Creek Nation leader won't resign amid criticism over casino deal

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development presented an award to Muscogee Nation Chief George Tiger, at podium, during the 29th Annual National Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 10. Photo from Facebook

Chief George Tiger of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma defended his decision to promote another tribe's controversial casino, saying the deal was signed as a "private citizen" and not an elected official.

In a letter to Creek citizens, Tiger blamed political opponents and the media for stirring up controversy about the deal with the Kialegee Tribal Town. He denied hiding the arrangement and said the Muscogee National Council and the tribe's attorney general knew about it but took no action.

After being elected chief in November 2011, Tiger came out against the Kialegee casino. Just two months prior, he had received a final check from the developers of that controversial project.

"I can state categorically that I have acted at all times in accordance with our constitution and the best interests of ALL Creek citizens," Tiger wrote, noting that Kialegee citizens are also enrolled in the Muscogee Nation.

The Kialegee Tribal Town wanted to build a casino on an Indian allotment about 11 miles from the Muscogee Nation's River Spirit Casino. Plans were halted due to a lawsuit filed by the state of Oklahoma but the Kialegees are going to pursue the project at an new, undisclosed location.

Get the Story:
After casino scandal, longtime Haskell Regent asked to resign as chief of tribe (The Lawrence Journal-World 3/12)
Creek Chief Releases Statement, Says Kialegee Deal Was Not Secret (News on 6 3/13)
Creek Nation Chief Addresses Calls for His Resignation (KTUL 3/13)
Creek chief George Tiger: 'My business agreement with a Kialegee business client was never a secret' (The Tulsa World 3/14)
Chief receives American Indian business award (The Muskogee Phoenix 3/15)

An Opinion:
Editorial: Casino needs to find a place to be wanted (The Tulsa World 3/16)

Related Stories
Muscogee Nation Council asks chief to resign over gaming deal (3/11)
Creek Nation leader paid to promote Kialegee Tribal Town casino (3/9)

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