Red Clay Casino Broken Arrow OK: Round-Robin Leasing Questions “Sovereignty”

At the beautiful intersection of 111th Street and Olive in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (a popular and growing Tulsa bedroom community) directly across the street from a public school, two Creek Indian sisters, Marcella Burgess Giles and Wynema Burgess Capps are planning a round-robin leasing plan to build a casino of eight to twelve pre-fab buildings full of slot machines, on twenty acres. Another elementary school is planned less than six blocks down the street and will add 1,000 elementary and pre-kindergarten students to the area’s existing 2500 school students in a one-square-mile radius. Neighborhoods abound! The Kialegees are claiming sovereignty, but they do not own the land. I guess it depends on what the meaning of “sovereignty” “is.”

Rally Thursday, July 12th

7:30 pm – The Assembly at Broken Arrow Church

Northeast corner of Olive and 101st Street

(101st Street and 129th East Avenue)

Speakers:

U.S. Congressman John Sullivan

An attorney who believes the casino can be stopped!

PLEASE JOIN US.

INVITE YOUR TULSA FRIENDS.

THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS ARE AT JEOPARDY AS WELL

The Creek (Muscogee) Nation’s Office of Public Gaming says the casino and the dirt work now underway is a violation of Creek Nation law and its sovereignty. But the U.S. Secretary of the Interior published a “compact” between the state of Oklahoma and the Kialegee Tribal Town for a Class III gaming license. To confuse matters, the Creek Nation (National Indian Gaming Commission NIGC) was to approve or reject the license within 120 days, which they failed to do. They didn’t respond at all, and say the matter is still under consideration.

In August 2011, Tulsa County District Judge Jesse Harris ruled an individual citizen cannot transfer government jurisdiction over property by the terms of a lease; and WITHELD approval of the lease. Read the Judge’s order here.

Further, there is this:

The Muscogee (Creek) tribe’s attorney, Rod Wiemer, said in court records that the Kialegees have no land base and do not share jurisdiction with the tribe in its former reservation boundaries.

“Surprisingly, petitioners failed to inform this court that their argument has already been rejected by the Interior Board of Indian Appeals of the U.S. Department of the Interior,” Wiemer argued in the court records.

The Kialegee Tribe is headquarterd in Wetumka, Oklahoma in Hughes County, about 1 hr. 40 minutes drive from Broken Arrow.

Marcella Giles was co-counsel and argued before the court, claiming that the Stigler Act of 1947 calls for lease approval because “it is in the best interests” of herself and her sister.

At a meeting I attended of the Broken Arrow City Council on January 3rd, we were told the lessees refused to comply with city requirements for building sites and to-date had not requested water, electricity or sewer from the City. The Kialegees say they submitted a detailed memorandum to Broken Arrow, but then refused to produce a copy.

Giles and Capps are reportedly leasing the land to the Kialegee Tribe, the Golden Canyon Partnership LLC, headquartered in Henderson, Nevada is reportedly leasing the land from the Kialegees. The attorney for Golden Canyon Partnership is Luis R. Figueredo of Henderson, Nevada.  Figueredo is also one of three ground leasees from Miami, Florida.

It is a round-robin leasing agreement. A proposed ground lease agreement between the landowners and the Kialegee Tribal Town includes the names of three individuals “sublessees.”

The three include:

James G. Haft of MCZ Development Corp. in Chicago

Luis R. Figueredo of Miami, Fla.

Shane Rolls also of Miami, Fla.

The Florence Development Partnership was formed to lease the casino-build to Golden Canyon Partners LLC. Florence Development Partners consists of the tribe and the property owners, which land records list as Marcella Giles and Wynema Capps, according to Figueredo:

Records filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s Office indicate Florence Development Partners LLC was formed April 5. It names the tribe’s attorney, Vicki Sousa, as the business’ registered agent at a Langley, Okla., address.

Figueredo says nothing more is needed from any agency to open the Casino. He also claims that the property at 111th Street (Florence Ave.) and Olive is Kialegee reservation land:

“The former treaty boundaries for the Creek Confederacy encompasses Broken Arrow,” Figueredo said. “This is the Kialegees reservation. This is where they are supposed to be.”

When the U.S. Government made provision for reservation land to the Muscogee (Creek) Confederacy, the land designated for the Creeks remains accessible to all groups in the Creek nation. The availability is irrespective of a tribal group’s geographic concentration, according to Figueredo.

Figueredo also says he is planning to move to Broken Arrow from Miami (?) or Henderson (?) and become a member of our community. We have to assume that members of the Kialegee Tribe, who live in this area, have no objection to school children in the immediate location being exposed to drivers who have been served free drinks as they sit at slots, and surely have no objection to children living next door to strip clubs and bars. Gag me.

Two additional members of Golden Canyon Partnership LLC are said to be in  a series of foreclosures.

News accounts [of Rolls and Haft] indicate the company has been named in connection with a series of foreclosure actions in recent years on residential and commercial developments.

Here’s one more oddity, Kialegees vs the EPA:

But Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Dave Bary said the tribe would have to have a stormwater permit before it could start groundwork on one or more acres.

Bary said the agency could find no record of the tribe’s having such a permit but was still checking to see whether there was an explanation for that.

The Creek Nation has a new Principal Chief, George Tiger who just took leadership earlier this month. A portion of his acceptance speech is encouraging, but before he took office he was in favor of the lease:

“Tribal nations ask for inclusion, not exclusion,” Tiger said. “It is no longer us against you or you against us. Those days are over. We are Oklahomans, too. What is good for Oklahoma’s tribal nations is good for Oklahoma.”

As of January 7th, Tiger has declined to talk about the Red Clay Casino until he has more time to assess the controversy.

According to Broken Arrow City Fathers, Giles and Capps recently wanted $750,000 to purchase a right-of-way to provide a left turn lane at the intersection. The City had to pass but did erect left turn lanes on the South and East corners of the street.

According to the Broken Arrow City Council, there will be no revenues of any kind coming to the City from the casino. In other words, residents must bear all the expense of an operation that will bring nothing to the community it has invaded. Gamblers will eat and drink in the pre-fabs while playing the slots, and we will fund police and fire, provide roads and road maintenance, and surely there is much more I can’t think of at this moment.

There are “solid rumors,” according to Tulsa City Councilor Phil Lakin, that another casino is planned at the corner of 114th and Yale in Tulsa, another beautiful part of our city, where an Indian Smoke Shop now operates. Rumors are that Golden Canyon Partners are also involved in any development there, which is denied by Luis Figueredo.

The Kialegee Tribal Town is amazed that the community is upset about a casino in their backyards. They say they have held tribal meetings there, have posted signs and flown the Kialegee flag. I drive by the property several times a week, as does my husband. When we eventually saw a sign, it was very difficult to read, and my eyesight is not all that bad. The sign is in the photo above. I’ve never see a flag or even a place to have a meeting but apparently there is some structure somewhere on the 20 acres. The only thing I have seen is the fireworks stand appearing in June of each year and disappearing after July 4th. They say they also have held a fresh produce market there, but I can tell you, if so, it has not been routinely during our produce growing period. Maybe they put up a few tables once or twice, but not often, and not prominently. Hope to see you at the rally, January 12th (Thursday) at 7:30 pm at The Assembly at Broken Arrow. Bring your friends.

Photo courtesy of Tulsa World MIKE SIMONS

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook