A government witness who has pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy testified today that he worked closely with lobbyists for Victoryland owner Milton McGregor — and with McGregor himself — to pass a bill calling for a referendum on electronic bingo.
The witness, Jarrod Massey, was a contract lobbyist for gambling developer Ronnie Gilley, who also plead guilty in this case. Both are cooperating with prosecutors. Massey lobbied for pro-bingo legislation on Gilley’s behalf, and testified that he had frequent communication with two lobbyists, Bob Geddie and Tom Coker, who are defendants in this case.
McGregor is also a defendant. Geddie, Coker, McGregor and six others are charged with conspiring to buy and sell votes on bingo legislation.
“I would say I had substantive conversations with Mr. Geddie, where he and I both participated, seven or eight times,” Massey said.
Massey said Geddie was the lead lobbyist on the bingo legislation known as SB380 in early March 2010, when a budget isolation resolution (or BIR) on that bill failed to pass.
“I would designate Mr. Geddie essentially as the vote counter on that particular vote,” Massey said. When the BIR on SB380 failed, Massey said Coker took charge in lobbying for the bill.
“I was told Mr. Coker had agreed to perform as coordinator,” Massey said.
Massey testified that he had substantive meetings with Coker on the legislation six or seven times, and that he met with “Mr. McGregor six or seven times.”
“I would be taking my marching orders from Mr. Coker,” Massey said.
Massey appeared in court in a red prison jumpsuit. Following an order from U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson, Massey’s handcuffs were removed.
“I ordered Mr. Massey’s handcuffs removed due to the number of documents he’ll be handling,” Thompson told the jury this morning.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Woods’ direct examination of Massey is expected to continue through this afternoon.