BIA says landowners failed to seek approval for Kialegee lease

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - The Bureau of Indian Affairs has requested documentation from the owners of a plot of land being used by the Kialegee Tribal Town for a casino in Broken Arrow.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma Attorney General's office received a copy of the letter ( in which the BIA says the landowners never sought approval from Indian Affairs to lease the land to the Kialegee Tribe.

However, an attorney for the land development company said the lease did not require BIA approval.

The BIA has now requested the landowners or their attorneys provide documentation proving BIA approval is not required.

The Kialegee Tribal Town has plans to build a class III gaming facility near 111th and 129th East Avenue. Workers have been preparing the land for construction for months.

The tribe has said the Red Clay Casino will create between 110 to 120 new jobs in Broken Arrow and provide positive economic impact for the area.

Outspoken residents have voice their disapproval and state lawmakers have attempted to block the casino, claiming the Kialegee Tribe failed to follow proper procedure in an attempt to build the casino.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt submitted a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of Oklahoma, citing the tribe's failure to secure a lease approval.

"No one, tribal or otherwise, is above state or federal laws," said Pruitt. "The Kialegees do not have the authority to pick and choose which steps to follow in the federal or state approval process of establishing casinos. The complaint filed today is to protect the interests of Oklahoma and its citizens, and ensure the rule of law is being followed."

The absence of lease approval and lack of jurisdiction over the land violates the state compact's requirements for Indian gaming, said Pruitt.

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