In a conversation taped by state Rep. Barry Mask, McGre gor tried to convince him his operation was legal. "No kind of lending institution would lend that kind of money if it was not legal," McGregor said of the tens of millions he bor rowed to build at his casino.
"We love to play cards," Mask said when asked about playing poker. Joe Espy, an attorney for McGregor, questioned Mask publicly criticizing gambling while playing poker with his friends.
"We can hardly get their numbers from them to know what it is," Mask said when asked about the economic impact of the Creek casino in his district, which includes parts of Elmore and Coosa counties.
Jim Sumner, director of the Alabama Ethics Commission, said no one has ever filed an ethics complaint against Coker or fellow lobbyist Bob Geddie, who is also a defendant.
Mask, when asked if he had concerns about the raids on casinos in the state, said, "I sorta did." He told McGregor in a taped conversation, "I didn't like that. That has been a public relations disaster."
Mask told McGregor that he felt that McGregor and Paul Hubbert of the Alabama Education Association pushed too hard for Tallassee Mayor Bobby Payne in their 2006 special election campaign for the Legislature.
McGregor, in April 2010, was paying Fine Geddie & Associates $8,333.33 a month to lobby for him.
Gilley said he hired lobbyist Claire Austin at the request of Sen. Harri Anne Smith of Slocomb, one of the defendants. He said Massey paid Austin directly, but the money came from him.
Lewis said Alabama Republican Party chairman Mike Hubbard, who was also House minority leader at the time, told him another Republican was "wired."
Gilley said he got involved in the entertainment industry after hearing a CD made by a "kid who worked for my construction company." Gilley said that 13 months after he listened to the CD, the young man received a major record deal. "It was a pure accident," Gilley said. Gilley, at times, also owned chicken houses, a hog farm, delivered furniture, owned a lawn-care business, owned record labels, and built and sold homes.
"You don't know if Mr. Gilley and Mr. Massey have had some kind of experience like St. Paul on the road to Damascus," Bill Baxley, an at torney for indicted lobbyist Tom Coker, asked former state Rep. Benjamin Lewis, a key government witness. Jarrod Massey, who was Gilley's lob byist, also pleaded guilty.
"He now owned more of Country Crossing than I did," developer Ronnie Gilley said of McGregor.
Gilley said he went to col lege for less than a year but "graduated from Hard Knock University."
"If we fail, the only thing left standing is the Indians," McGregor said on tape of the so-called Sweet Home Alabama bill that would have legalized electronic gambling and taxed it.
"You're not going to hear me on these tapes disagree with anything Mr. McGregor asked me to do," Gilley said. He also said, "I grew up admiring Mr. McGregor" and "Mr. McGregor is much more poised than I am." Gilley also said he had dated McGregor's oldest daughter.
"I have a lot of respect for you. You remind me a lot of my dad," Mask said to McGregor. He said he was playing a role in the conversations he taped for the FBI.
"We're pursuing it again now as we speak," Gilley said of Little Nashville project that he tried before Country Crossing.