California | Compacts
Swimmer cites investigation of misplaced compacts

Special Trustee Ross Swimmer said the Interior Department is investigating how four controversial gaming compacts were misplaced in Washington, D.C.

Swimmer doesn't have any direct authority over gaming matters. But he told The Palm Springs Desert Sun the issue was being taken seriously.

"The question is whether there was any type of intent here," Swimmer told the paper.

The four compacts are for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. The tribes will be able to add more slot machines to their casinos in exchange for sharing revenues with the state.

The California Secretary of State mailed the compacts to the main Interior building in Washington. But the Bureau of Indian Affairs says they were sent to the wrong room.

By the time they showed up at the right place, it was too late to review them. So the BIA had them "deemed approved" and sent them to the Federal Register for publication -- to the objections of opponents in California who say state voters should have the final say on February 5 [Ballot Propositions: 94 | 95 | 96 | 97]

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed the compacts and supports them. He called Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne last month to urge publication in the Federal Register.

Get the Story:
Casino expansion debated across state (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 1/18)
Governor puts weight behind casino deals (Copley News Service 1/18)
Feds act to prevent errors on compacts (The Sacramento Bee 1/18)
NAACP head is paid by tribes, backs their plan (The Sacramento Bee 1/18)
Californians set to vote on massive expansion of Indian casinos (The Christian Science Monitor 1/18)
Local tribe resists effort to overturn casino compacts (The Sacramento Business Journal 1/18)
Casino deals got a nudge (The Sacramento Bee 1/17)
State to roll the dice on casinos (The Big Bear Grizzly 1/17)