Monday, June 20, 2011

BingoGate: Aubie takes the stand

JailAubie Since I created the photoshop image seen on the right, I have ever so patiently waited for the opportunity to use it in an honest-to-goodness legal context. That opportunity has come today, as Alabama State Representative Charles Barrett “Barry” Mask (R-Wetumpka) takes the stand as a witness for the prosecution in the ongoing trial of nine people—including some prominent Auburn graduates or Auburn boosters—who are accused of corruption and bribery in connection with the bingo scandal in the 2010 legislative session.

Casino owner, Auburn booster and one-time Colonial Bank board member Milton McGregor and an army of lobbyists are accused of a “quid pro quo” bribery scheme with legislators in an attempt to gain their support for getting a constitutional amendment on the November 2010 ballot. If passed, the amendment would have legalized electronic bingo machines in parlors and casinos.

Mask is not only a 1980(?) graduate of Auburn, he also holds the distinction of being named the very first Aubie, the ubiquitous and obnoxiously in-your-face mascot for the Auburn Tigers athletic teams. Mask was selected in 1979.

The Alexander City native cooperated with federal investigators during their spring 2010 probe of the alleged conspiracy, and will face questions from the prosecution beginning this morning. His testimony is expected to last several days.

Aubie the Tiger probably won’t incriminate his alma mater or any current or former officials of the school. He might however, finger Milton McGregor and his lobbyist, fellow AU graduate Robert Geddie as the masterminds of the scheme to buy votes.

Mask’s testimony probably isn’t going to be a barn bombshell. But the temptation to use my extraordinarily popular fark to poke a little more fun at teh fambly was simply too strong to resist.

The trial is expected to last many more weeks. I’m sure similar opportunities will present themselves between now and the start of the 2011 football season, which is now only 75 days away.

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