money or a thing of value” to persuade Massey to withhold testimony in their corruption case. Gilley and Massey were among a dozen people — including four state senators — indicted in October on charges of buying and selling votes on a bill sought by bingo casino owners.

It also said Gilley violated the pretrial release order in part by failing to avoid contact with a potential witness and that contact was made on more than one occasion, including during a court proceeding related to the case.

The motion did not provide details or dates.

On Dec. 20, Massey entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy and five counts of bribery. Prosecutors said Massey admitted that he bribed members of the Alabama Legislature in exchange for their votes in favor of electronic bingo gambling legislation.

Massey is not scheduled for sentencing until Sept. 26. Trial of his 10 co-defendants currently is set for April 4.

Another member of Massey’s lobbying firm, Jennifer Pouncy, was among the 12 indicted. She pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge before the indictment was made public.