Some of Florida’s top politicians and police officials were called as
defense witnesses Tuesday for a Jacksonville attorney charged with being the mastermind behind a veterans’ charity that district attorneys point out was actually a gambling function at strip malls that supplied sweepstakes games across the state.
The examination in to Allied Veterans of the World led to the resignation of former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll last March after she was spoken with as part of the probe. Her firm had helped Allied Veterans yet she denied violation and has not been charged.
Kelly Mathis’ protection witness listing submitted Tuesday features previous U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, previous state Agricultural Commissioner Charles Bronson and previous Florida Democratic Party chair Scott Maddox. It also consists of the sheriffs of Clay, Columbia, Leon, St. Johns and Suwanee counties and a number of prosecutors, including Dave Aronberg, the State Attorney for Palm Beach County.
Prosecutors declare the strip mall parlors had games that were compared to fruit machine. However Stone and other defense lawyer say the parlors were locations where patrons could possibly access the Internet and play sweepstakes-like games that were no different compared to ones offered by junk food bistros.
Mathis’ defense lawyer pointed out the political leaders and police force authorities are detailed due to the fact that they had assessed the law which he says shows that his client did nothing incorrect.
“We’ve listed a number of witnesses who were entailed with expertise of the law and knew exactly what Mr. Mathis had actually analyzed as far as the validity of the sweepstakes advertising law,” claimed Mitchell Stone, Mathis’ attorney.
Mathis was the registered agent for several of the Allied Veteran affiliates which worked alleged Internet cafes, district attorneys point out.
Mathis additionally entered a motion to reject the case on Tuesday, declaring the costs were unclear and don’t indicate exactly how the counts he experiences are various from the ones dealing with the 56 various other accuseds in the case.
The Florida Legislature authorized a sweeping restriction on the storefront functions after the examination into Allied Veterans was revealed in March.
The declaring of Mathis’ witness listing came on the exact same day that the 57 accuseds charged with starting the gambling procedure had their arraignments before a judge. The defendants had earlier entered composed innocent pleas and weren’t in court.
Maddox didn’t return call.
When talked to by telephone, LeMieux said it was the first he had actually heard that he performed the witness listing. LeMieux stated he had dealt with gaming-related issues as main of staff to former Gov. Charlie Crist and as a deputy attorney general.
Mathis also tried to hire him in 2008 to do work for Allied Veterans, however LeMieux stated he decreased.
“I had the possibility to check out among their centers,” LeMieux said. “After I saw that, it wasn’t something I intended to be a part of.”.