Fight Over Broken Arrow's Red Clay Casino Is Now In Federal Court
TULSA, Oklahoma - The battle over a Broken Arrow casino is now being fought in a federal courtroom in Tulsa.
Oklahoma's Attorney General is asking federal Judge Gregory Frizzell for an injunction to stop construction of the Red Clay Casino near 129th East Avenue and the Creek Turnpike.
The Kialegee Tribal Town is fighting the injunction.
The hearing on the injunction is expected to last three days. The first witness called was Dr. Gary Anderson, a professor of history at the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Anderson spent the morning answering questions from Lynn Slade, an Albuquerque attorney hired by the state for his expertise in Indian law, about the U.S. government's treatment of Indians since the country was founded.
He answered the judge's question about the Trail of Tears and whether it applied to more tribes than just the Cherokees. Dr. Anderson said it was first used to describe the removal of the Choctaws, but that it shouldn't be used to describe the removal of the Creeks from Alabama to Oklahoma.
Dr. Anderson said he spent a week in Fort Worth and a week at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. researching the history of the Creeks and the Kialegees, but that he had never heard of the Kialegee Tribal Town until he was hired by the state five weeks ago.
AG Scott Pruitt filed suit against the developers saying the tribe has no jurisdiction to build on the land. He also says the Kialegee tribe is preparing to act in violation of federal law.
The attorney for the Kialegee Tribal Town released a statement following the filing, saying in part, "We believe that the complaint filed demonstrates a fundamental failure to research and understand the basis of the Kialegee Tribal Town's claims in this case."
Both the state and the Kialegee have made opening presentations to the court.
NewsOn6.com is sending tweets [see below] from the courtroom during the hearing which is now underway Wednesday.