Testimony reveals Sheriff Blakely spent nearly $20,000 at casino during work conference

Records show Blakely spent roughly $20,000 gambling during his stay in Biloxi, and only redeemed $1,000 of that
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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LIMESTONE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - Day four of testimony in Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s corruption trial began on an unusual note. The defense said there had been possible witness intimidation the previous day.

An investigator who testified Wednesday said two FBI agents pulled him aside before he took the stand, and reminded him not to lie, or he could perjure himself. The judge said she would revisit that information later, but she wanted the case to move forward for the day.

Prosecutors then started focusing on Blakely’s gambling and golfing trip to Biloxi. Director of casino operations at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Mississippi testified that records show Blakely spent roughly $20,000 gambling during his stay, and only redeemed $1,000 of that.

Three county commissioners accompanied Blakely on this trip. However, this was at the same time as a work conference in Orange Beach. The defense said Blakely had just won the lottery for almost $1 million the month before this, so, he had money to blow.

This is one of the trips where Blakely had an employee also wire him $1,000 of her personal money. Two of the commissioners on the trip testified they went there because Blakely invited them to play golf, and they had no idea he spent as much as he did gambling. One even said that Blakely in a casino is quote “Like a kid in a candy store.”

An expert in accounting audit practices then took the stand. She said auditors come in every few years for weeks at a time but, do not look at 100 percent of records. She testified the Sheriff’s Office did not have any missing money from their accounts or any accounting errors. The state implied this was because of the sample months auditors reviewed.

Witnesses for the state have testified the entire week and based on an early glance at the witness list, there are still quite a few left for the prosecution to question before the defense gets its turn.

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