Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Defense attacks Gilley's character, credibility

MONTGOMERY — An attorney for indicted casino owner Milton McGregor started off with tough questioning of Country Crossing developer Ronnie Gilley on Tuesday, playing a secretly recorded conversation of Gilley making sexually suggestive comments about a female lobbyist and saying Gilley is trying to please prosecutors to try to lessen his time in jail.Walter McGowan, an attorney for McGregor, played a tape of Gilley talking to his key lobbyist, Jarrod Massey, and instructed him to tell Jennifer Pouncy to pull out her breasts and show them to help get legislation passed. And, to tell Pouncy, if she allowed herself to be filmed or photographed, he would pay her a $50,000 bonus.
Gilley, Massey and Pouncy have pleaded guilty in a federal corruption trial alleging casino owners and their lobbyists bribed state legislators to pass legislation that would have helped casinos in the state. McGregor and eight other defendants including four current or former state senators are on trial for their alleged role.
McGowan asked Gilley if he asked a married employee to offer her body to pass the bill.
Gilley said he was not being literal and it was “a very distasteful joke.”
“I had no excuse for the comments” Gilley said and apologized to Pouncy, her husband, his wife, the jury and the court.
When asked by McGowan, Gilley acknowledged that was the first time he had apologized for the comments.
Gilley said Pouncy had also been involved in similar conversations when they were joking.
Gilley said he also offered Massey a 1 percent share in Country Crossing not to cooperate with the FBI.
Gilley said he and the project have about $160 million in debt.
Gilley said boxer Floyd Mayweather invested $4 million in Country Crossing and Gilley said he would pay him back $5 million, but has not.

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