Friday, November 18, 2011

New BMIC Chair Signals Tribe Won't Abandon Litigation that Shut-Down Vanderbilt Casino

New BMIC Chairman Kurt Perron
Kurt Perron, the new Chairman of the Bay Mills Indian Community signals to the Tribe and others that under his leadership, BMIC will not abandon litigation that has resulted in the tribe's Vanderbilt casino being locked up indefinitely and blocks any future casino development schemes the Tribe and its partner, controversial Detroit casino syndicator Michael J. Malik, Sr.,  had dreamed of for Port Huron & Flint Township.

No doubt, former BMIC Chair Jeff Parker had previously entered into Development Agreements with Malik or his affiliates protecting Malik's interests. Malik has indicated that his Blue Water Resorts syndicate and others have invested $15-25 million during the last two decades attempting to win approvals for his Bay Mills casino in Port Horn. Given that, it's not likely Malik will walk away from or be pushed away from BMIC.  He is known to be tenacious and a bully.

Those who've followed TVT regularly will recall several instances where leaders of the Los Coyotes Band of Indians attempted to part company with Malik or undertake business development strategies potentially in conflict with Malik's objectives; and in such instances, the Detroiter saw to it that those leaders were replaced and individuals loyal to him were installed in their place.

Tribe continues work on gaming issues
BAY MILLS — Bay Mills Indian Community elected new tribal leaders on Nov. 2, but the commitment to the current litigation regarding the Vanderbilt Casino remains the same.

“Our first day in office, Nov. 7, we formally agreed as a council to continue working together on our gaming issues, including our properties in Vanderbilt, Flint, and Port Huron,” said newly elected Tribal Chairman Kurt Perron. He is joined by another new face on the council, Joe LeBlanc, serving as vice-chairman. The rest of the council remains the same, as incumbents John Paul Lufkins, Richard LeBlanc and Bucko Teeple held onto their seats in the election.

The council’s actions come on the heels of an Oct. 19 General Tribal Council meeting of the Bay Mills Indian Community membership. At that meeting, Perron made a motion before the prior council to continue moving forward with the litigation. The tribal membership unanimously approved Perron’s motion.

"I am committed to working aggressively and diligently with the entire council to advance this litigation and related pursuits,” said Perron.

The tribe has a July 2012 court date scheduled.

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