A Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse police officer. Photo: Mvskoke Creek Nation Lighthorse Police
Litigation | Openings & Closings

Kialegee Tribal Town sues officials of Muscogee Nation for raid of casino site



The Kialegee Tribal Town is suing officials of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation as the two tribes fight over a potential casino in Oklahoma.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court on Thursday, the Kialegee Tribal Town said the Muscogee Nation lacked authority to conduct a raid at an Indian allotment in Broken Arrow. Muscogee Lighthorse officers threatened Kialegee employees and their associates during the August 16 raid and even threatened to "kill" one of them if he moved, according to the complaint.

"Defendants' violent intimidation of the plaintiffs is a clear attempt to create an illegal monopoly over Indian gaming in the area," the complaint reads. A motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction also was filed on Thursday.

The Kialegee Tribal Town plans to open a casino at the allotment despite being warned not to do so by the National Indian Gaming Commission. A separate lawsuit has been filed in a different federal court in hopes of addressing that issue.

The Muscogee Nation operates the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, about 10 miles from the Broken Arrow site. The tribe has asserted jurisdiction at the allotment and seized gaming machines and other equipment during the raid last week.

The allotment is owned by Stephen “Steve” Bruner, whom the Kialegee Tribal Town claims as a citizen. News reports also have described him as a citizen of the Muscogee Nation. He was arrested during the raid and jailed and faces illegal gambling charges in Muscogee court.

Bruner and the Kialegee Tribal Town are working with a developer to open a restaurant called The Embers Grille on the allotment. The business has yet to open, according to the new lawsuit. The developer is one of the plaintiffs in the case.

Read More on the Story:
Kialegee tribe, Florida company sue Creek Nation officials over raid on Broken Arrow business (The Tulsa World August 24, 2017)
Kialegee king would keep Creek Nation membership if judge upholds citizenship board's decision (The Tulsa World August 22, 2017)
Embers Grille Chef Says Lighthorse Police Acted Out Of Line During Raid (News on 6 August 21, 2017)

National Indian Gaming Commission Indian Land Opinions:
July 8, 2013 | June 8, 2012 | May 24, 2012

10th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Oklahoma v. Hobia (December 22, 2014)

Related Stories:
Muscogee Nation seeks to disenroll citizen who leads rival Kialegee Tribal Town (August 18, 2017)
Muscogee Nation raids allotment and makes arrest in dispute over casino bid (August 17, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town warned not to engage in gaming on allotment in Oklahoma (August 11, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town continues to seek employees for casino-related positions (August 7, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town faces opposition to potential casino on allotment (August 2, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town confirms interest in gaming facility on allotment (July 19, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town aims to approve gaming at allotment in Oklahoma (July 17, 2017)
Muscogee Nation asserts authority at allotment where casino was proposed (June 19, 2017)
Restaurant set to open on site of failed Kialegee Tribal Town casino (June 12, 2017)
Kialegee Tribal Town stays quiet as failed casino sits unfinished (February 12, 2016)