Emails From Elk Grove's Economic Developer Director Indicate City's Support For Casino

August 22, 2016 |

Elk Grove Mayor Davis sought meeting with Boyd Gaming during official visit to Las Vegas

Although The City of Elk Grove and its City Council members have officially stated they are neutral on the Wilton Rancheria's proposed casino for the city, emails from a member of the City's executive staff indicate otherwise.

In emails obtained from a public records request that were shared with EGN, Elk Grove Economic Development Director Darrell Doan indicated the City is "supportive" of the Wilton Rancheria's proposal for a $400-million casino resort facility. 

In a May 4, 2016 email from Doan (see above, click to enlarge) to Wilton Rancheria Chairman Raymond "Chuckie" Hitchcock, Doan sought Hitchcock's assistance in arranging a meeting with Boyd Gaming. The Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming has been named as the operator and financier should the casino resort open in Elk Grove.

In his email Doan wrote: "Hi Chuckie. I am going to be in [Las] Vegas for a conference next month. Can you connect me with Boyd? I'd like to take a quick meeting with them on behalf of the city. Make sure they know we are supportive."

As a member of the City's executive staff, Doan reports directly to City Manager Laura Gill who receives her direction from on all major policy issues directly from the Mayor and City Council. 

In a series of emails following Doan's request, Mayor Gary Davis also had email correspondences with Hitchcock regarding meetings he sought with Boyd Gaming while in Las Vegas. While not saying whether or not he was supportive of the casino, it was evident that like Doan, he sought out meetings with Boyd Gaming.

Davis said in a May 20, 2016 email to Hitchcock (see below, click to enlarge) and copied to four Boyd Gaming employees that he will be in Las Vegas and it "would be great if we could set some set aside some time to talk." 

While the City has officially stated on its website to Elk Grove citizens that it is neutral on the proposed casino, Doan's email indicate a desire to help development of the casino on the troubled site of the unfinished Outlet Collection at Elk Grove shopping center. Resurrection construction of that shopping center, where work came to an abrupt halt over eight years ago, has become a source of embarrassment for Elk Grove and is a primary focus of Doan's job duties as well as his predecessor, Randy Starbuck. 

Davis said in an email that he did not meet with Boyd during his trip to Las Vegas. Doan has not responded to an email request seeking comment. 

Additionally, City Council members have been largely silent on the proposed facility. During a July public meeting on the casino conducted by the Wilton Rancheria, Davis said that he supported the tribe, but was not yet ready to support the casino.

Recently Councilman Darren Suen was asked about the proposal at a meeting of the Elk Grove South County Democratic Club meeting. That specific question and Suen's response can be viewed on this video

At the May 25, 2016 Elk Grove City Council meeting Davis discussed his trip to Las Vegas with Doan, but did not mention any meeting with Boyd Gaming for himself or Doan. 

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast