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Sullivan joins BA casino battle

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In a letter addressed to Tracie Stevens, chairwoman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, Sullivan said Friday that the Kialegee Tribal Town's approach toward the development is perceived as being "below the radar."

Sullivan said many residents have contacted him recently to express their concerns, which include the proposed casino's proximity to schools, the strain on public resources, including public safety and roads, and increased traffic.

Broken Arrow resident Lori Pettus said she was grateful for Sullivan's lead and said that Republican Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn were actively helping the opponents deal with the situation, as well.

"I would like to see all our other public representatives take a public stand against this casino being placed so close to our homes, churches and schools," she said. "We more than ever need our elected leadership to step forward to help us deal with a scourge on our community that could affect our lives and the character of our community from now on."

Sullivan joins BA casino battle Although the National Indian Gaming Commission says it is still reviewing whether the land is eligible for gaming, dirt work has already started at the property, which is at the southwest corner of Olive Avenue (129th East Avenue) and Florence Street (111th Street), just north of the Creek Turnpike.

Olive Avenue and Florence Street are both two-lane roads in that area.

The property owners are Marcella Giles and Wynema Capps, heirs to the original Muscogee (Creek) allotment granted to their grandfather in 1903.

Gaming Commission Chief of Staff Paxton Myers said this week that the tribe risks violating the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and other federal laws if it opens the casino.

Luis Figueredo, an attorney for Florence Development Partners, which is doing business as the Red Clay Casino, says the commission's determination is advisory and not legally binding.

A compact between the state and Kialegee Tribal Town was approved July 19 for Class III gaming on Indian lands and was published by the Secretary of the Interior in the Federal Register.

City officials said that a few months ago the tribe shared its plans to open a temporary facility in March. That temporary facility is to consist of eight to 12 prefabricated buildings with slot machines. A permanent structure would be opened in early 2013.

Meanwhile, the city plans to conduct its own legal analysis of the issue.

Mayor Mike Lester said the city attorney is seeking assistance from another attorney with a background in Indian land issues.

Lester has said he thinks the casino would have a negative impact on the city.


Susan Hylton 918-581-8381
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