Broken Arrow Casino Opponents Rejoice At Court Ruling
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - A federal judge has ordered construction to stop on the controversial Red Clay Casino in Broken Arrow.
The temporary injunction says the Kialegee Tribal Town does not have jurisdiction over the land, since it belongs to two members of the Muscogee Creek Nation.
From day one, the casino has stirred up people in nearby neighborhoods. Many are considering this injunction a major victory in the long battle ahead.
"The justice system sometimes grinds slowly, but it works," Doug Grenier, casino oppose, said. "So we're very happy that the judge saw through all the BS that the casino people were putting out there."
While the injunction puts the project on hold, neighbors feel it should be axed all together.
"We have a neighborhood; we've got a college; we've got a new school coming in; we've got churches here," neighbor Bryan Dabney said. "They could have easily put this in another place which would be a lot safer for everybody all around."
"I don't think they should be building it at all in a neighborhood," Rod Beuttel, casino neighbor, said. "I think that's the bottom line."
Although the location is a huge factor in why people are angry, one man says he's not happy with the way Broken Arrow and Kialegee leaders have handled the deal.
"They ignored the laws in every step of the way," Doug Grenier, casino opponent, said. "I don't want that kind of person in my neighborhood."
During the hearing, one of the developers testified he met with the Broken Arrow mayor about the casino in February of last year -- which is much earlier than the city has claimed.
In a statement, Mayor Mike Lester admits to having lunch with a long-time family friend and her associate in 2010 or early 2011.
He later says that during the lunch an informal discussion took place about the potential for a casino in this location.
Lester also says he viewed this as a casual lunch between friends rather than a formal meeting and that the council members were unaware of this discussion.
News On 6 placed numerous phone calls and emails to the Kialegee Tribal Town to get their thoughts about having to stop the construction. None of them were returned.