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Snellgrove pleads not guilty to criminal charges

Former Commissioner charged with using office for personal gain in Country Crossing dealings
Former Houston County Commissioner Bobby Snellgrove entered a not guilty plea Tuesday to charges of using his office for personal gain. The plea was electronically filed with the court by defense attorney Billy Joe Sheffield II. That left no need for Snellgrove to appear in court for arraignment that was scheduled Tuesday.

Snellgrove is accused of illegally conducting business or assisting a family member who conducted business with Country Crossing and its developer Ronnie Gilley. The charges center on security and septic services provided the now defunct casino. Snellgrove was arrested December 17 after a grand jury indicted him on two felony counts.

Snellgrove, 70, was one of several current and former Houston County commissioners subpoenaed to testify before the panel that began hearing evidence surrounding the commission’s relationship with Country Crossing and Gilley. The probe was launched in late 2012 by Attorney General Luther Strange. Snellgrove was defeated in his 2010 re-election bid.

Nobody else, to this point, has been indicted. It’s not known if evidence is still being considered and, if so, if additional arrests will be made.

Country Crossing opened December 1, 2009 but shut down twice—the second one permanently-- amid threat of a raid by agents of the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling. Gilley was later sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to charges he attempted to buy pro-gambling votes in the Alabama legislature.

Sheffield, during a December 19 press conference, said the only thing Snellgrove did is be a good citizen. “He went to the grand jury, family members went to the grand jury, he was trying to assist in this investigation and he was doing everything he could to help the attorney general,” Sheffield said.

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