Casino Stalker | Litigation

KBIC puts judges back to work but orders end to gaming lawsuit

The Ojibwa Casino in Baraga, Michigan. Photo from 500 Nations

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community of Michigan reinstated two tribal court judges on Thursday but ordered them to halt proceedings in a lawsuit that challenged plans for a new casino.

The tribal council voted 7-5 to put Chief Judge Bradley Dakota and Associate Judge Violet Friisvall Ayres back to work. The pair had been suspended without pay on Monday after Dakota's father filed the lawsuit, which Ayres was handling.

The lawsuit questioned whether tribal members validly approved the new casino. Fred Dakota, the chief judge's father and a former president, said ballots should have been cast in secret instead of voting through a show of hands at a community meeting.

Current President Donald Shalifoe said the tribe is considering changes to the process. “Our community is in change; we want to go forward,” he told Upper MIchigan's Source.

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community purchased this hotel with the intention of opening a new casino on the waterfront in Baraga, Michigan. Photo from The Baraga Lakeside Inn

The tribe is buying the Baraga Lakeside Inn for $2.75 million with the intent of building a new Ojibwa Casino at the site.

Get the Story:
Judges' suspensions lifted, reinstated by Tribal Council (Upper Michigan's Source 8/14)
Controversy continues (The Marquette Daily Mining Gazette 8/15)

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KBIC shuts off water and power to tribal court in casino dispute (8/13)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community suspends judges in casino flap (8/12)