January 24, 2009
ROHNERT PARK - The lawsuit filed last June 6th to stop the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria plans from building a huge tribal casino resort in Rohnert Park was amended January 12th. The propose was to add new plaintiffs to the suit and to further question the jurisdiction of the 254-acre proposed site in Rohnert Park.
The filing was made in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco by East Bay Attorney Stephan Volker on behalf of the Stop the Casino 101 Coalition, plus 12 of its members including Petaluma City Council member Mike Healy, and two other Sonoma County residents.
The lawsuit asserts the Graton Rancheria was historically never a reservation. Since it was created on private land in 1920 rather than public land it is governed by the state of California. That would void the decision last May 7th by the U.S. Department of Interior to take the land into federal trust.
Councilman Mike Healy said, "But the amended lawsuit also includes some additional plaintiffs, and has to do with the personal harm that they would suffer if the project moves forward."
The casino project is also facing a delay by its financial partner Station Casinos who is struggling with a debt load of more than $5 billion and may file for bankruptcy
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