Is the casino operator also a lobbyist?

Witnesses are beginning to take the stand in Alabama's big bingo trial. Here is a sentence I came across in the coverage over the weekend:

Jurors in the trial over allegations of vote-buying on a bingo bill will get their first look at the prosecution's evidence, which is expected to rely heavily on such recordings as well as testimony from a casino owner and lobbyist  who have plea agreements with prosecutors. 

When I read this sentence the first time, I thought the CASINO OWNER and LOBBYIST were one and the same person because the word A appears only before the first title.  Then I came to the verb HAVE, which is plural and would suggest that two separate people–A CASINO OWNER and A LOBBYIST–have plea agreements.

To clearly express what the reporter means to convey, which is that both a casino owner and a lobbyist (two separate people) have plea agreements, it is necessary to use parallel structure and place the word A before each of the people. The sentence should read this way:

Jurors in the trial over allegations of vote-buying on a bingo bill will get their first look at the prosecution's evidence, which is expected to rely heavily on such recordings as well as testimony from a casino owner and a lobbyist who have plea agreements with prosecutors.

 

 


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