Hualapai Tribe accused of bias in suit by former executive

The Grand Canyon Skywalk, owned by the Hualapai Tribe of Arizona. Photo from Facebook

A former business executive for the Hualapai Tribe of Arizona was fired because of her sexual orientation, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

Jennifer Turner served as CEO of the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation, the tribe's tourism arm, up until January of this year. She alleges she was fired after tribal leaders and members of the company's board conducted an "investigation" into her sexual orientation.

But Turner is not suing the tribe, the corporation or any of the board members. Instead, she named attorney April Olson and Olson's law firm as defendants, accusing them of libeling her reputation in Indian Country.

"Olson purposely engaged in an effort to ruin Turner’s professional reputation among members of the tourism industry that would have a profoundly negative impact on Turner’s ability to obtain future employment and conduct business in the tribal economic and tribal tourism business in Nevada, Arizona, and elsewhere," the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Olson sent letters to vendors that conduct business with the tribe, informing them of an "investigation" into Turner. The former executive, however, said she has never been informed of any wrongdoing.

The tribe operates the successful Grand Canyon Skywalk tourist attraction. The business has been mired in years of litigation despite attempts to settle several disputes.

Get the Story:
Former exec alleges sexuality behind tribal investigation (The Arizona Republic 7/17)

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