Federal judge dismisses case against Wilton Rancheria casino, appeal possible



In a ruling released yesterday in federal district court in Washington DC, Judge Trevor McFadden dismissed the lawsuit filed by casino watchdog group Stand Up For California against the Wilton Rancheria. The lawsuit filed by SUFC sought to reverse the January 2017 decision that allowed the 36-acre parcel on Elk Grove's south side to be placed into federal trust for the tribe.

Placing the land into federal trust allows the Wilton Rancheria to pursue financing and construction and development of their proposed $400 million casino resort. SUFC had contended that the land was placed into federal trust in the waning hours of the Barack Obama administration in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.

Earlier, McFadden had ruled in favor of the Wilton Rancheria but allowed SUFC to file cross-motions, primarily based on the environmental approval process. In his ruling, McFadden found the federal environmental process had been followed, denied the motions, and was dismissed.

In a statement released last night, Wilton Rancheria Chairman Raymond "Chuckie" Hitchcock praised McFadden's ruling.

“We are gratified by the judge’s ruling to decisively reject dishonest arguments put forth by well-funded special interest groups that have tried at every turn to stop our project,” Hitchcock said.

The City of Elk Grove has not released a statement regarding the development.

Although SUFC has exhausted litigation at the federal district level, their executive director Cheryl Schmitt in the past, has implied that if they lose, an appeal would be filed, in this case, to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Schmitt did not respond to an email request seeking comment at the time of posting this story. 

The site of the proposed casino is on 36-acres that is adjacent to the site that was to be the home of the now-demolished Outlet Collection of Elk Grove shopping center. The land was purchased for the Wilton Rancheria from Howard Hughes Corporation, which owns the adjacent empty parcel by Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming.

Although Boyd Gaming purchased the property, they will only manage resort once it has built after they have backed out of financing the $400 million project. The new financier has not been identified.   

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4 comments

Randy Bekker said...

This is such a great win for the Wilton Rancheria Tribe, The City of Elk Grove an citizens. It will create jobs, Adult Entertainment an revenue for the city. It will also hopefully create a catalyst for future business growth.

Spoons and Forks said...

Randy,

Did you write the following on the post about by-district voting, or did someone compose it for you on your behalf?

"For those that have forced this change or support the change they will bear the responsibility once the citizens find out their rights of voting for their city leaders were taken from them under false pretenses, lies and deception".

In your post above, you use an, which is your usual writing style, instead of and which is the correct grammar.

Are you being used as a tool? I hope not, as you seem sincere in your beliefs, and it would be a shame someone with different writing skills is taking advantage of you to express their views.

Randy Bekker said...

Spoons an Forks, lol you recognize my short hand by using an for and. Yes, occasionally I will use the full word and as I did above as you pointed out. No no one steers me or gives me talking points. I am not one to be bought or used as a tool as I am passionate in things I feel strongly about. I try to keep it about the subject an not the person which it is difficult at times. My disagreement on by District voting is coming to an end as I would expect within a few weeks it will become the new voting system for council members. However those that have pushed for this change will have to face the voting citizens that may complain. The reasons given for the change to by District have not been factual if it was I certainly would have been on their side for the change. From what happened under county governance an watching Sacramento City Council I believe in the future with a new city government under by District that you will see a different style of city government when council members will only care about their districts instead of the entire city.

Spoons and Forks said...

What, pray tell, Randy, has not been factual?

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