Legislative bribery cuts to the quick--critically undermining government integrity and destroying public trust. So when it happens, prosecutors pull out all the stops. That's the current storyline in Alabama, where 11 people were indicted Oct. 1 for their roles in an alleged bribery scheme intended to buy votes that would legalize gambling in the state.
The classic graft, reminiscent of Tammany Hall tactics, is notable in that it allegedly involved not just the payment of bribes by businesses and lobbyists, but also the active solicitation of corrupt payments by four state senators.
Bribery cases often hinge on what exactly is being communicated to the public official. The behavior alleged in the Alabama case is particularly bald faced, but oftentimes companies get in trouble for more nebulous exchanges.