Civil case questioning George Cook’s qualifications as Sheriff postponed due to his failure to appear

In the Greene County Civil Court on Tuesday, August 17, Circuit Judge Eddie Hardaway dealt with several cases involving Greenetrack as well as a case which questions whether or not the Riley-appointed Sheriff George Cook is even qualified to serve as sheriff and a case involving monies owed the county by the Town of Forkland.

In a case involving whether or not Greenetrack owes the State of Alabama a substantial amount of money in sales tax, Hardaway dismissed Probate Judge Earlean Isaac as a plaintiff and promised a court date soon.

In the State of Alabama vs. several electronic gambling machines, Hardaway said another judge would have to be appointed since Alabama Governor Bob Riley had removed Hardaway from hearing any cases involving Greenetrack.

Another case which could not be tried was Garria Spencer and Ronald Smith vs. George Cook.

Cook, who  Riley appointed as sheriff of Greene County, was not present as a Defendant. He said he had not been notified of the need for his attendance.

The plaintiffs were alleging that Cook did not have the necessary qualifications to serve as Sheriff of Greene County because when he was appointed he did not reside in the county nor was he a registered voter.

Most of the citizens of Greene County resent Cook because they feel he was only appointed to help Riley shut down electronic bingo at Greenetrack.

The Constitutional Amendment which legalized electronic bingo specified that the Sheriff of Greene County would regulate the games.

This had caused no problems until Sheriff Ison Thomas died and left the office vacant.

The Constitution of the State of Alabama provides that should a sheriff die while in office, the county coroner shall serve as Sheriff until a new sheriff is elected or appointed.

Coroner Ronald Smith took office, but apparently did not cooperate with Riley’s determination to stop electronic bingo.

Riley first tried to convince Sheriff-elect Joe Benison to take the office. However, Benison refused because one of the requirements Riley made was that he shut down electronic bingo at Greenetrack.

 Hardaway said he would see that the papers were properly served at a later date and the case would be tried.

Still another case that could not be tried was Greene County vs. the Town of Forkland. This concerned a large sum of 3R money that Forkland had not paid the county for road work done.

 Forkland Mayor Eddie Woods was not present in court Tuesday. Hardaway said this case would have to be tried at a later date

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