TULSA, Okla. — Continued construction of a tribal casino in Broken Arrow, Okla., has come to hault due to an injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Greggory Frizzell on May 18.
The injunction was granted against the Kialegee Tribal Town, a federally recognized tribe based in Wetumka, Okla., after a three-day court hearing held in Tulsa, Okla.
Frizzell issued the injunction because evidence by the state cites the property is not under the jurisdiction of the tribe nor are the owners of the property members of the tribe.
Frizzell said that his ruling came after consideration of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that states that the proposed casino must be on the tribe’s land and have governmental jurisdiction over the property.
But court testimony provided that the two landowners are members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and not the Kialegee Tribal Town.
“It’s upsetting to my client,” Vicki Sousa, an attorney for the Kialgee Tribal Tow said following the oral statement by Frizzell.
“They feel like pretty much, they were told they were inferior to the other Creek,” she added.
The defendants argued that the Kialegee Tribal Town and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation share jurisdiction from an 1833 treaty with the United States. Frizzell rejected this argument.
Rob Martinek, a co-organizer for the Broken Arrow Citizens Against Neighborhood Gaming, said he was appreciative of the Attorney General and his staff for taking on the issue.
Jared Cawley, an attorney and co-organizer of the Broken Arrow group, said he felt great after the judge’s oral statement but doesn’t see the issue ending with the injunction.
“I’m sure there will be an appeal,” Cawley said.
Sousa agreed that the injunction won’t stop further development of the tribe and its casino.
“We’re going to look at our appeal rights and this is not over by a long shot,” Sousa said. “This is not over.”