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State asks for Young’s recusal from further VictoryLand proceedings

Published 10:00am Saturday, March 9, 2013

By Ashley Vice, Outlook Staff Writer

The Alabama attorney general’s office has asked Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young to recuse himself in any further proceedings against VictoryLand.

The motion, filed Feb. 28 by Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan, states that Young’s “record of clearly erroneous actions” is grounds to have him disqualified from further cases.

In February Young refused to sign a search warrant for VictoryLand, saying that he didn’t see sufficient evidence for a warrant.

The Alabama Supreme Court overruled his decision and forced him to sign the warrant. Young did, leaving a detailed note at the bottom of the warrant that he was signing it under the “greatest judicial reluctance.”

The warrant enabled a raid by agents from the attorney general’s office and the department of public safety on Feb. 19. Agents seized 1,615 electronic gaming machines and more than $200,000 in cash from the raid.

The motion for recusal was filed in a case involving a pending motion by VictoryLand attorneys for the return of the seized property. That case is set for a hearing March 19.

In the motion Reagan wrote that Young’s previous “comments, accusations and insinuations would lead a reasonable person to question his impartiality.”

In 2010 Young issued a restraining order to keep police from entering VictoryLand when Gov. Bob Riley’s task force on illegal gambling attempted to obtain a search warrant. The restraining order and a similar order issued months later were reversed.

Vice is managing editor for The Wetumpka Herald. 

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