Press Release – Arizona Supreme Court Rejects Glendale’s Annexation

Glendale Ordered to Pay Tohono O’odham Nation’s Attorney Fees

SELLS, Ariz. – Today, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that they will not hear a petition from the City of Glendale appealing an Arizona Court of Appeals decision that the Tohono O’odham Nation’s (Nation) lands at 95th and Northern avenues are outside of the City of Glendale’s boundaries. The Arizona Supreme Court further ruled that the City of Glendale must pay the Nation’s attorney fees.

As a result, the Nation’s entire 135-acre parcel is in unincorporated Maricopa County. Both the Department of the Interior and a U.S. Federal District Court previously ruled that a portion of this land (54 acres) fully meets the requirements and must be taken into trust on behalf of the Nation.

Glendale had argued that an attempted annexation of the property in 2001, which the city abandoned after the then-owner sued, had actually taken place under state law. Both the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court disagreed, settling the matter.

This latest ruling marks the eighth decision by courts and federal agencies in favor of the Nation. It comes on the heels of a recent poll finding that 75 percent of West Valley voters support the Nation’s casino-resort project.

Chairman Ned Norris Jr. of the Tohono O’odham Nation said, “After thirty-three months of debate and multiple court and federal agency decisions in favor of the Nation, it is time for Glendale leaders to come to the table and allow us to resolve our differences so that we can move forward together to create opportunity for the West Valley.”

Upon completion, the West Valley Resort will draw 1.2 million people to the West Valley each year and have a $300 million annual economic impact. More than 9,000 jobs will be created during the construction of the facility and the day-to-day operations and the Nation is not asking for any financial offsets from local governments. For additional information on the Tohono O’odham Nation, the West Valley Resort and the history behind this project, please visit http://www.westvalleyopportunity.com.