The Tohono O’odham Nation will not need to comply with an “overly burdensome” request from the Arizona Attorney General’s office to produce documents in the tribe’s current case against the state. U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell however did order the tribe to turn over some information including audited financial statements and estimates of potential earnings from the project if they are not allowed to offer casino style gambling at the proposed Phoenix area casino.
The state requested a broad range of internal documents in their response to the Tohono O’odham Nation’s motion requesting a ruling to determine whether the state has any legal basis to prohibit the opening of their nearly finished casino next to Glendale.
Earlier this month the tribe was successful in keeping their case in Judge Campbell’s court when U.S. District Judge Steven Logan denied the state’s request to hear the case, keeping it in Campbell’s courtroom. Judge Campbell has issued a series of rulings siding with the tribe in their long-running battle against the state and rival tribes.
Trying a new tactic, the governor and gaming director have accused the tribe of fraud in 2002 negotiations that set the stage for a citizens referendum granting tribes in Arizona the exclusive rights to offer gaming in the state. Gaming Director Daniel Bergin contends that he is legally capable of determining that the tribe is “unfit” to offer gambling because of his opinion. The tribe sued over that maneuver and the state responded with a demand for far reaching information.
“If taken literally, [the state’s demand would] require plaintiff to search a vast array of documents concerning tribal employment patterns generally and employment details at other casinos,” the judge wrote.
The trial is set to begin in September.