Tribe sues California for lost revenue

Staff reports
2/16/10

VALLEY CENTER, Calif. – On Feb. 9, the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, located in northeast San Diego County and the owners of Valley View Casino, filed a $115 million lawsuit against the State of California for lost profits.

Stephen Warren Solomon and Stephen Allen Jamieson, with the law firm of Solomon, Saltsman & Jamieson, represent the tribe in this lawsuit, and filed it in Los Angeles Superior Court. The damages are alleged to arise from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s refusal to allow the California Gambling Control Commission to issue all of the slot machine licenses to which the tribe is entitled under its 1999 contract with the state. The tribe contends, therefore, that the state breached its contract and is illegally interfering with its ability to provide slot machine play for its patrons.

The state, led by Schwarzenegger, has for years refused to issue the licenses to which the tribes were entitled, and instead held the licenses as leverage against the tribes in an attempt to force them into new compacts that would strip tribal governments of their sovereignty. By refusing to issue these slot machine licenses, in breach of its contracts with the tribes, Schwarzenegger also eliminated a badly needed source of income for counties and cities that would have generated up to $30 million per year; which perhaps could have helped to avoid or mitigate the current fiscal crisis of local government in the state.

“Fulfilling the language of the compact will not only benefit the entire Native American community but in turn will aid the counties of California during this time when everyone could use assistance,” explained Allen Lawson, chairman of the San Pasqual Tribe. “We are just asking for what was established to be ours according to the language of the 1999 compact, but it benefits everyone. The governor instead chose to intentionally breach our contract, to the detriment of San Pasqual as well as the people of the state of California.”

For additional information you may contact Stephen Warren Solomon at ssolomon@ssjlaw.com or Stephen Allen Jamieson at sjamieson@ssjlaw.com, or at (310) 822-9848. A copy of the filed lawsuit can be found online.

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