Rep. Sullivan still looking for answers on BA casino

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - Congressman John Sullivan is confident the controversial Red Clay Casino in Broken Arrow will be stopped in its tracks.

But he's still waiting for answers from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

A Republican precinct meeting in Broken Arrow this Saturday doubled as a town hall meeting about plans for a controversial casino.

Some residents argued the Kialegee Tribe has not gone through the proper channels to build the casino at 111th and South 129th East Avenue. Yet the tribe claims it needs no further approval to build the casino-- and the site is on Indian land.

"They should have to abide by the same rules everybody else does. If they're a part of the community, taking services, they should have to go through the same exact approval process as everyone else does," said Jeff Ivers.

Walt Brazington says it comes down to the location.

"They're going straight ahead, with what they're trying to do, despite what anyone else thinks about it. I think that's a mistake," Brazington said.

The casino site is just down the street from several neighborhoods and a church.

"There are plenty of casinos in the area that people can attend, or go to, they're just seven or eight miles away, so I don't think we need one in Broken Arrow," he said.

Congressman John Sullivan is confident the casino will be stopped.

"My hat's off to them, they're very creative," he said.  "But this is not the proper way to do it. People don't want it next to neighborhoods, churches and schools. It's wrong, and we're going to stop it."

He and Senator Jim Inhofe sent a letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs demanding answers weeks ago. They set a deadline for this past Friday and have not heard back yet. In the meantime, Congressman Sullivan is staying busy, writing new legislation.

"What my legislation would do, is it's going to give local communities like Broken Arrow a say in the process. They have to check off on it, whether they want it or not, before it ever happens," Rep. Sullivan said.

The Kialegee Tribe says it's filed the necessary paperwork for gaming. An offshoot of the Creek Confederacy,  it says it shares jurisdiction over the land with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
 
"We have just as much jurisdictional right to that property as any other tribal town," said Vicki Sousa, attorney for the Kialegee Tribe.

Congressman Sullivan says he'll check in again with the BIA on Monday, with hopes for some answers. The case is still under federal review.

   

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