Grand Jury Issues 31-Count Indictment Against Interim-County Chairman

A Haralson County Grand Jury on Friday issued a 31-count indictment against Haralson County’s interim-Chairman and his wife, relating to alleged gambling violations.

Both Ronald Ridley and Mary Ellen Layton are accused of engaging in “racketeering activity” between March 2016 and January 2017. The indictment accused the couple of 16-felony and 15-misdemeanor crimes, they allegedly committed at three Haralson County stores that the two allegedly “owned, operated and maintained an interest.”

“This indictment is the result of a GBI and Department of Revenue investigation that spanned two years, which began as an investigation into, and arrest for, commercial gambling, and widened and evolved into additional charges including theft and tax evasion,” Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jack Browning said Friday. “In strict observation of the ethical limitations on me as District Attorney concerning making out-of-court comments about the case, as well as avoiding making any comments that might jeopardize Mr. Ridley’s and Ms. Layton’s constitutional right to a fair trial, no further comment concerning the case will be made at this time by the District Attorney’s Office.  The next step in the case is for the case to be docketed and a date set for arraignment, which will be done at a date to be determined.”

Ridley was recently appointed as Haralson County’s interim-Chairman and is scheduled to be sworn in as full-time Chairman in late March, following a special election in which he is unopposed.