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May 25, 2020, 09:42:57 pm
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Author Topic: Broken Arrow Casino -  (Read 90219 times)
Recovering Republican
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« Reply #255 on: March 11, 2015, 10:47:22 am »

For those with paywall issues:

Hey George, corrupt much?

OKMULGEE — The (Muscogee) Creek Nation’s tribal council voted unanimously Tuesday night that it had no confidence in Chief George Tiger and plans to send a letter asking him to resign his position.

The action comes two days after a Tulsa World investigation reported that Tiger signed a secret contract in 2009 with the developer of a Broken Arrow casino project. The project would have benefitted another tribe, the Kialegee Tribal Town, and would have competed with his own tribe’s River Spirit casino in Tulsa.

Citizens at Tuesday’s emergency session of the tribal council also said they planned to file a petition Wednesday seeking Tiger’s impeachment.

“As citizens we have lost trust and faith in our elected officials,” said a woman who identified herself as a full-blood Creek tribal member from Hanna.

“I will be one of the first people in line to grab a petition to impeach the chief,” she said.

Tiger was in Las Vegas Tuesday to receive a national Indian Leadership Award and was not immediately available for comment. In an earlier interview with the World, he said he signed the contract before he was sworn into office in 2010 and he stopped working as a consultant after that.

Creek Council member Lucian Tiger III, no relation to the chief, sponsored the resolution of no confidence in Tiger. During the meeting, he said he was not concerned about any possible fallout because “I am one of the fortunate ones on the council who does not have any family that works for the nation.”

The 12-0 council vote of no confidence in Tiger came after records obtained and reported by the Tulsa World showed that two months after being elected to the tribe’s council in 2009, Tiger signed a lucrative consulting contract with the developer of a proposed Broken Arrow casino that would have paid him a share of gaming revenue and up to $200,000 in bonus payments.

Thomas Yahola, speaker of the tribal council, said councilors will write the letter Wednesday asking Tiger to resign. He said it would take several days to develop the resolution expressing no confidence in the chief.

The letter and resolution are largely symbolic and cannot force Tiger to step down. When asked about the reasons behind the council’s action, Yahola cited the World story.

“When the citizens saw this, they began to call this office and asked what was going to be done. We looked at our constitution and our constitution allows a procedure for removal,” Yahola said.

He said those attending the meeting were told that “before the national council can do anything, there has to be a petition” for removal.

Yahola said the constitution requires the signatures of 20 percent of the tribe’s registered voters. The tribe’s election board will determine the official number, but Yahola said signatures of approximately 3,200 tribal voters would be required for the petition to move forward.

In order to remove the tribe’s chief, 12 of the council’s 16 members are required to vote in favor of removal. Yahola, who votes in cases of a tie, did not vote on the resolution Tuesday night.

Three councilors were absent: Robert Hufft, Shirlene Ade and Johnnie Greene.

Approximately 50 tribal citizens turned up Tuesday night for the council’s emergency meeting at its Okmulgee council building. Though the council held its discussion in an executive session, Creek tribal members were allowed to attend the session, which continued for more than an hour.

At one point, a man could be heard shouting: “This nation is corrupt.” The man, who said he was 81 years old, angrily left the building.

He walked out with a tribal police officer but another officer said the man was not under arrest.

The council reopened its meeting to take a vote on its resolution of no confidence in Tiger. Before the vote, several citizens said they wanted to address the council.

A man who said he was a tribal employee said Tiger “seems very untouchable.”

“You have to have a little integrity as a Creek person. The ethics went out the window a long time ago with our main guy.”

The man said citizens have little information about their tribe’s finances. He and others expressed concern about the large amount of debt the tribe was taking on for new projects, including the $300 million River Spirit expansion.

“Do we have enough to last us? I don’t know. It’s sad that it’s something like this, something embarrassing, to make us sit down and talk like this.”

Earl Kelly, who said he works for the Creek Nation, said the tribe has “no transparency” with its finances. Citizens are not even told how much is in the tribe’s permanent fund, he said.

“It’s a shame that we are touted to be the fourth largest tribe in the United States yet our elders have to play benefit bingo to get medical benefits.”

Yahola said a forensic audit sought by the council is “kind of on stand by” due to an inability to access financial information. He said the tribe’s controller is supposed to furnish regular financial reports to the council but those reports are “not detailed like we want.”

Records show that in the years following that secret deal, Tiger worked behind the scenes with developer Shane Rolls, of Tulsa, and the Kialegee Tribal Town to gain approval for the Kialegee casino in Broken Arrow. Meanwhile, then-Creek Nation Chief A.D. Ellis and other tribal officials fought to stop what they viewed as an assault on Creek Nation sovereignty.

Tiger said his actions were legal and not a conflict of interest because they occurred before he was sworn into office as a tribal councilor in January 2010. However Tiger was defined under the Creek Nation’s law and constitution as an “elected official” when he signed the contract and took payments from Rolls, records show.

The contract contains a clause requiring the agreement and payments to Tiger be kept confidential, even after the contract expires. Tiger never disclosed the contract to his tribe, despite his later veto of tribal legislation opposing the casino.

The Kialegee Tribal Town, based in Wetumka, was part of the original Creek Nation confederacy along with several other tribal settlements in Oklahoma. Today, the Kialegee are members of a separate, tribe with its own government and about 400 members.

The Creek Nation has about 79,000 enrolled members.

The World recently obtained a copy of Tiger’s signed contract, copies of checks Rolls wrote to Tiger and a draft of a lawsuit Rolls threatened to file against Tiger related to the controversial casino deal. The records show Rolls agreed to give Tiger 5 percent of his company’s ownership in the casino, $5,000 per month once it opened and up to $200,000 in bonus payments for securing land approvals.

Rolls had prepared a lawsuit against Tiger alleging he accepted more than $30,000 but failed to abide by their contract. However Rolls is now on good terms with the chief and won’t file the lawsuit, his attorney said.

Tiger and Rolls confirmed that the contract, checks and draft lawsuit obtained by the World were authentic documents. Both said they had done nothing wrong and the documents represent a failed business deal.

Records show nearly all of Rolls’ $31,500 in payments to Tiger came after he was an elected official, as defined by the Creek Nation’s law and constitution.

After Tiger was elected chief in 2011, records show he continued to accept money from Rolls and attended several meetings on the casino project. His about-face happened after he was sworn in as chief and opposition grew.

The contract raises questions about where the chief stands now and whether he will support a new plan — detailed in a World story Saturday — by the Kialgee Tribal Town to build a casino in the Tulsa area.

Because the Kialegee tribe has no land in the Tulsa area, the new casino would almost certainly be built on Creek land, requiring support from Tiger and a majority of the tribe’s council for a “nation to nation” deal.

A federal judge’s injuction against the casino construction was thrown out by an appeals court. However Rolls said the casino will be built elsewhere due to intense opposition to the Broken Arrow site.

The Creek Nation’s River Spirit Casino is undergoing a massive $329 million expansion, adding a Margaritaville-themed casino, restaurant and 27-story hotel. The lender’s terms for that project won’t allow the Creeks to open a competing casino in the surrounding area.

Some tribal leaders say Tiger’s contract with Rolls is evidence he has acted against his tribe’s interests. The Kialegee casino would have siphoned up to $40 million away each year from the River Spirit Casino.

“It was going to hurt our casino a lot,” said Ellis, the Creek Nation’s chief from 2007-2011.

Rolls said he hired Tiger to help gain approval by landowners and elected officials in both tribes for the Kialegee casino.

Although the deal to open the Red Clay Casino in Broken Arrow stalled in 2012, records show Rolls had already paid Tiger more than $20,000 by that time.

Tiger was elected in the Sept. 19, 2009, primary and signed the consulting contract Nov. 3, 2009.

While on the tribal council, Tiger testified during a March 2011 court hearing at the request of the casino’s supporters.

Tiger said that after he was sworn into office, Rolls’ payments were campaign donations and not for work on the casino project.

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first” -Ronald Reagan
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« Reply #256 on: March 11, 2015, 12:17:45 pm »

What...Corrupt Indians....I dont believe it.....They are the original environmentalist....Well...except for those mean ole Comanches........

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These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For

« Reply #257 on: March 11, 2015, 05:29:47 pm »

At one point, a man could be heard shouting: “This nation is corrupt.” The man, who said he was 81 years old, angrily left the building.
He walked out with a tribal police officer but another officer said the man was not under arrest.

Was there a blond Russian-looking woman in a white coat holding a syringe?

"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
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