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Federal appeals court overturns order stopping work on proposed Broken Arrow casino

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TULSA, Oklahoma — A federal appeals court has overturned a judge's order that stopped work on a planned casino in northeastern Oklahoma.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 Monday against the state of Oklahoma. The Denver-based court instructed U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell in Tulsa to set aside his order that halted construction on the proposed Red Clay Casino in Broken Arrow. It also ordered the judge to dismiss the state's lawsuit against Kialegee tribal officials.

In 2012, Attorney General Scott Pruitt sued the Kialegee Tribal Town, arguing the casino's planned construction and operations violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and a gaming compact between Oklahoma and the tribe.

PHOTO: In this Nov. 10, 2014 photo, the Kialegee Tribe's casino in Broken Arrow, Okla. is seen in it's current unfinished state.  A federal appeals court has overturned a judge's order that stopped work on the planned casino in northeastern Oklahoma. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday against the state. It instructed a U.S. district judge to set aside his order that halted construction on the proposed Red Clay Casino in Broken Arrow. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Michael Wyke)
In this Nov. 10, 2014 photo, the Kialegee Tribe's casino in Broken Arrow, Okla. is seen in it's current unfinished state. A federal appeals court has overturned a judge's order that stopped work on the planned casino in northeastern Oklahoma. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday against the state. It instructed a U.S. district judge to set aside his order that halted construction on the proposed Red Clay Casino in Broken Arrow. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Michael Wyke)

The appeals court said Pruitt couldn't sue because the casino isn't on Indian lands. It also said Pruitt couldn't sue because the gaming compact requires disputes between the two groups to be sent to arbitration rather than civil court.

Pruitt spokesman Aaron Cooper told the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/1zJoRLR ) the attorney general's office disagrees with court ruling and is evaluating the state's options on how to proceed. Cooper said the National Indian Gaming Commission has ruled the tribe can't open a casino on the Broken Arrow site.

Representatives for Kialegee Tribal Town declined to comment, saying no public statements will be made until its business committee meets and discusses the court's ruling.


Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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