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State agencies need to clean up their act

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Just this week, The Glendale Star received four letters from the Arizona Attorney General’s office. They give some insight into what transpired in the months following the letters from the Arizona Department of Gaming to the Attorney General’s office regarding the Tohono O’odham Nation and its pursuit of a Class III gaming license from the State of Arizona.

However, the letters merely scratch the surface. To get a better idea of how complicit the various state agencies were with the Gila River and Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian communities were, check out the timeline at the bottom of the online story.

Even the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control got in on the action. We have talked with DLLC Deputy Director Michael Rosenberger, mainly by email, and we have been getting the old song and dance routine of “we’re still investigating.” More than a year since the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise applied for its liquor license, and the state is still investigating?

If you are in the news business and you read all of the facts laid out in the Tohono O’odham Nation’s motion filing of Sept. 14, you suddenly realize the liquor department just might be holding out and avoiding the public records laws.

How about Arizona Department of Gaming Director Daniel Bergin and his letter to the Congressional Budget Office, telling the CBO it should not be  telling Congress that HR 308, Keep the Promise Act, had the potential to cost taxpayers $1 billion. Besides, the liquor department was not going to allow the Nation to have a liquor license.

How bold, how arrogant, how so wrong. Since when does a state regulator send a letter to what is essentially an arm of Congress, advising them not to “score” a potentially high-dollar liability? Is Daniel Bergin a lobbyist for the Gila River and Salt River tribes? Is that his job?

What it comes down to is Gila River and Salt River told the state what to do and they went out and did it.

It’s clear the governor’s office, the AG and the regulator over gaming of all Arizona tribes have been complicit in their secret coordination of this issue with two East Valley tribes. This calls for an auditor general investigation.