“According to the tribe’s attorney, Mason D. Morisset,
recognizing the settlement means Eastern Shawnee can now
take the next step in developing casinos”
Tuesday, April 17,
2007 — Time:
By STEPHEN ORAVECZ Tribune
tribe hoping to build a casino/resort in Lordstown
declared victory Monday in its effort to claim Ohio
land, but the attorney general’s office said that may be premature.
has successfully returned to Ohio,”
said Chief Glenna Wallace of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, which
claims to have roots in central and southern Ohio.
Shawnee and the Ohio
attorney general on Monday both accepted Judge James G. Carr’s proposed order
to dismiss the case. In the proposed order, Carr notes that the Eastern
Shawnee and several defendants have reached a settlement.
to the tribe’s attorney, Mason D. Morisset, recognizing the settlement means Eastern
Shawnee can now take the next step in developing casinos, asking
the U.S. Department of Interior to take the land into trust for the tribe. He
said that process, which is complicated and will take time, should begin in the
next several months.
Michael Deemer, chief deputy attorney general, said he was pleased
that Carr recognized the attorney general’s objections to the Eastern
Shawnee claims. Dann has called the land
claim a ‘‘sham’’ designed solely to bring casino gambling to Ohio.
Deemer said Carr twice rejected proposals from the Eastern
Shawnee that would have put his stamp of approval on the land
settlement. In an April 3 ruling that included the order both sides accepted,
Carr said nothing in his proposal should be interpreted as an endorsement of
That is not
a problem, Morisset said. According to the tribe’s attorney, Carr has said he
wants to remain neutral and nothing in his rulings should prevent the Eastern
Shawnee from succeeding in their attempt to have the land taken
Deemer would not say whether the attorney general will
opposed the Eastern Shawnee if they apply with the
Department of the Interior. He said the office will decide on its next step
once it sees what the Eastern Shawnee do.
originally sued the state and more than 60 defendants seeking title to 92,800
acres of former reservation lands and hunting, fishing and gathering rights to
approximately 11,315 square miles in 36 in central and western Ohio.
Settlements include land in Lima in
Botkins in ShelbyCounty and in WarrenCounty
The Lordstown site is not part of the lawsuit. However, the Eastern
Shawnee are still interested in developing a casino/resort in TrumbullCounty. The tribe hopes to
negotiate a gambling compact with Ohio
that would include Lordstown.