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Testimony, records reveal Sheriff Blakely gambling while on work trips

Records show Blakely lost almost $1,000 gambling in less than an hour while at a work conference
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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LIMESTONE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - Only four witnesses took the stand on day three of testimony for Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s corruption trial. Most answered questions about Sheriff Blakely’s work trips, conferences, and gambling habits, which prosecutors say are all connected.

The Chief Clerk at the Sheriff’s office was on the stand for hours. She answered questions about the money she oversees at the Sheriff’s Office, including the law enforcement fund.

It’s money set aside for travel expenses, training, purchasing vehicles and more. All the money in that account is supposed to be used for law enforcement purposes.

She says Blakely would regularly borrow from the fund, leave an IOU, then pay the money back. She said money in the account would cover costs for conferences.

Prosecutors say at some of those conferences, Blakely spent a lot of time gambling, and they had records to show it. Attorneys for the state called an employee from a Las Vegas casino as a witness.

You may remember, a different witness testified that she wired Blakely money while he was at this casino. Wednesday, the state used records from Blakely’s player’s club card to show he was gambling while on the trip for this conference, and those records showed he lost around $1,000 while gambling.

Two investigators on the stand today testified they were on the Vegas trip, and loaned Blakely money. They also said Blakely paid for gas and lodging on the trip.

Blakely’s attorneys argued that more than one person can use the same player’s card, hinting that Blakely’s late wife may have been using it.

In testimony today, the Chief Clerk also said she loaned Blakely $1,000 of her own money. She said she wired it to him at a casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, when he was supposed to be at a conference in Orange Beach.

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