On Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed in federal court by the Snoqualmie Tribe of Washington State that accuses City of Snoqualmie officials of “intentional race discrimination,” according to a tribal press release.
Alleged instances of discrimination, including the decision to cut off sewer utility services to the tribe’s Snoqualmie Casino by November 2016 are included in the 19-page lawsuit filed against the city and its mayor Matt Larson. The lawsuit states, “Without sewer services, the casino will be forced to close indefinitely, threatening the tribe’s ability to offer core governmental programs and services to its tribal members, jeopardizing business relationships upon which the tribe depends, and risking the jobs of 1,200 employees,” according to the SnoValley Star.
In an email from the city’s public information officer, Joan Pliego, said that a statement from the city regarding the lawsuit will not be forthcoming until December 15. That is a day after the City Council has a regular meeting.
The lawsuit states that 35 years of sewer utility services was to be provided to the tribe; ending service in 2043. However, a City Council vote earlier this year ended that agreement. In addition to Snoqualmie’s mayor, the lawsuit also names as defendants all of the City Council members, the city’s administrator, Robert Larson, and Dan Marcinko, the public works director.
Included in the termination of the service agreement are emergency medical and fire services which are provided by the city. In the lawsuit the tribe accuses the city of direct interference with the Snoqualmie tribe’s ability to search for other medical and fire services. In addition, the lawsuit includes allegations that representatives of the city contacted Eastside Fire & Rescue prior to the termination of the service agreement between the tribe and the city. At that time a Eastside Fire & Rescue was requested that it not accept an agreement with the tribe. Since that time the tribe and Eastside Fire & Rescue have penned a six-year contract that will provide the casino with fire and emergency services.