Broken Arrow Residents Call For Lester's Resignation From Council

Wednesday, May 30th 2012, 5:52 pm
By: News On 6

Broken Arrow's mayor just resigned Tuesday, and Wednesday, he was asked by some residents to resign his city council post.

Lester's decision to resign as mayor comes after two major hits against the developers of a casino in Broken Arrow.

But some of the people he represents say that's not enough.

It's been 13 days since construction was stopped at the site of the Red Clay Casino.

Both a federal judge and the National Indian Gaming Commission ruled the Kialegee Tribal Town does not have authority over the land.

The latest move came Tuesday when Lester stepped down as Broken Arrow's mayor.

"It's certainly a good start," Broken Arrow Citizens Against Neighborhood Gaming Jared Cawley said.

Cawley is with the neighborhood group that led the fight against the casino development.

He also lives in the district Lester still represents as a city councilor.

Cawley wants Lester to go a step further and resign that position as well.

"He just hasn't been completely honest with us from the beginning," Crawley said. "He's given us several different versions of when he knew what he knew about the casino, and this last version we didn't find out until we heard about it in court."

He's talking about what Luis Figueredo said in federal court two weeks ago.

Figueredo is one of the developers of the casino project.

He testified that he and one of the women who owns the land talked about the casino with Lester over lunch in February 2011.

Lester released a statement Tuesday saying, "From my perspective, the lunch with Ms. Giles was nothing more than an informal discussion with a family friend, but I feel it's in the best interest of the city that I step aside from my post as mayor."

"If that was the case, why cover it up and why hide it and not just be honest about it from the beginning?" Crawley said.

Craig Thurmond has now taken over as mayor, but Cawley says he doesn't trust him either, saying Thurmond all too often agreed with Lester on the casino project.

Cawley is now asking the council to vote someone else in as mayor when it meets next Monday.

A spokeswoman for the city of Broken Arrow said Thurmond was too busy to talk Wednesday and he's still trying to take in this recent turn of events.

Several messages left with Lester were not returned.

Lester is up for re-election in April 2015.