July 12, 2006
Alabama-Coushatta sue over casino closure

This ought to be exciting.

A Texas Indian tribe filed a federal lawsuit today alleging ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed and their associates engaged in fraud and racketeering to shut down the tribe's casino.

The Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Livingston, Texas, alleged the defendants defrauded the tribe, the people of Texas and the Legislature to benefit another of Abramoff's clients - the Louisiana Coushatta tribe - and "line their pockets with money."

"Ultimately, the defendants' greed and corruption led to the Alabama-Coushatta tribe permanently shutting its casino. The funding for economic programs evaporated, over 300 jobs were lost in Polk County and the Alabama-Coushatta tribe has spent years struggling to recover and revitalize its economy through other means," the tribe said in its lawsuit, obtained by The Associated Press before it was filed Wednesday.

The lawsuit also names Abramoff's ex-business partner Michael Scanlon, a former aide to former Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land; Neil Volz, a former aide to Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio; and Jon Van Horne, Abramoff's former colleague at his law and lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig.


Had the public or tribe known the Louisiana Coushatta tribe was the main opponent, Christian groups would have been "less mobilized," the Texas tribe contends. Because the Texas and Louisiana tribes share family ties, Louisiana Coushatta members would have opposed the attack on their sister tribe, the Alabama-Coushatta said.

"There's no reason why Indian tribes would cause this kind of havoc against another tribe," [tribal chairwoman Jo Ann] Battise said.

Good for them. I just hope there's something for them to collect. More on this can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

UPDATE: Ralph Reed gets to face GOP primary voters in his quest to run for Lt. Gov. of Georgia on Tuesday. Ed Kilgore says he's in trouble.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 12, 2006 to Scandalized! | TrackBack