BA casino defendants say fireworks sales at site were legal
BY SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Friday, July 06, 2012
7/06/12 at 5:01 AM
Read previous stories and key documents about the Kialegees’ planned casino.
The defendants behind a proposed Indian casino in Broken Arrow say they do not believe that selling fireworks was a violation of a court injunction against further construction of a gaming facility at the site.
In a notice filed in federal court Thursday by the Kialegee Tribal Town; its town king, Tiger Hobia; and Florence Development Partners - the defendants in a lawsuit brought by the state in an effort to stop the opening of a casino - the defendants maintain that they contacted the project manager and ordered him to stop all construction after Chief U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell issued an injunction May 18.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has asked the court to hold the defendants in contempt of court because a fireworks sales business, Crazy Debbie's Fireworks, operated inside the intended casino structure and because gravel was poured for a parking lot.
The defendants maintain that the fireworks vendor spread the gravel to gain access to the property and that the property owners, as they have in past years, allowed the vendor to sell fireworks on the property.
The defendants are asking Frizzell to reconsider his decision to grant the injunction because Marcella Giles and her sister Wynema Capps - Creek Nation citizens who own the Creek allotment - also have become enrolled members of the Kialegee Tribal Town.
Frizzell ruled previously that the Kialegees would not have jurisdiction on a Creek allotment, but the defendants assert that the women's enrollment now gives the Kialegees jurisdiction at the site.
The National Indian Gaming Commission has rejected that argument, but Frizzell hasn't ruled yet.
The defendants also argue that the Creek Nation does not have exclusive jurisdiction in the former Creek Reservation, which includes Broken Arrow.
The defendants also have sought permission to continue construction at the site if it is for a nongaming purpose, saying the allotment's owners have a right to develop their property.
They are proposing a sports bar. But if they are unable to secure a liquor license, they are proposing a smoke shop and argue that they do not have to have a compact with the state to sell tobacco.
Original Print Headline: BA casino defendants say fireworks sales were legal
Susan Hylton 918-581-8381