Judge troubled by gaming chief’s link to tribe fighting O’odham casino — Arizona Daily Star
PHOENIX — A federal judge is questioning some actions by the state’s gaming director in his bid to block the Tohono O’odham Nation from operating a full-scale casino near Glendale.
Gaming Director Daniel Bergin was working through his attorney with a lawyer for the Gila River Indian Community, U.S. District Judge David Campbell said in a written ruling.
The Gila Tribe is not a party to the lawsuit in front of Campbell, which deals only with whether Bergin has the right to deny the certification for Class III gaming to the O’odham. The judge noted the Gila Tribe has a financial interest in limiting the kind of gambling that the O’odham can conduct at the casino, which opened with limited gaming late last year.
Potentially more significant, Campbell said Bergin is supposed to be regulating the activities of both tribes. Yet Bergin was arguing that his lawyer could send letters to the attorney for the Gila River Indian Community about his bid to block full-scale gaming in Glendale but not have to disclose what was said to the O’odham.