Prosecutors with the Alabama attorney general’s office are involved in an ongoing corruption investigation, with at least some of it pertaining to information that arose out of the recent federal trials related to gambling in the state, and a grand jury is meeting to determine whether people should be indicted, according to recent activity in federal court.
Two men who pleaded guilty in the federal case, former Country Crossing developer Ronnie Gilley and his chief lobbyist Jarrod Massey, were sentenced to federal prison Monday. While discussing whether the men should receive reduced sentences for their cooperation, their defense attorneys and federal prosecutors referred to their assistance in the state investigation and to them testifying before a state grand jury.
Gilley’s attorney, David Harrison, said special prosecutor Matt Hart with the Alabama attorney general’s office sent a letter to lead federal prosecutor Kendall Day with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section about Gilley’s cooperation with the state investigation.
One of Massey’s attorneys also said during the Monday court proceeding that he assisted the state and went before the grand jury.
“Gilley also has cooperated in an ongoing corruption investigation by the Alabama attorney general’s office,” according to the sentencing recommendation from federal prosecutors submitted to the judge July 9.
When speaking to the media after he was sentenced to more than six years in prison Monday, Gilley said he absolutely could not comment about what he said to the state grand jury.
Joy Patterson, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, said Tuesday that it is the general policy of the office not to comment about whether a particular matter may be under investigation.
Hart, according to a Birmingham News report from February, signed a subpoena in August that went to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries requesting a wide range of documents from much of the time that Ron Sparks was commissioner there. Sparks told the News that he did not do anything wrong and did not know what prosecutors were looking for.