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Sen. Steve French, a Mountain Brook Republican, said that before a Senate vote on bingo he was made "certain offers" he considered inappropriate.
Late last week, federal agents began issuing subpoenas ordering dozens of people, including some legislators and lobbyists, to appear in early May before a federal grand jury that will begin listening to evidence in the case.
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News of the federal probe, breaking just a few months before voters go to the polls in June to select party nominees for governor, legislative seats, attorney general and a host of other state and county offices, has super heated the political climate.
French said Saturday it was following that April 1 meeting that he decided to step forward and tell agents of the offers he had been made in exchange for supporting the bingo bill.
French declined to say if the offers came from a fellow legislator or a lobbyist.
Steve French says he's cooperating with bingo probe
Steve French, R Mountain Brook, talks during a floor debate in the Legislature in a file photo from 2008. (The Birmingham News / Michelle Williams)Another state senator Saucony Ride 6 Mens
going on," French said.
cooperating with a federal investigation into possible corruption surrounding the effort to pass a bill that would have allowed a referendum on electronic bingo.
French said Saturday that Saucony Shoes New York he has yet to receive a subpoena and does not know whether he will get one.
French was one of the 13 senators who voted against the bill.
French said the offers came as the Senate was nearing a critical vote on the bingo bill, which passed the upper legislative chamber March 30 on a 21 13 vote.
Asked Saturday what he was offered and if he considered the offers to be bribes, French read this prepared statement: "Prior to the gambling vote, certain offers were made to me that I thought were inappropriate.
Democrats have charged that the investigation is the work of Gov. Bob Riley, an avowed opponent of electronic bingo, and other Republicans who Democrats charge hope to use the probe to wrestle away control of the Legislature from the Democrats.
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In addition to French, other lawmakers have revealed in recent weeks that they have been cooperating with the investigation, some of them by wearing electronic recording devices to pick up conversations they might have had with fellow lawmakers and lobbyists urging them to vote for bingo.
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