Medford takes the stand in his defense ***UPDATED 11:11 am***

Former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford took the stand Monday morning to answer questions in his on-going federal corruption trial.

Stephen Lindsay, Medford’s defense attorney, said on Friday that he planned to call Medford’s chief deputy, George Stewart, and Medford’s long-time girlfriend, Judi Bell, to testify. But after a conference with Judge Tim Ellis and the other attorneys in the case, Lindsay called Medford to the stand.

Medford told the court about his law-enforcement career and described how his office handled the registration of video-poker machines after state lawmakers passed a law in 2000 allowing the machines in North Carolina. He said his office, strapped of cash, had not viewed video-poker registration as a top priority.

“I’ve never seen one [a registration sticker for a video-poker machine], except on a machine,” Medford testified. He later added that at a 2000 meeting to explain new video-poker laws to operators, he only gave a brief introduction before letting deputies handle the meeting itself.

“I was busy. There was an office full of people waiting to see me about other things,” Medford said.

Medford’s testimony resumes at 11:20 in the federal courthouse.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor and David Forbes, staff writer

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