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CPN requests to join gaming lawsuit

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

Shawnee, Okla.-- Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) has asked Chief Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti to permit it to join the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations in an existing Federal lawsuit to bring an end to the uncertainty Oklahoma Governor J. Kevin Stitt has attempted to cast over Tribal gaming operations. The suit names Governor Stitt in his official capacity and seeks a judicial declaration that the gaming compacts renewed in accord with their express terms, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

“We are committed to remaining a strong partner with the State of Oklahoma,” Citizen Potawatomi Nation Tribal Chairman John Barrett said. “We do that through our tribal enterprises, which create an economic impact of more than $530 million, and through programs and initiatives that provide healthcare, address infrastructure needs, and fund education.”

CPN employs nearly 2,400 Oklahomans, making it the largest employer in Pottawatomie County. The Nation also operates emergency 911 services for free to most of Pottawatomie County, allowing local first responders to update equipment and add to their workforce. In 2019, CPN contributed to $1.7 million in scholarships to students in Oklahoma universities and gave another $2 million to local charities.

“To say that the Tribes aren’t paying their fair share is a misrepresentation of all that we do for Oklahoma,” added Barrett. “We contribute 100 percent of our tribal revenue to Oklahomans through infrastructure, education, economic development, and more. The positive impact that CPN has on our community is many times more beneficial than a few more dollars in gaming taxes to the state.”