Mike Blakely facing accusations of gambling with LCSO money while paid to be at conference

Mike Blakely facing accusations of gambling with LCSO money while paid to be at conference
Source: Limestone County Sheriff's Office (Source: Limestone County Sheriff's Office)

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely has now been accused of gambling at a Biloxi, Mississippi casino while attending a department paid conference in south Alabama, according to recently filed state court documents.

The documents filed by the Attorney General’s office state Blakely was scheduled to be at a Sheriff’s Conference in Orange Beach, AL when he was instead in Biloxi.

Blakely’s trail is scheduled for July 12, which was delayed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Assistant State Attorney General Kyle Beckman listed the allegations in a brief opposing an earlier motion by Blakely. The original motion filed by Blakely’s team argues the judge should exclude any evidence of “gambling and drinking practices” from the trial. That motion remains under seal despite a ruling by the court that it should be public.

Beckman writes that Blakely’s motion has no legal merit.

“… Evidence that Blakely was in a casino in Biloxi … when the (Limestone County Sheriff’s Office) provided him travel money to attend an official conference in Orange Beach makes it ‘more probable’ that Blakely intended to steal LCSO funds,” Beckman wrote.

The Attorney General’s Office argued that excluding evidence of Blakely being at casinos when money was wired to him from the Sheriff’s Office would effectively undermine the prosecution. They argued there is nothing wrong with Blakely spending money from the Sheriff’s Office on official business, but the fact he spent it on gambling makes it theft.

See the court filing below:

According to our news partners at the Decatur Daily, retired Appellate Judge Pamela Baschab will preside over Blakely’s trial. Retired Colbert County Circuit Judge Pride Tompkins previously recused himself from the case, citing the pandemic as a factor in his decision.

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